Instant Messaging [1] in the…

Instant Messaging in the enterprise: “The problem is how do (the IM vendors) get paid for letting (another) client interconnect to (their) network,” Maghsoodnia said. IM will grow up in the enterprise “based on economic models that justify the cost of interoperability.” He’s implying telco-like interconnect fees, and he’s flat wrong.

Read this note carefully, and consider what the world would be like if we were bickering about IP interconnect fees, SMTP interconnect fees, etc. 

IM will grow up in the enterprise based not on provider cost models, but instead, like software, will be based on simple economic models that directly relate to business value delivered.  For example, two such models that are traditional and remain highly viable:

1) LOB return on investment for a critical application need within a business unit.  (Example: Map out how the software helps to transform a critical business process, and how much will be saved in terms of time or money.  If it saves lots of money, there’s potential for a viable business.)

2) IT return on investment for a broad infrastructure investment that is justified via transaction cost economics.  (Example: “Our people will obviously save time”.  At approx $50k average salary, one minute saved per day maps to about a hundred bucks per year.  If (when you plug in fully-loaded numbers) the math works out to a no-brainer, there’s potential for a viable business.)

Interconnection increases the value of all providers’ systems, making it easier for all to demonstrate and justify those systems’ underlying business value.  There’s ample evidence that it’s short-sighted not to just do it. [Ray Ozzie’s Weblog]