Mobile instant messaging enhances company's business processes

News Analysis

Mobile instant messaging enhances company's business processes

Kate Dostart, Associate Editor

Mobile instant messaging (IM) not only empowers the road warrior while providing security but can also be the application that enables a mobile worker to seal the deal -- as in the case of Eduardo Valades.

"The service has helped me to close deals over $100,000 by connecting me with the right people at the right time and having the information exactly when I needed [it]," said Valades, president of iHispanic Marketing Group LLC.

@36857 A 20-month user of the service, Valades has already incorporated the use of his BlackBerry and the capabilities of Apptix's recently acquired mobile IM service, WebMessenger. He regularly pulls out the BlackBerry during sales pitches and interviews with potential clients to document how marketing can enhance a company Web site's Google rankings and to use the WebMessenger service to clear at-the-moment decisions with his associates in La Jolla, Calif., while he's on the road and presenting to clients.

Apptix, a provider of hosted VoIP, on-demand messaging and collaboration services for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), recently acquired WebMessenger, which had remained privately held from its creation in 1998 until its recent inclusion with Apptix's existing services.

By supporting more private and public messaging platforms, WebMessenger has stayed on the cutting edge of contact communications management. Utilizing the presence-enabled applications, workers can improve their productivity as the application provides them with real-time availability of contacts and multiple options on how best to get in touch with them -- eliminating time-consuming emails and the time spent waiting for replies to voicemail messages.

"The fall of the wall separating asynchronous tools such as email, calendaring and team sites from real-time tools such as instant messaging, presence and conferencing tools will be achieved through customer adoption of unified communications solutions over the next few years," said Mark Levitt, vice president for Collaborative Computing at IDC. "Apptix's acquisition of WebMessenger will provide key enabling technologies to help break down the async vs. real-time walls for Apptix customers," he said.

With a user interface that is frequently redeveloped to incorporate new messaging services and focuses on ease of use, WebMessenger has become a service that enterprises large and small have opted to use.

WebMessenger can stand alone as a separate service, but Apptix has evaluated its roadmap and intends the service to be a major component of its Web products, becoming available to customers later in Q3. Apptix also sees the acquisition of WebMessenger as a major component in rounding out its hosted services as a part of its unified communications solutions -- a piece of the Apptix solution that the company felt was missing.

"The acquisition of WebMessenger will bring the cost benefits and productivity-enhancing features of Mobile IM and Presence Management to our 150,000 SMB users," said Amir Hudda, CEO of Apptix. "Furthermore, it provides Apptix with the necessary IP to deliver on our vision of on-demand unified communications for the SMB market."


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