The two companies announced a deal today that will distribute AIM as part of HP's global messaging portfolio. The suite of HP services provides businesses with online-based communication opportunities among employees.
Instant messaging, for those of you living under rocks, is a system of real-time back and forth text messages. It's quicker and easier to use than email and provides ample opportunities for repartee and a whole bevy of emoticons. Oh, and it can also be valuable in the workplace for rapid communication (and distraction) among employees.
America Online would like to expand its AIM market from AOL members, home users, and sporadic business users to a more distinct business presence. In response, America Online started targeting businesses for its instant messaging service last November. This move will definitely add to its market share.
HP will offer a business version of AIM in its portfolio, therefore giving enterprises more control over the software. This will allay some concerns about network security and instant messaging programs.
Financial terms weren't disclosed yet, but you can bet America Online is happy. Faced with a year of extensive cost and job cuts, any new revenue stream is welcome.