Instant messaging to supplant email at work

21 Mar 2008

Instant messaging (IM) will replace email as the standard communication device in the office, IBM has predicted.

Traditional IM will become the preferred method of business interaction and this will fuel rapid adoption of unified communications, Mike Rhodin, general manager of IBM Lotus software told the VoiceCon conference in Orlando, Florida.

Traditional IM will become the core extension point for multi-modal communications, such as videoconferencing and data sharing, he said. Rhodin predicted that companies will go beyond the initial capabilities of IM, like click-to-call and online presence, to achieve deep integration with business processes and line-of-business applications.

The adoption of unified communications technologies across organisations will also be helped by increased interoperability and open standards. These will tear down proprietary walls across business and public domains, said Rhodin.

3D virtual world and gaming technologies will significantly influence online corporate meeting experiences to deliver the more life-like experiences demanded by the next-generation workers who will operate more efficiently in this familiar environment, suggested Rhodin.

IDC estimates the unified communications market will reach US$17bn in worldwide revenue in 2011, growing at 38pc compound annual growth rate from 2007.

At the conference, Rhodin revealed that a variety of global companies are working with IBM software and services to deliver new unified communications solutions. For example, Forterra Systems is using IBM technology to develop a futuristic, unified communications solution codenamed ‘Babel Bridge’ that could allow US intelligence agencies to use a common graphical collaboration system to instantly communicate within a virtual world.

By Niall Byrne