Group Persistent Chat is Coming

OK so its been around for years in various products but finally we are seeing it emerge into the enterprise software landscape through Sametime Advanced and I’m sure something is coming along soon following Microsoft’s purchase of Parlano.

On the IBM front Adam can tell you more about this in much better detail than I (link).  From my perspective the importance of the IBM announcement is that it is linked with the concept of persistent chat for communities.  This is the most powerful thing that an IM solution can offer today in my opinion.  Twitter for the enterprise? I’m not sure it is but I still think it will be a very powerful tool in the armory.  Here is what Sametime Advanced will offer in this arena:

“Keep a continuous discussion running on a specific topic with an interested community of people — in the atmosphere of an informal conversation. You can monitor the chat rooms to which you have subscribed, see how many people/unread messages are in each, the number of unread messages or the number of active participants. Keep yourself in the loop with alerts so you’ll be notified when a group is discussing keywords in which you’re interested.”

This is a very powerful tool for information workers and more importantly groups and teams.  Twitter and other tools are filling the gap today but are they truly secure?  I don’t share sensitive information through twitter but I’d like a tool which I can use for that purpose.  But just how important is twitter – important enough for myself and collegues to never forget to log in to twitter but sometimes forget to log in to sametime!

The next question will be federation of corporate persistent chat tools with public services 🙂 At that point I’ll end this mindless ramble.


  1. I just don’t get the business need/concept for Twitter. I used it for a brief period of time, and could not see the value. The only ‘twittering’ I do is modify my Sametime message (you can see what I mean on my BleedYellow account). I like the ability to hover over someone’s name and not only see that they are available, but also what they are doing. What I did three hours or three days ago isn’t of much value to my business associates. I guess if I consider twitter a voyeuristic tool, it would work as then when I’m off-line people can still be informed of what I’m doing. But as I swing back to the business end, if someone is in need of reaching out to me, they will see my IM status with what I’m doing, and if I’m not on-line they will call my mobile, and my voicemail will also give some insight to my whereabouts.

    I see persistent chat in much the same way. When I have adhoc communications, anything of value derived is typically taken and converted to a document or task, with much more detail and context then a chat could have.

    I’m also concerned about the legal issues with chats and twitters, as this information is also subject to subpoena. If a staff member is working (ie billing) for a client and their twitter or persistent chat indicates something else, that could present an issue in court.

    Just thoughts..


  2. Jamie, I totally understand your thoughts. I too had a twitter account for several months before really finding any benefit to it. In terms of having no IM presence I find it very useful to understand what people are doing and why they may be offline. As a manager of a remote team its an importantl tool for me. You’ll see I mix business with home life on twitter as its also imporant for the people I work with to know what I’m doing especially if they are in different time zones – i.e. am i working but hiding from IM on a UK evening? am I on holiday hence don’t bother calling me etc. Twitter is also another good tool in linking communities of people much in the same way that blogging has brought together communities of bloggers, now those people are getting a richer understanding of the day to day work people perform through twitter, I do feel this brings value.

    I understand your concerns on the legals, but i feel this is true of any of the new social tools, facebook etc. Organisational policies and I’m afraid good old common sense come into play here. All my tweets are stored for reference 🙂


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