One of the key building blocks of unified communications is instant messaging. Instant messaging (IM) client software acts as the focal point and primary interface for a variety of unified communications solutions including Microsoft Communicator, and Avaya One-X Communicator. IM has come a long way from its early days as an unauthorized rogue application installed by tech-savvy users. Many organizations have adopted IM as a business tool, but most were reluctant and slow to climb onto the bandwagon. Now, IM is the keystone of next-generation communications. IM still poses a risk though. It can threaten productivity. It can represent an attack vector for malware. It can be a compliance issue. Companies can gain many benefits from the effective use of IM, but they need to provide guidelines for its use in defined, and written policies. Check out Instant Messaging Policies Reduce Risk for more details about the issues and what should be included in a corporate IM policy.