See, now it's TWICE as cost effective as before!

This healthcare IT vendor is rolling out a new instant messaging application for internal use, and that's a bigger deal than it might sound, according to a pilot fish on the scene.

"I work as a supervisor for a group of level 2 support engineers," says fish. "In addition to communicating with the engineers on my team, I and my team need to communicate with other groups -- our product install team, project management office, software upgrade team, organizational readiness team, sales team, software development team and SaaS network team."

And after 15 years of use, IM is now the main way that communication happens. So when a customer's SaaS VPN connection drops or an application crashes because it's out of space, using IM to reach the right person cuts the critical turnaround time to keep customers happy.

In other words, IM isn't just a nice chat stream for fish -- it has turned into an essential tool, and she's a bit leery of how the new IM rollout is going.

The biggest red flag: The big bosses haven't set a date when everyone must be on the new IM system, and when the old one will be shut off.

"So it was left up to people such as my manager to make that decision," fish says. "And my manager chose to set a go-live date for us without consulting the other teams we work with."

Fish's boss also neglects to tell the support staff that those other teams won't necessarily be migrating at the same time as the support team -- and if they do, it'll be dumb luck.

Fortunately, fish's boss doesn't set a date to pull the plug on the existing IM system either, but does tells the support group that the new system "...allows you to work much more cost effectively."

Thus, when go-live day arrives for fish's team, she does the obvious: logs into both the new official IM system and the legacy IM application.

And a quick count of who's on each system makes it clear that 60 percent of her team has done the same thing.

Sighs fish, "I'm now waiting to hear how using dual IM applications and not setting a shutoff date for the old IM system is cost effective."

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