Beyond AIM: Top Instant Messaging Clients For Business - InformationWeek
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2/18/2009
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Beyond AIM: Top Instant Messaging Clients For Business

Instant messaging has all but replaced the phone as an office tool. We take AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger for a spin and give you the lowdown.

When it comes to communicating in the enterprise, desktop IM clients are a great way to go about business. Gone are the days of walking back and forth between offices and desks. Business users are starting to realize that while e-mail is incredibly useful when asking clients questions, it's woefully inept when information is required instantly, or informally among colleagues.




AOL's AIM offers lots of features that just don't fit in a business environment.
(click for image gallery)

And that's where instant messaging comes in. Services like Microsoft's MSN Web Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and others provide users with an outstanding way to communicate quickly and efficiently without all the lag time that's experienced when communicating via e-mail.

That's why we've decided to take a look at six prominent desktop IM clients to determine what kind of benefits they offer and find out which is the best for businesses and their clients and suppliers who want to have instant communication.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
aim.com

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is the most popular instant messaging platform in the United States, but it's also one of the least useful to businesses. Unfortunately, while the client seems ideally suited for consumers, it lacks much of the appeal a business user would expect.

Overall, AIM is designed well (we looked at version 6.8). It features an easy to use buddy list and adding friends to that list is as simple as inputting their names into an "add" feature or messaging them and clicking an "Add Buddy to Buddy List" button.

That said, the absence of practical business features AIM provides is disappointing. Sure, it allows you to engage in video chatting, and you can communicate with co-workers/friends/clients (buddies!) via mobile phone thanks to its text messaging integration, but the program's focus is on personalization and making it more about you than any real business functionality. It wasn't designed to be a business tool and it shows.

Do employees really need another piece of software to tempt them with games and music when they should be working?

AIM is a fine service for people who want to chat, but don't care about business-friendly features like encryption and additional security layers that ensure the chat isn't being read by a third party. And although it's simple to use and chatting with friends is easy, AIMis for play, not for work.

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amandasmi
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amandasmi,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2017 | 5:36:16 AM
Re: Modern instant messenger for business
Pretty advanced tool for modern business, I hope it'll be easy to deploy it.  For our small office we just implemented lan instant messenger from Softros, it's  a pretty simple app, secure and works without Internet or dedicated server. We got file exchange, messages and chat rooms, remote access and assistance.
Andrew Rakov
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Andrew Rakov,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/30/2016 | 9:36:41 AM
Modern instant messenger for business
Take a look at MyChat, the company secured corporate instant messenger and collaborate solution. This program includes many various features, such as Active Directory integration, voice/video calls, private chats, multi-user conferences, server with powerful administrating tools, files exchange, common tree-like contact list, built-in scripts engine, integrations with 3rd software and many others. This IM works under Windows and in any modern web browser. Works well in terminal sessions, through the Internet, NAT and multi-level networks. Up to 20 online users — totally free.

 
GeniltoDallo
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GeniltoDallo,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2014 | 8:19:31 AM
Chat Seguro
Some companies are using Chat Seguro. It is a secure business IM. Private Contact list divided by Unit and Department. Free for 5 users.
carmitchel
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carmitchel,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/18/2014 | 10:51:50 PM
Business messaging with productivity tools included
Have you checked out Glip yet? it's a business messaging app for desktop and mobile that includes group video chat and productivity tools like shared tasks, calendar and file sharing with automatic version control. There is also an interactive viewer for making annotations.
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