AOL Entirely Misses the Point of Enterprise IM

AOL has released a version of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for the business world. It offers the ability to use your email address as a screename instead of picking a cutesy buddy name, it has hooks into webex, and several other unimportant features.

It's a little sad that AOL has totally missed the point of "enterprise IM" this late in the game. The features they've provided with this client are nice-to-haves, but the real requirement with business instant messaging is the ability for a company to run their own server behind their firewall. Many companies are concerned about having their sensitive trade secrets or customer data going through the Internet and then passing through AOL's servers.

Until AOL offers a server product for sale, they are not going to be competitive in the business instant messaging space. Or at least not among those companies that are looking specifically for instant messaging intended for use in a business. Many companies don't care about any of this and will continue using the regular version of AIM, unaware that this new version even came out.

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