Instant-Messaging Products Target IT Departments

Almost everyone outside the IT department loves instant messaging. This week, several companies showed off their efforts to boost interoperability, archiving and storage features of popular IM products--hopefully making them

February 19, 2004

2 Min Read
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Almost everyone outside the IT department loves instant messaging. This week, several companies showed off their efforts to boost interoperability, archiving and storage features of popular IM products--hopefully making them more palatable to IT staff in an era of new regulations.

IMLogic unveiled IMLinkage Preview Edition, designed to meld the now-divergent worlds of America Online, Yahoo and MSN instant messaging within corporate CRM, SFA and other applications. In addition, IMLogic's IM Manager product adds control, security, reporting, archiving and compliance functions to the consumer messaging services.

ISVs also can use the IMLinkage application development environment to bolster their own offerings. Developers can bring applications built in the language of their choice into the environment to facilitate integration, according to Waltham, Mass.-based IMLogic.

Pivot Solutions, for example, is using IMLinkage in its own IMTrader electronic trading application, said Furqan Nazeeri, CEO of Pivot. IMTrader uses instant messaging as the broker's front end for entering trades and getting notification of a trade's completion, Nazeeri said .

"Our product takes a trade that's initiated in AOL and inserts it into the order management system for the brokers. That gives us all the time-stamp compliance functionality without the traders having to retype the orders," Nazeeri said.Also new on the IM front is Websense Enterprise Instant Messaging Attachment Manager, a module that integrates into San Diego-based Websense's enterprise management console to impose restraints on attachments and files sent via instant messaging.

Such functionality should catch the eye of enterprises, since the realtime messaging freedom that has made IM so attractive to end users--including the ability to do file transfers--also has made such messaging services a security vulnerability in corporate accounts. Public Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft instant-messaging systems can tie right into Websense Enterprise. The overall management product costs $15 per user, per year, based on quantities of 1,000. The Attachment Manager costs an additional $5 per user, per year, and is available now.

Also this week, Convoq showed off its flagship Convoq ASAP Web conferencing product, which incorporates IM-like presence capabilities into Web conferencing. Founded by Lotus Development Corp. veteran Chuck Digate, Lexington, Mass.-based Convoq said its software can help busy professionals quickly see who in their workgroup is online and create conferences on the fly. A Convoq spokesman said the company expects the product to compete with Webex and Microsoft Placeware at the high end but is really targeting small and midsize businesses with this offering.

The hosted service is now available by subscription. The standard version supports meetings of up to five people for $49.95 per named user, per year. A professional version supports unlimited 25-person meetings for $99.95 per user, per year.

The impact of realtime communications--with its root in freebie consumer offerings like AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)--has been huge. Even as smaller vendors add security and other corporate-savvy features to their realtime messaging offerings, technology powers like IBM Lotus and Microsoft are moving ahead with their own plans.Article appears courtesy of CRN.

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