AOL’s recent announcement, about shuttering their widely used AIM Instant Messenger service, is adding some new uncertainty into the world of enterprise communications, similar to what happened with Yahoo messenger last year.
But this time it’s different.
Like Yahoo, which was enormously popular among oil traders, pockets of commodities traders still heavily use AIM. (At its peak, the service claimed more than 18 million simultaneous users and Barry Appelman, a former AOL engineer, told Mashable that, by the 90’s, “AIM became how all Wall Street communicated.”). But unlike Yahoo, AIM was federated into other platforms like Trillian and ICEChat, meaning that traders had been successfully accessing their AIM buddies using other services, and that they could end up seeing little interruption.
Wherever your team falls, the question now is ultimately what to do:
- Find a new platform (ICEChat, Pivot, OpenFire, etc) to encourage the traders to move to.
- Encourage them them choose the platform that facilitates the most commercial activity.
- Do nothing and see what happens.
Find something new
The benefit of choice #1 is that they’ll move to an established and popular platform (e.g. ICEChat), which has good compliance tools around it and a decent existing community. Right from the start, there will be both commercial activity there as well as proper compliance. The drawback is that the commercial activity currently on AIM *may not* go there, meaning that there’d be proper compliance but limited professional activity.
Let the traders choose
The benefit of #2 is that users will be able to go wherever the commercials are optimal, making for the company’s best opportunity (and making heroes out of compliance!). The drawback here is that some of these other systems *may not* carry compliance protocols with them, potentially leaving the company exposed to new risks alongside better opportunities.
This is the easiest of all—nothing is required by anyone! The drawback, of course, is that anything can happen—from reduced commercial activity to increased risk—since leaving your head in the sand is never a solution.
What to do now
- Talk: Ask your traders which platforms they like and which have the most commercial activity currently in your industry.
- Research: Figure out what the compliance opportunities are for those platforms. Are they secret and end-to-end encrypted? Or are they open an easily archived?
- Call Whistler: Our novel platform monitors *every* open application, from WeChat to WhatsApp and everything in between, making it possible for your traders to choose *whatever they want* for best commercial opportunity, while still keeping the company compliant and safe.