You would have about as much luck controlling instant messaging use in your company as you would convincing your son that doing his homework while keeping nine IM windows open is not a pathway to academic success. Given that you wont have much luck stemming IM use at work but knowing that your company can suffer stiff legal penalties for not keeping solid e-mail and IM records, your next-best step is to find an IM application that can withstand the rigors of corporate life.
This weeks eWeek Labs report on enterprise IM is designed to help you in your message selection process. In the lead article, Senior Writer Anne Chen examines users experiences in finding products that balance the openness and ease of IM with rigid corporate reporting requirements. With new pushes from Microsoft and America Online to promote their IM platforms as enterprise-ready, it is especially important to look at the lessons other IT departments have learned about IM implementation.
An accompanying article by Technical Analyst Francis Chu examines some IM management tools and provides a technical evaluation of what will be required to handle IM activity in an enterprise setting. Francis also reviews the latest IM suite from WiredRed Software.
While on the topic of messaging, take the time to read Technical Analyst Jason Brooks review of Ximians Evolution open-source e-mail and personal information management application. This latest version of Evolution includes a connector for Microsofts Exchange server. If you are running an e-mail operation using Exchange and Microsofts Outlook as a client but are still interested in desktops running Solaris or Unix, Evolution is worth a look. If you want an inside look at the jousting between Oracle and Microsoft over messaging approaches, see John Tascheks Wide Angle column. Also in the Labs section this week is a review of Ciscos Aironet 1100 Series wireless access point and the 8.1 release of IBMs flagship database, DB2.
In our IT Careers Center coverage this week, Mary Stevens writes about an IT job segment that offers rising pay, good benefits and opportunities for career advancement. Before you start e-mailing me saying no such jobs exist, take a look at Marys story, which details how demand for IT security specialists is finally starting to catch up with expectations.
IM apps aside, you can still e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.