There are so many messaging apps on the market right now that just keeping track of them is close to impossible. WhatsApp, Snapchat, Path, and Line live alongside Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook Messenger and a plethora of instant messaging stalwarts like Yahoo! And AOL. And these are just the consumer apps. For business communications you have BBM from BlackBerry, Microsoft Lync, instant messaging that’s part of Salesforce1 and Chatter plus messaging built into unified communications platforms such as Jabber from Cisco. Add to that a boatload of SMS applications and the sheer number of ways to send someone a simple message is overwhelming.
There is one big problem with all messaging platforms, mobile or otherwise – the applications don’t talk to each other. Most of these messaging applications are closed networks and can’t communicate through a common protocol. This is not a big problem for consumers who connect to a limited number of friends and family over a few networks. For business users, however, with many contacts spread across company approved networks, it makes it hard to have a single platform to communicate internally and externally. At present, SMS and Email still have the advantage for the business user since they use protocols common to all applications of those types.
Instant messaging is a great way to have a less intrusive, real-time conversation. Applications in business include arranging and convening meetings, making quick decisions, or answering a question immediately. It’s like a phone call without having to stop what you are doing. And it makes no sense to dismiss consumer messaging applications in a business context. Many SMB organizations use consumer products and it’s hard to imagine that the consumer app developers don’t want to find a way to leverage their technology in businesses. Business-oriented or consumer applications alike are hampered by the inability to send messages across platforms. In other words, the utility of messaging platforms is limited by lack of interoperability between applications.
For messaging platforms to realize their potential in business, there will need to be a way to send messages to any potential platform without having to provide specific hooks into a very large number of applications. Instead, a common message transport is necessary for business users to really draw value from messaging. This is why email has been so successful. An email sent form any email client or email server can communicate with any other email system. The same is true for SMS. Multi-protocol clients are not the answer since they can’t keep up with all the platforms, new and old.
Instant messaging platforms have been around for over 20 years. Isn’t it about time that we finally had just one, standard protocol for all users?
Spam is annoying. When it’s phishing, it becomes nefarious, trying to draw the good but ignorant or naive people to a bad ending. Sometimes, however, the spam or phishing email is so bad that it’s hilarious. I just received one of those. It is one of the worst bits of phishing email I have ever seen. It makes the Nigerian prince schemes look polished and sophisticated. I just have to share it with you all.
From : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: It Is Private!
I am George Daniels, a Banker and credit system programmer (HSBC bank).
I saw your email address while browsing through the bank D.T.C Screen in my
office yesterday so I decided to use this very chance to know you. I believe
we should use every opportunity to know each other better. However, I am contacting
you for obvious reason which you will understand.
I am sending this mail just to know if this email address is OK, reply me back so that
I will send more details to you. I have a very important thing to discuss with you, I
look forward to receiving your response at: email@example.com
Have a pleasant day.
The lack of effort really shows here. Here’s the BPoS (Basic Points of Stupidity)
- The sender email matches neither the name or the the embedded email. Talk about lazy
- The subject line says “It Is Private!”. And all your base are belong to us. Mmohamed or George Daniels or whoever this is, certainly seems excited about telling me that something (not sure what “It” is) is private. .
- He says he is a Banker and a programmer. Which is it?Is he having an identity crisis?
- Browsing the D.T.C. screen? What the heck is that? Is it supposed to sound like banker-talk? Sounds more like BS to me.
- Besides, why would some random programmer or banker be browsing though my account information… especially in a bank that I don’t have an account with. Even if I was an HSBC customer I wouldn’t expect their programmers to randomly look at my account.
- He wants to know me. Awww. I feel all warm and fuzzy. I’m not sure but I think I’m being asked out but he’s a little too shy to come out and say it. Sorry dude, you’re not my type and my wife wouldn’t like it.
- Maybe I’m stupid but the reason for this is not obvious. Instead, it’s baffling. If it were obvious then I certainly would understand, so George, you are redundant. And I mean that in a variety of ways.
- All employees at one of the largest financial institutions in the entire world are contacted through a Yahoo account in Hong Kong (that’s what the .hk means). I mean, hsbc.com or hsbk.co.hk would be too obvious. Of course, international banks aren’t known for their transparency so maybe this is how they do things. More likely not.
What is so incredible irritating is just how stupid this mmohamed or George or whoever thinks we are. Even if I think of the most uneducated or naive person I know that is capable of figuring out email, I can’t see them falling for this. It’s mindbogglingly bad.
So I have to laugh and invite all of you to do the same.