21 November 2001 - London, UK - International PR and marketing communications agency Rainier has cut an estimated £50,000 from its operating costs in the last six months by eliminating corporate travel, conference calls and video conferencing in favour of instant messaging, commonly known as "IM."
The real-time Internet chat application has been adopted by Rainier as a full-scale business tool in a bid to promote more frequent exchange of ideas while reducing costs.
Instant messaging enables one-to-one and group conversations between PC users connected to the Internet. It is interactive, and conversations take place in real time, meaning that it is faster than e-mail and more convenient than picking up the phone. Rainier has added IM to existing phone, e-mail and fax communication for local and international correspondence with colleagues and some clients.
Rainier, which has dual headquarters in the UK and US, adopted instant messaging in March 2001. The savings estimation was made at the end of September and reflects normal costs for conference calls, flights, e-mail communication and management time. But equally important is that the company's executives feel there has been a measurable improvement in the quality and quantity of internal staff communications and dialogue with clients.
"We're now having virtual hallway conversations across the Atlantic and elsewhere in the world. Instant messaging is fast and personal and for many uses it is unbeatable both on cost and suitability. We find ourselves having quick and efficient IM dialogs about topics that are meaningful to the running of the business, but which would not have ranked important enough for a phone call or email," said Stephen Waddington, co-managing director of Rainier's London office.
Rainier now encourages its clients to converse with account staff using Instant Messaging. The real-time nature of messaging allows Rainier to instantly dispense advice and counsel to clients, participating as completely active members of the marketing team.
Analyst firm Gartner, which calls instant messaging "the sleeping giant of the Internet", says that by 2005 instant messaging technology will be integrated into 50 per cent of the applications that businesses use to interact directly with their customers.
Rainier has adopted the PresenceWorks presence application which integrates instant messaging into pre-existing business software to indicate a contacts availability online at any point in time. Presence technology is a type of application that makes it possible to locate and identify a computing device (including, for example, handheld computers as well as desktop models) wherever it might be, as soon as the user connects to the network.
About Instant Messaging
A company can host its own service on a Web server or adopt a free service from an Internet Service Provider such as AOL, MSN or Yahoo! Rainier currently combines all three of the major instant messaging clients in order to offer flexibility to all of its clients and vendors.
Founded in 1993, Rainier's rapidly expanding international client roster makes it one of the high-tech industry's fastest growing integrated marketing agencies, and one of the only companies to provide a comprehensive range of services including PR, advertising, corporate and interactive design. Rainier's clients range from start-up technology companies through Fortune 500 giants.
More information on Rainier can be found at http://www.rainierco.com
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