IM is a business necessity

Among the customers I met this week, there were 2 companies, very different in size and operation model. The one thing they had in common was their understanding that IM (instant messaging), and particularly EIM (enterprise IM) – is a viable business tool that improves employees’ productivity and promotes collaboration across the business. Those customers’ view on EIM is not so common is Israel, as most companies are considering IM as a “good to have” other than business necessity. But the trend is changing, as more and more companies are realizing the benefits of collaboration tools, including IM. Both companies are ISVs (Independent Software Vendor), with Hi-Tech orientation, handled by IBM’s Global Technology Unit (GTU). The buzz around Lotus Sametime is gaining momentum, with recent announcements from Lotus, Lotusphere 2008 and more than 16 million corporate users.

When talking to customers about collaboration, one must makes the connections between the different conversation technologies out there (chat, voice, video) and the benefit of a single platform to manage all of those technologies. Both customers are using VoIP, one is using Cisco while the other uses Asterisk open source solution. The world is headed towards convergence, unified communications and collaboration, that would allow us, employees, more freedom, and improve dramatically the collaboration within our company. Gartner even predicts that “Instant messaging will be de facto tool for voice, video and chat by 2011”. No need to wait that long – the technology is already here, and companies, specifically geographically dispersed companies, are making use of it right now.

Both customers I met will benefit from Lotus Sametime, and I think it’s worth mentioning that they are running on different messaging and application platform: one is using Outlook/Exchange while the second uses a combination of Notes/Domino for composite application and Outlook/Exchange for messaging. One of Lotus Sametime great virtues is that there’s no confinement to a single platform. Lotus Sametime will run on either platform, with the same features and ease of use. You can even run Lotus Sametime on Linux, and Sametime 8 will also support Mac’s Leopard. Over at you can find an interesting brochure on Lotus Sametime integration with Microsoft applications [PDF].

Related articles:
Lotus Sametime tops corporate IM platform review
IBM Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions
The Future of Lotus Sametime, with Mike Rhodin, Lotus GM (webcast, registration required)
IBM to integrate UC into Lotus Symphony
Lotus Sametime Installation Webcast [12 min + slides]

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.