Instant Messaging

MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Messenger, Skype and many other types of instant messenger tools have now become a powerful productivity enhancing tools for many enterprises. In a few years time these instant messaging tools will be used by employees and enterprises more than e-mails as a base of communication via Internet. Of course most of these messengers are free of charge.

Benefit of using messengers over e-mails is that your e-mail can be ignored by the recipient while instant messages take place in real time. They offer real time monitoring and participants can see who is online and who is away from the desk whether you are communicating internally or internationally.

There is no effective way of preventing spam e-mails, instant messaging tools allow users to customise their preferences and accept messages only from contacts. Sending and receiving messages take place in real time and also only after the recipient at the other end has agreed to receive the file. You can send files in a similar way to e-mail attachments here.

You can hold conferences over the web no matter where ever your contacts are. Instant messengers allow you to communicate using voice and video. You can invite your business contacts to participate in discussions at a set time and you will experience the real value of it. Conferencing this way is cheaper and very effective. This will save your telephone and travel costs.

These instant messages can be a wonderful tool for employees in a workplace. They can swap messages; ask questions in a collaborative team environment which is more effective than e-mail messaging.

The disadvantage is; one instant messenger is not compatible with the other. A better way of performing is downloading all of this software and using them with your contacts preference. You will find almost all of your contacts do the same. But in an office environment it is different. In an office environment one such software is used. These are ideal for small enterprises than a corporate environment. With the use of instant messaging, there is a possibility of transmitting viruses. It is advisable to ensure your virus protection software is up to date and overall security measures are taken and improved to work with your messenger tool. Yahoo! Messenger has advanced features such as encryption of messages, control of user access and advanced logging and archiving features.

When you use these tools you have to be careful that you do not provide your important information to anybody via instant messengers. Never include you credit card information, bank details and any passwords in your messages. Do not give any of your personal information that you do not wish the public to know. Choose a user name to identify yourself. Always customise your settings to accept messages only from your contacts. Keep your messages pleasant, short and to the point. Never use messengers for big decisions and agreements. If you are in business, always start your instant messaging software when you start your computer and set it as “busy” or “away” when you are not able to respond to messages.

Software like Yahoo! Messenger can be used by outsourcing businesses and freelancing. If you are a freelancer; you can talk with your client and set your working hours. If you are charging for the hours worked, Yahoo! Messenger can indicate the hours and your client can monitor you working on his or her project at a given time. If you tell your client, “I will be working on your project at this time of the day”. They know your hours worked is correct and you can develop their trust.

It is advisable send big decisions, important agreements and sensitive information via Fax, e-mails and letters than instant messaging.

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