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Examples of successful rollouts - political, not technical!

My company has been testing an internal deployment Jive Messenger for a while now, and the technical side is great. However, upper management is getting very antsy, and is inclined to kill the project - they’'re generally conservative and worried about everything under the sun (liability, productivity, etc.)

I’‘ve made all the appropriate arguments, and they’‘ve gotten a fair hearing. What would really[/b] help, though, would be a few examples of comparable firms (we’'re a mid-size professional services company) that are happily using some sort of enteprise-IM solution (preferably Jive, but I guess anything would do) and have a good experience with it.

Basically, our COO challenged me to find an upper exec he can call and get a good review - otherwise, he’‘s inclined to kill it because it’'s a risk.

If anyone knows about (i.e. works at) a firm that I might be able to point to as an example, which has deployed Jive without the corporate sky falling, please shoot me a private message.

Thanks in advance!

Hey kgrinberg,

Just out of curiosity, could you elaborate a bit more about the risks of using an EIM solution at your company? Is it because it may affect users productivity, possible security breach, etc.? Depending on the type of risks we might be of help by providing an enterprise oriented solution according to your needs. Feel free to send me a mail if you feel that we can be of help somehow.

Regards,

– Gato

Management feels that the risks are mainly legal, with a sprinkle of productivity concerns.

The answer to both of those, and certainly the former, is of course auditing and archiving all messages (like we do with e-mail)… but bringing that up as a possible solution tends to get a “well, instead of worrying about that, and taking on the additional liability, let’'s just forget about it altogether.”

Security isn’‘t really an issue, since it’‘s fully internal (and, in any case, it’‘s usually the IS staff that’'s pushing management to think about security).

So the real imperative, aside from logging, is to show the execs some examples of other stolid, “corporate” firms that use IM and haven’'t seen a rash of internal “HR” problems.

-Kevin

are they worried about harassment or what?

What other kind of legal liability are they concerned about?

If it’‘s harassment, point out to them that a user has evidence on their screen of such activity, so in that respect it’‘s safer than haviing a watercooler as things said there don’'t stick around to show to management.

we’‘ve been using jabber for over a year in our office, but we’'re only about 40 users large so i doubt that qualifies as a corporate environment.

is ther ANY sort of IM software being used now?

Yes, the basic worry is harassment.

One manager told me that people are “more brave when they can hide behind computers” - basically, they’‘re afraid of someone saying something inappropriate, and the company being held responsible. Logging all packets is obviously possible, but undesirable (there’‘s a reason we don’'t promise to retain all e-mail, either…)

Have I told management that the “proof” situation is better than a watercooler conversation? Yes. Have I pointed out that chat hardly offers anything new that some combination of phone/e-mail/watercooler doesn’'t do already? You bet.

The real issue is just that management is nervous, and wants someone to tell them that other firms have used this and haven’'t been hit with a rash of lawsuits. I can make the logical arguments to them (though I obviously do appreciate the support); what I really[/b] need is empirical evidence of the kind that convinces technologically conservative and risk-averse executives.

PS - As for the other question: no, no other IM software is being used (other than the test Jive deployment, which is obviously in question). Years ago people used AIM/Yahoo/etc, but we (IS) locked that down mostly due to security concerns.

kgrinberg,

Please send me an email (address in my profile) – we’'re more than happy to provide executive-level references. Our business folks are also fairly skilled at talking through these issues with people.

Best Regards,

Matt

As a suggestion to combat harassement, you can point out that users who are getting harassed can enable conversation login on their IM client. This provides a level of “proof”, without having to enable organization-wide logging.