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Showing posts from March, 2008

Why enterprise IM?

Facebook, that Web 2.0 phenomenon and favourite web site of the socially inept and the self obsessed, recently announced that it will launch a new instant messaging service for its users. The free service, imaginatively christened Facebook Chat, will allow users to IM each other from within the browser – no downloads required – but they won’t be able to message non-Facebook IM users, and there's no group chat function. It has been touted as a rival to more established public IM clients like Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and Microsoft Live, which are widely used in the enterprise, often under the radar of IT.

Now the role of IM in the enterprise has been a long-debated topic ever since the messaging system burst onto the scene in the form we know it today, somewhere back in the mid to late 90s. Information workers rightly see it as a productivity-enhancing tool for sharing and collaboration, but on the other side there are the IT enforcers and business managers who see public IM use …

Microsoft collaborates over social networks.

A new collaboration initiative launched today allows users of Microsoft's instant messenger software to invite social networked friends to join up.

Microsoft has announced collaborations with five social networks to increase the interoperability of its software.

The vendor said plans to collaborate with the popular sites Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn and Tagged would help to make it easier and safer for social networking tool users to move their relationships around the web.

The collaboration includes an exchange of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow users to move their contacts and relationships between services more safely and securely.

Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled the beta release of the Windows Live Contacts API, to allow web developers to use in production to enable their customers to transfer and share their Windows Live Contacts.

John Richards, Director of Windows Live Platform wrote in a blog on the 'Windows Live Dev' website dedicated t…

IM Gets A Safety Net

Instant messaging in the enterprise means a lot more than emoticon smiley faces: It's no LOL matter.

Every IM poses a potential threat to a company's legal compliance, network and data security or business policies. Unified SecurityGateway (NYSE: GTW) (USG) is Belmont, Calif.-based FaceTime Communications Inc.'s solution for securing realtime communications, which can be the trickiest network traffic to control.

The USG appliance connects to the SPAN/TAP port of a switch. Two additional Ethernet ports are also connected: a management port and a proxy port to connect internal IM clients to the device, which is preloaded with Linux and has two 1.6GHz dual-core processors and 4 Gbytes of memory.

The management interface is Web-based. Reviewers first configured network settings, adding domain information and primary DNS, and set up authentication againstMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Active Directory. Deployment in the lab also involved creation of policy groups, including one for a less…

Facebook ready for instant chat.

Facebook is set to launch a new free instant messaging (IM) service for its users - a move which could cause yet more headaches for IT managers struggling to regulate and secure the messaging protocols used by their staff.

Although the new software will not support multiple conversations, it will allow users to have text-based chats with anyone of the website's 60million users.

It will be free to use when Facebook includes the service as a feature on its main page in the next few weeks, according to launch details obtained by the Financial Times.

Yet its release may hurt some of Facebook's third-party software developers, who just last year were invited by the site to "help grow the Facebook applications ecosystem."

The Californian-based firm denied it was stepping on anybody's turf, by telling the FT that users can remove any of its applications and replace them with a third-party or rival feature.

Observers already pitch Facebook's chat service against AOL, Micr…

Cypress Communications’ C4 IP Receives Unified Communications 2007 Product of the Year Award

Cypress Communications announced today that the company’s C4 IP solution has been named 2007 Product of the Year by Technology Marketing Corporation’s (TMC®) Unified Communications magazine. C4 IP is an enterprise-class hosted VoIP and unified communications solution that features integrated voice/data access, desktop phones, softphones and cutting-edge multimedia applications such as unified messaging, Microsoft® Outlook integration, collaboration, real-time presence, chat, as well as audio, video and Web conferencing. This innovative unified communications functionality is backed with LAN/WAN management, a 24/7 fully redundant national VoIP network and high-touch customer service.

“Cypress Communications has shown an unyielding commitment to innovation while addressing real needs in the marketplace, and Unified Communications is pleased to grant a 2007 Product of the Year Award to the company’s C4 IP solution,” said Rich Tehrani, TMC President and Editor-in-Chief of Unified Communica…

Motorola Demonstrates Next Generation of Enterprise Voice Mobility Solutions at VoiceCon 2008

ORLANDO, Fla., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VOICECON 2008 (Booth #308) -- The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola, Inc. will demonstrate high quality, feature-rich voice-over-wireless LAN (VoWLAN) solutions at VoiceCon 2008 in Orlando. The demonstrations at VoiceCon will also showcase the seamless extension of voice services from the enterprise wireless LAN to cellular networks.

