IM is the current hot spot for communications because it allows users to converse using a keyboard. This means that a conversation becomes like a game of postal chess with each participant responding when they have time rather than arranging a convenient time for a chat and having to set aside time. Through IM a contact is selected and a short message is typed in. This immediately appears on the selected person's screen and can be replied to instantly or later.
The Gordano Messaging Suite (GMS) extension contains all the usual IM features of displaying who is online and allowing over-chatty users to be blocked, but adds secure sockets layer (SSL) communications and the ability to recall previous conversations. When a session ends, the contents of the conversation are automatically transcribed into an e-mail and sent to all participants.
Ray Warren, technical director at Gordano, said that messaging is an extension of the GMS e-mail server but will be extended when IM standards are ratified and secured.
The suite has helped the company turn some major customers away from Microsoft Exchange, notably US organisations such as the FBI, Nasa, and the US Army where security is a major concern.
The system allows the user to set alerts so that when a specific e-mail arrives an SMS message can be sent. The addition of IM extends the functionality of the suite to add real-time communications, said Warren.
Gartner research director Maurene Caplan Grey said, "The ability to send alerts via IM, as well as SMS and e-mail, will be key to the corporate market."