Hosted IM: Throwback or Bleeding Edge?

Came across this article today, proclaiming the imminent death of email. Per Symon Blomfield, CEO of Presence Networks, who is launching its IM business client, Networker version 4, hosted IM will be THE email killer of the future:
..the (hosted IM) software can do everything an email client can do but without the headaches of email. It cannot be spammed, because it is a private service. It cannot be intercepted because it uses SSL encryption, and messages threads are logged and stored in a way that makes for easier regulatory compliance. And it is not P2P, as with public IM services, relying instead on a client-gateway-server relationship.

Some might see such a service as a nice add-on to email, but by Blomfield’s reckoning they would be dead wrong. Networker is not meant as an adjunct to email in a business, it is designed to completely replace it for frontline communication. For anyone wanting to get the best out of the service, running two communications systems in parallel email is pointless. Eventually, email has to die.

This immediately brought to mind the closed system of ye old Lotus Notes and all of those problems that it brought for companies. Indeed, the article touches on this later, with Blomfield's response:

In some ways, Networker puts one in mind of an older generation of collaborative tools such as IBM’s (formerly Lotus’s) Notes platform, but without the drawbacks that plagued Notes. The latter was, after all, seen as slow, expensive, a pain to manage, and (worst of all) a top-down way of managing collaboration. In Blomfield’s model, IM-as-a-service can be precisely what its users want it to be. They choose to whom they want to talk, and how to collaborate and using what specific applications (Networker includes teleconference, file exchange abilities, VoIP support, and a gateway to integrate with public IM systems on its way).

Sounds great, but I just don't see companies returning to a closed system and being able to trust a third-party to such a degree that Blomfield is proposing.

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