Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Use Secure Instant Messaging Software as a Sales Tool

Secure IM software is about to be concerned with since
instant messaging software has become a popular communication tool for
service support between customers and their suppliers as well as for
chatting with colleagues.

If you’re an usual PC user, you are already know an
instant messaging like Skype, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, and
AOL Instant Messenger, and ICQ. All of these public instant
messaging tools that enable internet users worldwide to
communicate back and forth online in real time using text
messages.

Some of the public instant messaging programs also have video and
voice capabilities. Through instant messaging, multiple people
can be invited to join in on a conversation and users can even
transfer files to one another instantly.

You can imagine how convenient this technology is for business
communications, but as business use increases, so does the need
for secure instant messaging.

Because of the confidential nature of most business transactions
businesses generally are not too crazy about the idea of
transmitting sensitive data and communications over the internet
without proper security, authenticity and encryption.

There is definite concern about data being intercepted or viruses
being exchanged when using public instant messenger programs.

Industries with highly sensitive data have moved toward the use
of private, closed instant messenger programs that encrypt data
and record communications as a solution for secure instant
messaging.

While this is a good option for businesses to handle internal
communications, it isn’t necessarily a solution that will enable
businesses to use instant messaging securely as a sales, customer
service or technical support tool because in order to communicate
through a private, closed instant messenger program, all users
that are collaborating must have the specific program.

Undoubtedly, the communication, collaboration and file sharing
capabilities that instant messaging presents is highly desirable
for businesses. As a sales tool, instant messaging enables
potential customers to ask questions and to have them answered in
real time.

A sales presentation can be made via instant messaging and more
than one person at a time can even be invited to join the online
sales presentation. Customer service and technical support can
also be provided via instant messaging and if support from a
colleague or supervisor is needed in the midst of a conversation,
they can be invited to join the conversation online.

Another advantage of using instant messaging technology as a
sales and service tool is that the text conversations can be
easily saved and referred back to as needed or archived as a
permanent record of communications.

The main disadvantages of using public instant messenger programs
are vulnerability due to the possibility of malware distribution
through messenger programs and the potential for data leakage.
Instant messaging can also be a hindrance to productivity because
it is so quick, convenient and easy to contact a user of instant
messaging.

This ease of instant communication can interrupt a person’s work
causing them to waste time online. These disadvantages lead to
the concerns regarding the use of public instant messenger
programs as a sales or service tool.

For an intranet or for businesses that have the same private
instant messenger programs secure instant messaging is possible;
but in communicating with the standard consumer through public
instant messaging, that is not the case.

If you use instant messaging as a sales or service tool, be aware
that you may be open to vulnerabilities and data leakage if the
communications are not accomplished via secure instant messaging
technology.

Because of the potential for data leakage, credit card
information, proprietary data and so forth should not be
exchanged via public instant messenger programs or services. If
you and your customers can accept the risks of using a public
instant messenger program, it really can be an incredible tool
for sales and service.

Author: Christopher J Enders
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why IT managers choose Skype IM?

It's interesting that some of the most modern instant messaging systems are first brought into businesses by usual PC users, rather than staff of IT departments. Then, when others see the advantages those pioneering users are getting, the technology is quickly adopted in company IT environment. It happened this way with PC-based fax, then email, and with instant messaging. And it's happening with Skype IM.

And that's really no amaze. Home PC users first use Skype because it offered free voice and video calls over the Internet. The adoption rate skyrocketed due to Skype's ease of use and superior voice quality over the public Internet. But now that it operates the world's largest and most reliable Internet communications community, with over 405M registered users, it's also a very attractive infrastructure for business telephony applications. According to Skype, 30% of its users are using Skype for business.

What's more, it complements the communications infrastructure that you already have in place, enabling you to do more with the resources you already have, which is particularly compelling in the current business climate.

So here are five key reasons why corporate IT managers have embraced Skype in their organizations—and how they can deploy and centrally manage it effectively.

It saves—and keeps on saving
Skype isn't just about cost savings—but it's a great benefit nonetheless. It saves your business money on all call costs: national, international, mobile, inter-office, to any user, and it keeps on delivering savings.

