Instant Messaging (IM) is coming to your company, whether you like it or not. As the graph shows, a new report from Ferris Research predicts that the number of corporate IM users will soar from fewer than 10 million in 2001 to more than 200 million—yes, 200 million—in 2007.

Ferris's analysts base their estimates on several factors. They note that mainstream enterprise messaging services such as Microsoft Exchange Server and Lotus Sametime are incorporating IM features. Analysts believe that by 2007, 75 percent of all corporate email users will also use IM. Currently, according to Ferris, companies with 500 or more employees represent about 130 million email users, and that number should double by 2007.