Ugh! The Application Domain Committee is suppose to be looking at Instant Messaging as our top priority. We also have calendaring/scheduling, and collaboration as topics to look at later. It feels to me much like looking for an office suite and researching what word processor we want as a standard and then we will go look at what spreadsheet to use. To take full advantage of some of the products out there they need to be utilized with complimentary products. An e-mail standard was already made for our committee, which I can't truly say is the wrong choice for our environment, but I have commented that I am not sure it is totally the right one either. I think such issues of IM, C/S, and collaboration should have been taken into account up front when looking at the e-mail products.
The committee chair basically has stated that IM is our top priority right now and there really is no direction other than the committee has been told to look at it. Right now the sky is the limit and we can look at it however we want. Meaning free options, such as AOL Instant Messenger are currently in the running. Seems kind of silly not to try to narrow down the research as there are a lot of IM services, clients, etc.. out there. I can't say that a committee chair should know everything, but he was unaware that you could get free IM accounts, such as AIM, MSN Messenger, etc. Could be in for a bumpy ride.