The evolution of real-time text communications technology, in which messages can be sent, received and viewed immediately-a.k.a. instant messaging (IM)-is a welcome one for most companies.As IM moves from being a novelty for teens and college students to a viable communications vehicle for business, many organizations realize its potential: to improve collaboration and productivity.

But although analysts predict IM will soon be as commonplace as e-mail, its popularity among insurance companies is tempered with considerable caution.

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