Workplace Productivity Penalized by Fantasy Football Chats on Instant Messaging
Nearly half of Akonix survey respondents discuss their teams over IM at work
San Diego, CA - November 26, 2007 - Although organizations typically focus on monitoring Web use to manage employee fantasy sport activity, they may want to add instant messaging (IM) to the equation, cautions Akonix Systems, Inc., provider of policy and risk management products for real-time communications.
The company’s recent online poll reveals that 47% of 260 respondents use IM to discuss Fantasy Football at work. In addition, Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates that Fantasy Football activity on the job will cost American businesses $7.4 billion this season1, further emphasizing the importance of governing IM in the office.
While IM can be a productive business tool, inappropriate usage can overshadow its positive aspects. With the installed base of the Enterprise Instant Messaging market expected to increase from 67 million in 2007 to 127 million in 20112, organizations need to better manage this popular collaboration tool, especially as they begin to adopt new unified communications suites.
“Corporate IM has become the virtual water cooler for fantasy sports,” said Don Montgomery, VP of marketing at Akonix. “Not only can IM affect worker productivity, but employees can also transmit confidential information without getting caught. Businesses need to embrace real-time communication tools, but also take preemptive measures to protect themselves from security and management risks associated with unsanctioned use.”
In addition to wasting time discussing Fantasy Football over IM, employees may also be engaging in other inappropriate behavior. An Akonix survey in early 2007 revealed that 31% of respondents had been harassed by a co-worker over IM in the workplace, opening organizations up to potential hostile workplace and sexual harrassment lawsuits. Other risks include viruses and spyware entering the corporate network and non-compliant business communications taking place over unmanaged IM.
Akonix is the most deployed IM security and compliance product in the world, enabling companies of all sizes to install productive, enterprise-wide IM that is secure, compliant and managed.
Over 1.9 million people around the world rely on Akonix’s products to protect their networks and meet compliance requirements. With more than 20 patent applications, Akonix’s 360° Security provides the industry’s only automatically-updated protection to block viruses and malware for both enterprise and public IM systems. Akonix is a Gold Certified Partner in the Microsoft Partner Program, an IBM Business Partner, an Intel Software Partner and an HP Business Partner. The company is licensed and certified by America Online(r), Microsoft and Yahoo! to inspect and archive IM traffic. Furthermore, Akonix has developed business alliances and integrated its technology with leading enterprise IM platforms, including Reuters, Microsoft, IBM, Jabber, Inc., and Bloomberg, and message archiving products from EMC, HP, Symantec, Iron Mountain, ZANTAZ, Intradyn, C2C, Fortiva, Quest Software, and others.
An IM industry first, the Akonix IM Security Center (www.imsecuritycenter.com) provides real-time information about worms, viruses and other vulnerabilities that target IM and P2P networks. The company issues monthly and quarterly IM threat watch reports to track key trends and vulnerabilities.
For further information on the company, please visit www.akonix.com.
1 The Baltimore Sun: ’Undermining the economy, one fantasy roster at a time’, October 8, 2007.
2 The Radicati Group: ’Q3 2007 Market Numbers Update’, October 16, 2007.
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