Even as recent as a few years ago, the use of instant messaging clients by employees in the workplace were strictly prohibited by supervisors and managers. However, once business owners began to realize the power behind instant messaging as a communication tool, they learned that it may be more that just a waste of company time. IM can actually increase productivity, employee team cohesion, and the efficiency of communication.
At first, supervisors began to allow employees to download instant messenger programs like AIM and Yahoo! Talk. However, as important or confidential data began to be traded through this new channel of workplace communication, companies began to worry about the instant messenger security.
This is where corporate messenger systems come in. They provide secure instant messaging by encrypting all conversations, data, and file transfers that take place. This is achieved by allowing businesses to download an enterprise instant messaging client that is kept on a secure server.
As more and more businesses make secure instant messaging a priority, hosted instant messaging clients will continue to grow in popularity. Besides encrypting all data and conversations, many programs allow managers and supervisors to oversee their employee's accounts using an online account manager. From this database, they can add new employees, remove employees, view employee conversations, and much more. This may ease the fears of many business owners who worry that their employees will use instant messaging to talk to friends or others not affiliated with the company.
The goal behind enterprise instant messaging programs is to provide the flexibility to communicate online instantly, while still providing security and control due to the confidential nature that is crucial to most business's profits. Many hosted IM programs offer free trials and can be found online. Try out several different interfaces, programs, and options before deciding which is best for your individual company.