Two examples of IM business use

Today’s focus: Two examples of IM business use

In this issue:

* Two perspectives on the use of instant messaging in business
* Links related to Messaging


Today’s focus: Two examples of IM business use

By Michael Osterman

Here are two examples of how instant messaging is used in
day-to-day business operations. Thank you to the individuals
that provided this information.

Instant messaging in a call center

One user writes: “I manage a technical call center that supports
approximately 3,000 users in over 30 locations around the
country. Within our call center, our support analysts log on to
an IM client each day and use it to quickly communicate priority
announcements to each other or the entire group. It also allows
them to easily communicate their current availability status (At
Lunch, Busy, Meeting, Training, etc.) to the group. For managing
the group, it provides me a birds-eye view of what’s going on
and allows me to quickly inform the group of issues and known
problems. I can communicate with the group or an individual
analyst while they are still taking calls.

“While it doesn’t replace e-mail, IM is a more effective tool
for distributing information immediately. As part of an upcoming
messaging project, we’re looking at ways to implement IM in more
areas of IT, including remote analysts with cell phones. We’d
also like to provide our users with the ability to contact us
through IM. While IM can have a negative impact on productivity
if used improperly, it can also increase productivity when
business synergies are planned and incorporated into its

Instant messaging in a conventional business setting

Another user writes: “IM frees the inbox from message ‘threads’
that are real-time in nature. Not a big deal, unless you are
hitting 200+ e-mails a day, not counting spam. In that context,
anything that separates out the ‘immediate’ requirements from
the CCs is a tremendous asset. [Also], IM allows us to converse
in the ‘back channel’ while on a call with someone else. For a
growing business with a limited capital budget, this replaces
sophisticated inventory control, scheduling and other
applications. You can’t get a more ‘natural language’ query than
an IM to a human.

“It also is a very powerful tool for use while on conference
calls. It allows us to coordinate strategy with our teammates in
other locations in the background, while participating in the
call with outsiders in the foreground. The IM ‘buddy list’
allows us, to some extent, to know when a coworker is online and
reachable. If only to confirm they are there before initiating a
telephone call, this saves quite a bit of time and effort.”
To contact: Michael Osterman

Michael D. Osterman is the principal of Osterman Research
, a market research firm that
helps organizations understand the markets for messaging,
directory and related products and services. He can be reached
by clicking here .

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