• United States
by Christine Perey

The importance of IM

May 26, 20031 min
Messaging AppsNetworkingSecurity

A stock brokerage learns an IM lesson.

Sometimes who uses public instant-message services and why becomes more apparent after IT shuts down the services. Such was the case at Stifel Nicolaus, a full-service stock brokerage firm in St. Louis.

Shortly after blocking all public instant-message service traffic on Stifel’s corporate network, Lee Blackmore, IT director, began getting complaints. He learned that while the firm’s retail brokers weren’t using instant-message, its highest revenue producers, institutional investors, were. They considered instant-message a vital link to their best information sources. “And the institutional investors frequently aren’t satisfied with access to just one public service,” he says.

Using IMlogic’s IM Manager, Blackmore has implemented corporate policies for public instant-message users and has a means to enforce them. When employees need access to public instant-message services, they have to make their case, explaining why and with whom they will be using a specific service. Instant-message screen names (an alias associated with a particular instant-message user) get added to Stifel’s electronic communications screening and monitoring system. IM Manager also helps the firm address security issues, and logs instant-message traffic to comply with regulations.