With Skype centrally managed in your organisation via PBX-to-Skype gateways you can create global numbering plans, enabling employees to use extension dialling between offices. Site-to-site calls are free, and long-distance calls are handled using SkypeOut to reduce costs. The gateways also centralise Skype provisioning and management, giving IT managers full control and eliminating the need to install Skype on each PC. All Skype voice functions are delivered to users' handsets.

The benefits can also extend to mobile users. With Skype installed on any smart mobile phone that can run the lite version of Skype, the user's call preferences can be set up centrally by the IT team, via the PBX gateway, for alternate routing to the mobile user's Skype account. This is done via mobile broadband under the user's mobile data plan, giving huge savings compared with even the cheapest international mobile tariffs.

It leverages your existing technology
These PBX-to-Skype application gateways can link any office phone system (whether traditional digital switch, or IP / SIP PBX) to Skype, for a low one-time upgrade cost without having to swap out or replace existing equipment. The gateways add anything from 4 to 30 Skype lines to the company PBX, so that Skype calls can be made and transferred between extensions as normal. Employees simply dial 8 for Skype, or 9 for an ordinary line.

None of your investments are made obsolete. You just make your existing assets work harder for your business—and start saving money.

It's easy to manage
The gateways can be installed, and Skype provisioned, in less than half a day, with zero changes to existing PBX equipment, phones, or PCs. The gateway ties the Skype Online number to the business to enable Skype DID. It also simplifies configuration, management and support, putting Skype under the IT manager's full control.

There's no need to install Skype on each PC—Skype usage can be monitored by the business just like ordinary calls, and number schemes easily managed. You set it up and it's under centralised control right away.

Skype is completely free of malware, adware and spyware
So it does not add another potential security threat, or attack vector to your network. How many other corporate networks can say the same?

Skype is encrypted
When Skype users connect, it's over an AES-encrypted session, whether it's via instant message, voice, video, or the sending of files. So Skype communications are secure—giving an advantage over conventional VoIP or voice VPNs.

And of course, with a gateway at each office, you get secure voice VPN working over Skype without paying for expensive leased lines, or having to deploy IP PBXs from the same vendor at every office. That's in addition to the benefits outlined earlier.

So with the cost savings and functionality benefits available to you through Skype usage, what's not to love about it?

By: David Tang, Global VP, VoSKY Technologies

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Windows Live Messenger Covered 98.82% of Instant Messaging Market in Brazil

ComScore Inc, a global marketing research company unfurled a new report relating email and instant messaging market in Brazil. Data in the report shows that Microsoft is the ace in email as well as instant messenger IM, followed by Google. The report also included other IT companies with substantial growth. According comScore managing director of Latin America, Alex Banks, Microsoft exercises a strong foothold on many consumer applications in the Latin American marketplace. He also added that there were other software giants such as Google and Yahoo! flexing their muscles. Bank anticipates that the competitive landscape would changes over the next few years with so many consumer-focused Internet brands taking part in this digital gold rush.

ComScore's survey in December revealed 24 million Brazilians aged 15 and older visited web-based email sites from home and work locations. A majority of them nearly 20 million can access Windows Live Hotmail. Next in the ranks was Google's Gmail with 8.4 million visitors (up 51 percent from last year), Yahoo! Mail followed with 7.1 million visitors (up by 20 percent) and UOL Mail having nearly 4 million visitors (up by 14 percent). What's most interesting, 34 percent of Hotmail users swayed to Gmail, where as 81 percent of Gmail users visited Hotmail.

Coming down to the Instant Messenger Application, again Microsoft's Windows Live messenger rules the roost dominating 98.82% of the market in Brazil. However, this category on a whole is growing at a sluggish pace only up by 5% as compared to the total Brazilian Internet audience (up 20 percent). Further there are several smaller players such as EBuddy and Meebo in the IM market that are growing at substantial rate. Microsoft's IM application is under threat with the raging competition in IM market. It's high-time for the tech-giant to workout strategies ways to outplay the competitors to survive its dominance in the IM market, in Brazil.

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