Lotus and Reuters
One major IM enterprise system missing from the announcement is IBMs Lotus Instant Messaging (previously named Sametime). In earlier versions of its IM client, Lotus had supported connectivity with AIM but dropped that support in later versions.With its latest IM federation program, AOL is receiving a yearly per-user royalty from the enterprise IM vendors, Curry said. Those vendors, in turn, can either make the AIM connectivity a standard part of their offerings or charge an extra fee for the interoperability. Antepo, of New York, plans to make the AIM federation available in its OPN (Open Presence Networks) system this summer without an additional charge. Denver-based Jabber expects to offer a beta of AIM federation later this quarter for its Jabber XCP (Extensible Communication Platform) product. A full launch is planned for June, and pricing will start at $20 per user per year, a spokesman said. New York-based Omnipod, which sells the POD (Professional Online Desktop) hosted enterprise IM service, has begun adding parts of the interoperability but plans to offer full federation this summer as an additional service. Pricing has not been set, a spokesman said. Parlano, of Chicago, is releasing the AIM connectivity in the third quarter as an option for its MindAlign product. It has not determined pricing. For now, advanced features on AIM, such as video and audio chat, will not work in conjunction with the enterprise IM systems, Curry said. But the interconnectivity does also extend to AOLs ICQ service. AOL is already examining ways to expand interoperability. For example, it is considering acting as a clearinghouse among enterprises, which may want to communicate directly with one another, Curry said. Click here to read about how IM gets personal at work. The increased interoperability could lead to corporate IT departments taking a tougher stand on what IM services can be used within an enterprise, analysts say. "Its no longer so much to ask users to get with program," said Robert Mahowald, a program director at market researcher IDC. Mahowald said that because enterprise users will be able to reach more people on the major networks, they will have fewer reasons not to use a system such as Jabber connected to AIM or a Microsoft LCS linked with the consumer networks. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
AOL in 2003 also began testing interconnectivity between AIM and Reuters PLCs enterprise messaging service.