Ian Hergert, director of partner management at MangoSpring (www.mangospring.com), says: 

Why is an IM strategy important? 
Over the last 10 years or so Instant Messaging has become as common in workplaces as email. As with any significant communication medium, it is important to understand, implement and define what works for your organization.  With a strategy of how employees should adopt and use IM in their day to day use, companies can realize significant productivity gains and cost savings.

How can you get started and follow through to implementation?
There are multiple items to consider..

      • Integration (Single Sign-On) with other systems including social communication paradigms like Microblogging

      • User provisioning

      • Multi-Party chat

      • Video conferencing

      • SAAS vs. self-hosted solution.

      • Cost

      • Security/Auditing

      • Archiving

      • Reliability

      • IM Etiquette

      • Mobility