Collaboration

Top Instant Messaging applications in the enterprise

It appears that the enterprise have largely given up on controlling the use of IM, and existing policies, if any, were largely ignored.

Palo Alto Networks, a company specializing in enterprise network products, summarized application traffic assessments for 20 large organizations -- representing the behavior of over 350,000 users, and came to some interesting conclusions. It appears that enterprises have largely given up on controlling the use of IM, and existing policies, if any, are largely ignored.

Below is a chart from page 7 of the source report. Now, the data appears to be computed by site level, I thought the relative popularity of various IM apps was interesting.

IM Usage

Does your company discourage or mandate the use of IM?

[Source: The Application Usage and Risk Report]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Palo Alto Networks prides itself in providing strong visibility and policy-based control over applications running off enterprise networks.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

23 comments
devidmiller5060
devidmiller5060

Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader. Buy Facebook Likes

Comiter
Comiter

I think the IM application isn't a necessary thing and spend the time unless it used for useful purposes

Hurell.Lyons
Hurell.Lyons

I work for Qualcomm and they use and maintain Office Communicator (Currently using 2007) and I have to say if you are a fan of text messaging it works in the same way..... You don't have to talk to someone over the phone and you can control the conversation (esp. with people who like to talk to too much). I can also multitask from my desk (I'm a system admin but I'm all things IT for this office).

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I've used the MyTeamwork functionality that is packaged with the Alcatel IP Telephony solution. You can chat, do desktop/app sharing, and conference calling. Good thing is that it utilizes internal infrastructure and doesn't allow connectivity from the outside. Perfect solution for a compliance concerned organization (prior to the inception of this product, IM wasn't tightly controlled...the company enabled detailed sniffers/captures, and it turned out some medical info was going out on IM...YIKES) that uses Alcatel as their telephony system. On a related but different note, I had a question: Does the chat feature from the Yahoo mail website go out as IRC, or HTTP traffic? I ask, because I know of a few companies that are blocking IRC, but don't block access to web-based mail...and if this is going out as HTTP, this would seem to be a way to circumvent policy (nowadays, why anyone would risk that when you can just use your phone is beyond me...but it's their job on the line, not mine).

Meesha
Meesha

These metrics are very misleading. Especially since MSN is forced on everyone's PC simply because they had to buy the PC with MS everything on it. Organizations that allow such cowboy IMs into their environment are inviting a whole world of headaches. For example, there is no real security around these public style IMs; there is no real ability to monitor; no ability to archive conversations for compliance or litigation; etc. Of the bunch listed, only IBM Lotus Sametime is truly a corporate class IM. But it doesn't stop there. Sametime also is a web/video conferencing tool and is very powerful in it's capabilities. It totally is able to record sessions and secure sessions. If you're adverse to IBM, even MS has a slightly more secure product in Citrix/GoTO. Corporate laziness seems to be the true metrics here. I believe that the 20 "large" orgs representing 350K users is based on bad business not the lack of ability for "controlling the use of IM, and existing policies". Try more of the Fortune 100 and then if the numbers still stack up find out why this is so when there are true corporate solutions available.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I would be lost without it and so would Orange Business Services. It is invaluable when you are working on a case that involves multiple countries and every one is in a noisy data center. Using Communicator to pass information is a whole lot easier than fighting to understand everyone's accent.

lb63640
lb63640

We use AIMPro, and utilize the desktop sharing for remote support.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We've got an in-house solution within the IT department, but it gets minimal use. I'm not aware of the use of external IM solutions by end users. Obviously that doesn't mean they aren't being used. However, I'm reasonably confident less than 10% of my users are accessing external IM resources from company systems. Maybe it's just that our older workforce isn't familiar with the tool and thus hasn't asked about it. Frankly, I don't see the advantages of it over telephone or e-mail. I haven't pushed it as a solution since I don't know what problems it solves.

paulmah
paulmah

Does your company discourage or mandate the use of IM?

Editor's Picks