Control Your Users’ IM Screen Names

If you’re an IT manager and your users employ instant messaging as part of their jobs, you need to ensure their screen names present an appropriate image of your company.

Users who talk to customers over IM will usually be using one of the big four IM networks (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ). In all of these networks, the users can choose whatever screen name or display name they wish. You should consider regulating the choice of names used. Here are some suggested policies:

  • Supports the company or brand values.
  • No profanity or other words, numbers, or symbols that may give offense. 
  • Clearly identifies the employee’s real name or  job role.
  • Clearly identifies the company or brand.
  • Employees do not use the same screen name as they use for personal use, even if it otherwise complies with this policy.

Richi Jennings

One Comment

  1. Posted November 10, 2005 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    This is another great example of why an internally hosted enterprise solution such as IBM Sametime is a good (secured, controlled) solution. I remember being in the IBM briefing center watching the Sametime product manager do a demo. He signed on to AOL with the name of the CEO of the customer whom he was demoing to! The CEO’s jaw dropped, needless to say I think they signed a Sametime deal with IBM!

  2. Posted November 11, 2005 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Simple solution to the problem used by a few smart orginizations is to simply use your email address as your IM address.

    examples for me being dalejohnsonjconsult or actual dale@jconsult.com every IM system will accept these screen names.

    But agreed, IM attached to a directory (Domino, AD) is the best solution.

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