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Two examples of IM business use

Jul 03, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Two perspectives on the use of instant messaging in business

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 deployment.”

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.”