Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Osterman Research on the state of IM

As Michael Osterman reports in a newsletter published on NetworkWorld, Osterman Research has just conducted a study on IM, presence and real-time communication.  Their findings are interesting - that companies that haven't yet deployed IM have largely not done so due to the lack of the necessary business case for it - as is an assertion that because IM is not yet universally deployed by enterprises, that they can use it as a source of competitive advantage.

Among organizations that have not yet deployed enterprise IM as a pilot or in a production environment, the most commonly cited reason for not doing so is that no one has yet made a sufficiently strong business case for enterprise IM. This reason was mentioned far more often than the cost of enterprise IM, concerns about security or managing outbound content.

I also found his comparison to e-mail interesting.  It would not surprise me in the least if people do in fact make a similar comparison 10 (or even 5) years from now:  "IM and presence are today where e-mail was some time around 1995. Back then, you could still find people who were not convinced of the efficacy of e-mail in improving communications and who simply couldn’t come up with a business case for deploying it."

In terms of his suggestions for what it will take to convince companies to roll out IM:
First, vendors will need to develop some really compelling applications that will motivate organizations to give IM and presence a greater role.

Well, this is specifically the reason we developed Sametime 7.5 on the Eclipse platform.  Want to learn more about applications that make Sametime more than just a point IM application?  See here, and here, and here for starters.

His next suggestion is also right on the money (emphasis mine)
Second, organizational decision-makers will need to be proactive in understanding what IM and presence can do....  E-mail’s ubiquity means that organizations can no longer gain any sort of competitive advantage from it. However, that is not the case with IM and presence – innovative use of IM and presence can speed organizational decision-making, provide better customer service, etc., in ways that can provide real competitive advantage simply because many of your competitors are probably not yet using these capabilities.

We have plent of stories of Sametime customers using it to create a competitive advantage, whether it's being able to respond to incoming bid requests in hours (or minutes) instead of days; a Doctor's office using Sametime instead of the PA system to create the quiet, relaxed atmosphere their patients are looking for; an insurance company who gets a leg up on their competition because they can be more responsive to the independent agents they rely on to sell their policies; or a major supermarket chain using Sametime on the loading docks to confirm incoming orders.  Want to hear first hand from a company using Sametime to their advantage?  Listen to this webcast featuring how Colgate-Palmolive is using Sametime.

Article: Businesses still not compelled to use IM, presence