Lotus and Reuters

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-04-14 Print this article Print

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.
AOL in 2003 also began testing interconnectivity between AIM and Reuters PLCs enterprise messaging service.
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.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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