Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online have announced enhancements to their respective instant messaging services for businesses.
AOL has certified Akonix Systems, maker of an IM management software, as a partner of its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service for businesses.
By making Akonix an AIM partner, AOL certifies that the Akonix L7 Enterprise IM communications manager works well with its IM service. It also means the companies will collaborate in enhancing and extending the Akonix L7 Enterprise for the AIM network, and that those improvements are authorised, compatible and supported by AOL, said Peter Coppola, Akonix's vice-president of product marketing.
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Meanwhile, Yahoo Business Messenger 2.0 is now available, giving users the ability to blend instant messaging with web meeting services, allowing users to share applications and presentations with integrated video and voice conferencing.
Microsoft has also announced the integration of IMlogic's IMlogic IM Manager with the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, which is, essentially, server software for providing IM services. Users will be able to log, archive and report on IM usage through its integration with IMlogic IM Manager.
The moves are designed to boost the companies' capabilities in the fast-growing corporate IM space.
IM communications, which first flourished as free services among individual home users, quickly found their way to corporate offices, as users took advantage of the ability to exchange messages instantly and in real time with coworkers and outside business partners.
However, companies quickly realised if employees were exchanging sensitive and confidential work-related information and data over IM networks, then corporate IM communications needed certain security, management and control features which the regular services for individuals lacked.
Now Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL all provide special software, tools and services for companies wanting to use their IM networks for work-related communications.
Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service