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Instant Messaging Overview

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Nov 15, 2001


Introduction

Introduction Within the next few weeks, ServerWatch will offer links to reviews of instant messaging servers. For those not yet clear on the basics of instant messaging servers, we offer this overview compiled from articles previously published on CrossNodes.

Within the next few weeks, ServerWatch will offer links to reviews of instant messaging servers. For those not yet clear on the basics of instant messaging servers, we offer this overview compiled from articles previously published on CrossNodes.

Instant messaging (IM) entered the corporate infrastructure by the back door. First released and popularized by America Online, IM enables users to locate and establish an independent chat session with another user. Once connected, users can exchange comments in real time and share files. The growth of IM led other ISPs to implement proprietary messaging functions for their customers. Although vendors designed IM primarily for home users, many organizations have migrated the application to their office systems, as has been the case with America Online's IM (AIM) product.

IM in the corporate workplace remains controversial. Users claim that the software provides a boost to productivity. They say they can get answers quickly from suppliers and co-workers without the delays of voice mail and e-mail. They also argue that it is less expensive. IT managers, however, maintain that IM software breaches security. Managers argue that unauthorized IM applications create support problems. In addition, corporate managers worry that IM conversations can serve as a distraction rather than a productivity tool.

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