Microsoft Names Corporate IM Vendors

Microsoft announced Wednesday ten new vendor partners who will support its corporate instant messaging (IM) platform. Known as Office Live Communications Server 2003, the Microsoft IM for business will feature voice, data and video support and is scheduled for an Oct. 21 debut.

The announcement came on the opening day of the Instant Messaging Planet Fall 2003 Conference & Expo in San Jose, Calif.

Among vendors supporting the platform are Waltham, Mass.-based Imlogic, a developer of enterprise infrastructure software, and FaceTime, a Foster City, Calif.-based provider of IM security, management and control solutions.

IMlogic IM Manager will allow Microsoft’s corporate IM customers to log, archive, and report on enterprise usage of instant messaging in order to meet IM compliance requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and regulations such as HIPAA.

When combined with the MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises service, IM Manager provides an integration point to the Microsoft messaging network, extending managed, secure and compliant instant messaging beyond the firewall.

According to IMLogic, the combined IM Manager and MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises solution is the first corporate IM solution to provide identity management for external corporate IDs and “Anytime, Anywhere” access for the remote corporate workforce. Identity management ensures that company identities are owned and controlled by the enterprise throughout the entire Messenger network and are additionally linked to corporate directories and naming standards.

“By extending the power of the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003 with MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises and IMlogic IM Manager, enterprises can rely on instant messaging as a business-critical communications tool,” Peter Ollodart, director of MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprises, said in a statement released Wednesday morning.

FaceTime provides IM network-independent applications that allow real-time communication on any enterprise, private, or public IM network. The company’s IM Director applications provide multi-network connectivity, presence, and a suite of auditing, routing, queuing and management controls designed to meet enterprise operating and reporting requirements.

The FaceTime IM Director suite currently includes products for regulatory compliance, CRM, communities, enterprise, and application development. All are built on the FaceTime IM Director Development Platform.

IM heavyweights AOL , Microsoft, Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems are all scheduled to debate real-world business and technical topics. The companies have really put on the heat of late including squawkings over patents and compatibilities between platforms.

The stakes are very high. According to J.D. Power and Associates, technologies like instant messaging are further cutting into residential long-distance calling’s dominance as a communications medium.

But IM is also widely known to bring with it a myriad of security holes, if the platform used is of the public, consumer-grade variety.

The Instant Messaging Planet Fall 2003 Conference is produced by Jupitermedia Corp., the parent of this Web site.

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