IM Startups Tackle Management, Mobility

A duo of startups this week is stepping into the growing enterprise instant messaging space with products promising greater IM management and mobility.

AgentWays Software Inc. later this week will launch a client software product that will allow IM users to add security and management features to consumer IM services from the desktop. In a separate announcement, PushMessenger has unveiled its server software for allowing users to conduct multiple IM sessions on a range of wired and wireless devices.

AgentWays, of Diablo, Calif., plans on Friday to release its WayPrivate Corporate Edition software that builds encryption, logging and language translation onto popular consumer instant messaging services.

AgentWays distinguishes its software from server gateway products that also provide logging and security to instant messaging. Rather than centrally recording every IM that enters or leaves a corporate network, WayPrivate preserves privacy by sitting on individual desktops and providing flexibility in which IM conversation should logged, said Ed Garon, chief architect of the product.

"Were not trying to introduce a new instant messaging client," he said. "People dont want to make the switch to another client, but they want to keep their business secure."

WayPrivate encrypts IM messages when both parties have its client software. It uses 4,096-bit encryption.

The initial software release will work in conjunction with Yahoo Messenger and in a few weeks it will also support MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger, said AgentWays President Brazos Donaho.

The corporate edition of WayPrivate starts at $75 per seat with discounts for volume purchases.

Separately, PushMessenger, of Courbevoie, France, this week launched a mobile IM platform that allows enterprises to deploy instant messaging that can support multiple sessions running on multiple wireless and wired devices at the same time.

The PushMessenger Corporate Edition allows users to communicate using a combination of PCs, PDAs, mobile phones and fixed phones. The server software can deliver messages in the form of IM, Short Message Service (SMS), HTML and multimedia messaging service (MMS).

The PushMessenger server runs on Linux and ships with Windows and Linux clients. It costs $2,500 per server license along with a $25 annual end-user fee. PushMessenger is developing other client versions for the Symbian, Palm and Pocket PC operating systems, the company said.

In other enterprise IM news, Jabber Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has extended the latest release of its eXtensible Communications Platform (XCP) to Microsoft Windows. As previously reported, Denver-based Jabber in September released XCP 2.7, which includes its enterprise IM server software, on Linux and Solaris and was planning on extending it to Windows in October. The Windows release was developed in conjunction with Hewlett Packard Co.

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