Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Instant messaging in the enterprise

Good article in the WSJ about IM use in the workplace: Instant Messaging Invades the Office. This caught my eye:

Gartner Inc. projects that instant messaging will be the "de facto tool for voice, video and text chat" for 95% of employees in big companies within five years.

95% is just about everyone in my book, but I'm actually surprised that it isn't at that adoption rate already. The benefits are just too large to ignore.

Another interesting discussion in the article is about the use of IM in meetings. I'm surprised to see that it's even an issue. Some people might consider multitasking as bad, but I have found IM to be an incredibly valuable tool for sidebar conversations. Those sidebars dramatically reduce "tangents" and allow meetings to stay focused. There are also far fewer interruptions. I can't imagine conducting meetings any other way.


Eli Sagor said...

Hi Kevin. I'd like to hear more about how you've used IM in meetings. I've seen its value in Breeze meetings, but what about other formats? Or is Breeze what you were referring to? I really like this idea and would love to hear more about yow you've done it.

Kevin Gamble said...

I'm mostly talking about face to face meetings, but also use it extensively in conference calls and H.323 conferences.

It works great to discuss items with other individuals. For example, you might have an idea, present it to someone else at the meeting, they help you flesh the thinking out, and then one of you will present the idea to the total group. This prevents the conversation (ideation) taking place in a manner that interrupts the entire meeting.

I also like group chat space in meetings as well. We don't use this as much as we should.

We do our chats using Jabber.