In October, AOL announced that AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the chat platform of choice for financial professionals, especially the North American equities community and for millions of consumers worldwide, will shut down on December 15th after 20 years in operation.
Many equity professionals now face the challenge of deciding which network to adopt to prevent business disruption.
Because AIM supported open connectivity to other networks, its users were able to connect with thousands of users on other platforms (e.g. Bloomberg, CME Pivot, Eikon Messenger and ICE Messenger).
The challenge these users now face is to determine which network provides a viable alternative to AIM.
Open networks are the only viable option
Except for their connections to AIM, some vendors only allow their users to chat with other users on their network. They effectively offer a ‘closed network and directory’ approach.
AIM users that elect to adopt these networks as their AIM replacement will be effectively cutting themselves off from being able to connect with AIM users that join other networks.
Our view is entirely different. We advocate open platforms and actively encourage other vendors to connect their networks to ours via a seamless integration. It helps to break down barriers to information sharing.
This would open up the opportunity for a single industry-wide directory, and allow customers to have the freedom of choice over which chat platform they prefer.
Regardless of that choice, they would also have the ability to chat with any professional contact on any network, wherever, whenever and from whatever chat interface they choose.
Switch with confidence
The 300,000 members of the Eikon Messenger community can already communicate seamlessly and securely with each other for free.
As the CME Group share our philosophy of open platforms, Eikon Messenger users can also communicate with thousands of buy-side and sell-side professionals using CME Pivot, the CME Group’s instant messaging platform.
AIM users that turn to either CME Pivot or Eikon Messenger can be confident that they will be able to continue communicating with any of their contacts that join either of these networks.
CME and ourselves have both enhanced our products to make it easier to add contacts from each other’s network.
The connection, powered by the NextPlane UC federation service, means that users of either network can now connect with more than 325,000 verified contacts worldwide.
This supports open access to cross-industry communications for financial and commodity market professionals.
Whatever choice AIM users ultimately make, opting for an open platform is always going to be the best way to stay connected with their professional network.