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Communicator Deploys New IM Service

Communicator Inc., a White Plains, N.Y.-based provider of secure electronic communications products and services, has implemented what it calls the world's largest multi-enterprise instant messaging (IM) service for the corporate market.

The new Communicator Hub IM joins more than 30,000 professionals at eight of the world's largest financial institutions as well as over 2,000 money-management firms for secure instant messaging and one-click access to authorized content and applications.

The eight institutions -- Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney and UBS Warburg -- are in multi-year pacts to use the new system.

Communicator Hub IM mitigates business, operational and legal risks associated with other IM services by enabling businesses and industries to build large scale, secure, "gated" multi-company communities, in which each customer maintains control of its own employee and customer directories.

The new system can be accessed either via a stand-alone application or from a Web browser. While it has all of the features of a standard IM system, its advantages over public IM nets include unified identity management, controlled access to content and applications, interoperability of corporate directories and the ability to comply with audit and regulatory requirements. Communicator Hub IM also guarantees message delivery and operates without requiring network or firewall changes.

Pricing for Communicator Hub IM, including the messaging service, operations, identity management and customer support, begins at $50 per user, per year. The service is now generally available to companies in all industries, and can also benefit firms in sectors like pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals and even government.

IDC estimates that the global instant messaging market will increase more than ten-fold in the next three years, from $18.4 million in 2002 to $229.2 million in 2005. The amount companies pay for IM is expected to grow from $133 million this year to $1.1 billion by 2005.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.