Enterprise Instant Messenger: Since Tellers Don’t Have Telephones

Whether by desktop, laptop, or now even via cell phone, Instant Messenger has long been a primary means of communication for teenagers and young adults. Why is this medium used so heavily?




Whether by desktop, laptop, or now even via cell phone, Instant Messenger has long been a primary means of communication for teenagers and young adults. But why is this communication medium used so heavily?

The answer is very simple. Instant Messaging is:

  • Instant and direct
  • Low-overhead
  • Convenient

The next logical question is can this technology be used in the corporate setting? Some organizations already seem to be convinced.

Radicati Group estimates that Instant Messaging is used in 85% of all companies worldwide. The number of current unsecured public IM services users in the workplace is five times the number from 2002! This startling statistic is expected to exceed 125 million by mid-2005, up from 100 million users only nine months ago.

Although the numbers seem to indicate a growing corporate tendency to “sign on”, most companies hesitate about the use of Instant Messenger. Common fears are that the technology is not secure enough and that it is difficult to control the use and potential abuse of IM.

Luckily though, most of these downsides have been taken care of with the advent of Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM), offering all of the benefits of IM without jeopardizing network security.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Why consider it NOW?
At the recent CUNA Technology Council meeting, Gartner placed EIM number one on the list of top ten technologies credit unions should consider. By the end of 2006, EIM will surpass email as the primary online communication tool.

Is it really efficient?
At IBM, 77% of employees say that IM has changed the way they communicate, lessening the time they must spend with e-mail, voice-mail, telephone and face-to-face communications.

Is it still in its early days?
At GE, 80% of employees have reported daily use of EIM for the last 3-5 years.

Instant Messaging:
Obvious Advantages

Enterprise Instant Messenger offers many advantages over all other communication channels put together. While email is still the preferred channel for information sharing and communication, it is obvious that the technology has not taken advantage of a high-speed network’s real-time capabilities. E-mails typically get lost in the void of Outlook or more often are simply disregarded. This is where EIM can step in and truly take advantage of your network’s real time capabilities, outweighing the benefits of more traditional means.

Communication Mode Comparison





Document Transfer


Provide Links/URLs




Real Time Conversation


Multiple Conversations



“in-Context” communication *



*IM is embracing "in-context" communications in which the names of all the people involved in a document or piece of data are attached to that work as live links. Thus, if you have a question about the document, run your cursor over a name to find out if the individual is online; if he or she is, just click to send an instant query—and watch productivity boost. This "contextual collaboration" can be extended to partners, suppliers, and key customers at the discretion of the enterprise.

Enterprise Instant Messenger:
The Corporate Adaptation

Data Protection: Historical concernssuch as lack of privacy, loss of records, and susceptibility to tampering have all been alleviated through the checks and balances now standard in EIM.

Safety of Non-Public Domain: Since these EIM systems run on the corporate networks and are not open to public access, the notion of a “buddy list” and the abuse of the system automatically gets eliminated. This also minimizes the risk of viruses and spyware entering your corporate firewall.

Compliant: Financial Industry’s regulations (Sarbanes Oxley, HIPPA, GLB/CA1798 among others) require that all electronic communications, including Instant Messages, must be properly managed and logged for auditing purposes. Many Enterprise Instant Messengers address the regulatory compliance needs for credit unions and financial industry.

Productivity Gains like Expert Locator: Some solutions offer many industry specific capabilities such as Expert Locator, which allows users to contact individuals identified as “Experts”.

EIM is convenient in permitting an individual seeking particular information to find an expert instantly. All the while it reduces the interruption and hassle of a phone call. IM allows users to cut to the chase, foregoing the time consuming pleasantries of phone and e-mail conversations. In essence, EIM provides an avenue for information requests in a real-time environment.

Instant Messenger Solutions Goes Vertical

 Standard Features  

 Credit Union Specific Features

  • One-to-one Messaging
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • One-to-many Conferencing
  • Screenshots & File Transfer Capabilities
  • \Multiple Deployment Options
  • Expert Locator
  • AES based encryption
  • Tracking and Auditing Capabilities
  • Prohibited Content Filtering
  • Extensive Server Management Options

 It is impossible to sum up the benefits and effects Instant Messenger will have on a credit union’s communication in a single article. But it is safe to say that it will be as useful and revolutionary as email was 15 years ago.

Passageways, now offers the industry’s only credit union specific EIM solution. For more information on Passageways EIM solution, visit Passageways at www.passageways.com . Contact Passageways for a demo or for your trial version of Passageways Enterprise Instant Messenger at 765.497.8832.




Oct. 31, 2005


  • Addresses a concern I have had for some time. We use e-mail a lot.
  • Doesn't address any "Credit Union Specific Features" - everyone needs file transfer, auditing, and screenshots. What features are Credit-Union specific?