MSN, AOL, Yahoo, ICQ might sound unheard acronyms, but not anymore. ICQ stands for I seek you, world's most famous chat messengers that connects more than 120 countries and millions of people across the globe. These messengers are changing millions of lives world over and are now also changing the IT channels in India for better. More and more channel partners are getting online on the instant messaging (IM) services.
Pawan Durani from OA Compserve has been online for almost four years and has done major business over the chat. "I have around eight to 10 resellers and dealers on my list with whom I exchange information, product pricing and strike deals." Say about two years back the significance of Internet was only to send e-mails and have websites. This trend has seen a paradigm shift in the last year, especially after the recession time. This was the time when Internet was pervasive and companies were looking at cost effective methods for communication.
Durani feels that this was the major reason that contributed towards the IM culture. "It's fast, swanky, available everywhere, personal and secure."
Manpreet Singh, CEO, Multiple Zones India, finds messengers to be a potent tool of communication. "It is personalized, the
buddy list can be personalized and expanded as much as I want. I can also create offline messages, which gives me a 24x7 connectivity. Being on messengers mean being omnipresent. With convergence setting in, this kind of connectivity means more business and more networks."
Singh have been using AOL, Yahoo and MSN for quite sometime now and utilizes it for interoffice and intraoffice functioning. "All of the vendors are online over the chat and we check deals over the IMs only."
JP Bansal, Director, Frontline Systems, does the remote controlling of offsite offices through the IM messengers. "Calling up overseas offices can be very expensive and chat is one medium that is fast, efficient and secure. Over the chat I can instruct my channel partners and employees. Ever since I am online I can feel the momentum chat has brought into my business."
Some do not share the similar feelings. Vikas Dogra, Director, Neo Peripherals, has been online for some time and uses it strictly for personal usage. "I have not been using IMs for business purposes but I feel that I might want to use it in the near future. Till than it's all about staying in touch with friends."
Added an employee of Crystal Networks, "Since our industry is very price volatile we need to check the updated prices as often as possible, so this turns out to be the best way to have a check on prices. And the best part being, you can keep saving the prices you get online at that very moment. No need to pen them down."
With varied pros and cons, IM is soon to become the future of instant communication for the channels that is fast, secure and personalized.