Reuters Group plc suddenly has emerged as a hub for instant-messaging interconnectivity. The information-services company this week will reveal an agreement with Microsoft to connect its Reuters Messaging IM service with MSN Messenger. The move comes on the heels of similar agreements with IBM Lotus Software and AOL to connect Reuters IM users with the users of IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and AOL Instant Messenger.
By connecting its service, used for free exclusively by financial-services companies, to three of the largest IM players, Reuters lacks only a deal with Yahoo in its attempt to let its clients use one IM tool to communicate with their customers and partners regardless of what IM product they use.
At Thomas Weisel Partners, brokers use any IM tool they like, and that's not likely to change. Even the ability to talk with the consumer IM networks won't get chief technology officer Beth Cannon to standardize on Reuters Messaging. Says Cannon, "It's not a battle that we want to fight."