Cliff Reeves over at Microsoft recently told me about a product from Parlano called MindAlign. This is actually a very cool product that fills an interesting gap between e-mail and instant messaging. When you think about it, both IM and e-mail are good for the narrowly defined functional target they are designed for but neither is good at replacing the other and the fact remains that there is a big gap between the two.
CIOs are screaming to get out of email hell, their networks are clogged up with zillions of email messages, a lot of spam (some “occupational“, most not), redundant file attachments, and users who are never fully satisfied with it. The great irony of email is that the more you use it the more you rely on it and the more unsatisfied you are with it because you have too much of it. Imagine that.
Instant messaging, on the other hand, is really good for, well, instant chatting but it doesn’t have persistence meaning it’s not easy to forward to have an intermittent conversation with someone or to involve other people. For CIOs there is a major disadvantage that IM can’t be archived and searched, thereby potentially putting them in violation of regulations that they may be subject to.
Parlano’s product fills the gap by introducing persistence in IM chats, enabling a directory structure, federation across IM networks, and a lot of administration functions. The feature list is pretty impressive, although the interface looks a little less than thrilling.
Technorati Tags: e-mail, instant messaging, Parlano, IM