“V-AIM Day” is set for Monday night at 10:18pm after mom goes to bed and signs out of the family computer.
Following reports that indicated low user engagement scores on the Zoom platform during its first week of widespread use for HBS course sessions and departmental meetings, a specially-appointed IT task force announced that the videoconferencing solution would be replaced imminently by the new chat-based conferencing tool AIM.
“Unfortunately, it has been clear in our data that Zoom just doesn’t provide the robust user experience we need to keep our faculty, staff, and students engaged during our period of virtual operations. Also, 84% of users had selected the default Golden Gate Bridge photo for their video feed background, which was a dealbreaker for our admissions office,” said IT task force director Rob Drabiuk
AIM, built by the stealthy startup internet service provider America OnLine, offers a peer-to-peer conversational platform that allows users to exchange with each other data packets that it terms “instant messages.” Both TEM faculty and the HBS Operations team are providing support for what one instructor called an “unprecedented pivot at scale to an unproven technology.”
“In the coming days, you’ll see increased cleaning and the installation of dial-up modems in all campus residences and offices,” read Angela Crispi’s 942nd daily update.
According to MBA RC program chair Rob Huckman, the cross-functional team has been working “around the clock, but mostly late at night when the family PC is available,” to deliver a seamless transition to the new internet chat platform.
“This will ask a lot of each one of us. For now, it’s essential that all HBS affiliates register in advance for what our vendor terms a ‘screen name’—your identity in this online portal. Dibs on ‘Huck_0ff,’” Huckman said.
“TTYL,” Huckman added.