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AOL Teams With WebEx For Enterprise IM

AOL, Inc. and WebEx Communications, Inc. are teaming up to provide instant messaging service for businesses.

"The idea is to bring AOL instant messaging and the WebEx collaboration suite together in a new and highly integrated way for professional users," says Brian Curry, VP of premium and subscription services at AOL.

For WebEx, the idea is to try again: On June 13, 2003, Yahoo and WebEx announced plans to integrate WebEx Meeting Center with Yahoo Messenger Enterprise Edition. In October of that year, Yahoo closed its enterprise software division to focus on the consumer space. By mid-2004, Yahoo ceased distributing its enterprise IM client.

In a 2004 blog post titled "Yahoo Cans Enterprise Messenger," Yahoo engineer Jeremy Zawodny wrote, "And it's about time. … The thing really was a freaking money pit." The lesson: "If you're offering a service that customers don't want and it's costing you money, you're probably on the wrong track. Give it up."

Perhaps the second time's a charm.

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