Corporate Instant Messaging (IM) looks set to explode into the channel, with a number of vendors vying to offer companies their proprietary solutions.
Although the big players such as Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL provide the most popular IM clients and networks, smaller vendors are also getting in on the act. IPSwitch last week launched a corporate IM product for £500.
Roger Greene, president of IPSwitch, said some kind of open standards are necessary because customers using a single vendor's proprietary software could find they are excluding customers and employees.
"It is in the best interests of Yahoo and Microsoft to support an open standard. AOL's hold on the market will decline in the long term," he said.
Unipalm, which distributes IPSwitch products, will start selling the firm's IM solution this year.
Sally Barton, Unipalm's director of e-business, said: "The big thing about business IM is the auditing and logging of messages. It's something we will see more of."
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