One of the common threads in the organizations that I’ve worked with in the last decade or so is a near ubiquitous use of instant messaging, usually AOL’s IM client. Regardless of the publisher, the entire staff seemed to be on AIM, and it proved to be a useful means of asking a quick question or sending out an urgent message. IM was also useful to figure out if someone was in the office before you spent a couple of hours trying to track them down on the phone.
The value of instant messaging isn’t lost on corporations of all sizes, but in many companies you can’t just download a copy of AIM and start using it. Even assuming you have the ability to install software on your computer or smartphone, you have to do it in a way that meets the approval of the IT department. That approval should only come if your instant messaging doesn’t create a security or compliance hole. Chances are, if it’s a widely available free IM client, it does.
Fortunately for the companies that need them, there are corporate versions of IM clients. One of the best known is Microsoft’s Office Communicator. But Communicator shares a problem with most of the other corporate IM solutions – it requires a specific environment to work, in this case, Microsoft Windows. This may be fine if every device on your network is a Windows device, but what happens if you have an iPhone or a BlackBerry? Basically, you’re out of luck, just as you are if you’re using Linux or a Mac.
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Source: CTO Edge
By: Wayne Rash