Financial Industry Embraces Instant Messaging

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Financial Industry Embraces Instant Messaging

Secure IM gains new support as major financial institutions sign on.

Scarlet Pruitt, IDG News Service
Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Corporate instant messaging got a needed ratings boost this week as a slew of leading financial firms announced plans to adopt a cross-industry secure IM service that will allow users to communicate instantly with colleagues and clients.


More than 30,000 employees and clients of Credit Suisse First Boston, The Goldman Sachs Group, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings, Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Salomon Smith Barney Holdings, UBS Warburg, and 2000 institutional money management firms will be using Communicator's Communicator Hub IM service.

Communicator began working with the financial services industry in mid-2000 for its first industry-wide deployment of the Hub IM service, according to Communicator Hub IM product manager Gary Reifman. The financial institutions' unique requirements--including stringent regulatory requirements--had to be considered before the community IM hub could be deployed, Reifman says. One such demand involves archiving communications, which the service enables. A Closed Messaging System

Hosted by the company, the IM service offers identity management, content aggregation, and customer support, as well as end-to-end 128-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, Reifman says.

Reifman believes that this security, along with the service's ability to let companies decide who should have access to what information, is crucial to corporate adoption of IM.

Vic Simone, general manager of e-commerce at Goldman Sachs, says that his company has been working with the system in beta form for several months and so far has found it to be a helpful tool, allowing users to communicate crucial information in real time.

"The greatest value is that it's a defined community ... engaged...
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