"With a proven record of bringing to market mission-critical voice and mobility solutions, Motorola is uniquely positioned to address the business-critical communications needs of the enterprise," said Imran Akbar, vice president and general manager of Converged Enterprise Communications, Motorola Enterprise Mobility business. "Only Motorola can bring together the systems and solutions to mobilize workers with scalable and secure voice-over-WLAN solutions -- helping organizations achieve true interoperability from the corner office to the shop floor; at the loading dock and on the r…

IMail Server Wins the Network Computing Awards 2008

IMail Server announced today that it was awarded the Network Computing Awards 2008 Messaging Product of the Year.

The awards, hosted annually, recognizes outstanding products and services in the network computing industry.

"I am thrilled to win this award," said Tripp Allen, president of Ipswitch (News - Alert) - Messaging Division. "It is an honor to lead a team that focuses on excellence in software development and superior customer support and satisfaction." Winners are chosen by the readers of Network Computing magazine.

IMail Server is a messaging solution for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to offering premium anti-spam and leveraging third-party anti-virus solutions, IMail also offers secure instant messaging and shared calendaring to make scheduling tasks and appointments easy, according to the company.

"We will continue to focus on customer satisfaction with high quality software, excellent support, and by adding the features that our custome…

New privacy precautions ban chatting programs from university computers

In light of recent leaks of confidential data from various provincial government sectors, Memorial University is beefing up their precautions to ensure that private information belonging to both students and faculty is secure, by implementing a ban on all instant messaging programs on university-owned computers.

In the last six months information from Eastern Health, the Eastern School District, and the Department of Worker’s Compensation, have all experienced in a breach of private information, where things like a patient’s HIV status, and personal records of more than 20,000 high-school students, were exposed.

Graham Mowbray, director of Computing and Communications at Memorial, says that the incidences involving Eastern Health and Worker’s Compensation had to do with transferring files over peer-to-peer instant messaging systems, an issue which the University has rapidly addressed.

“There was a government privacy section that was proclaimed [on] Jan. 16 of this year, that places the l…

PanTerra Networks Announced Complete Migration Program for Covad Hosted VoIP Customers.

SUNNYVALE, CA - 03/11/08 - PanTerra Networks (, a leading provider of on-demand unified communications services for small and mid-sized businesses, today announced the launch of its Covad Hosted VoIP customer migration program for existing Covad customers that provides a cost-effective and simple transition to PanTerra's feature-rich Worksmart service.

PanTerra Networks will waive all regular start up costs associated with its Worksmart service plans and provide the first full month of service free of charge. In addition, Covad customers who transition to PanTerra will also find many of their long-awaited features delivered with Worksmart. PanTerra's on-demand platform enables customers to self-administer their own Auto Attendants, utilize the integrated softphone for mobile employees and deploy advanced call center functionality including real-time statistics, reporting and call recording. Combine this with PanTerra's award-winning desktop sharing …

Using Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms Safely.

Although they offer a convenient way to communicate with other people, there are dangers associated with tools that allow real-time communication.

What are the differences between some of the tools used for real-time communication?

Instant messaging (IM) - Commonly used for recreation, instant messaging is also becoming more widely used within corporations for communication between employees. IM, regardless of the specific software you choose, provides an interface for individuals to communicate one-on-one.

Chat rooms - Whether public or private, chat rooms are forums for particular groups of people to interact. Many chat rooms are based upon a shared characteristic; for example, there are chat rooms for people of particular age groups or interests. Although most IM clients support "chats" among multiple users, IM is traditionally one-to-one while chats are traditionally many-to-many.

Bots - A "chat robot," or "bot," is softwa…

FaceTime Communications Releases Version 9.1 of IMAuditor

FaceTime Communications announced the release of an improved version of IMAuditor. The new version is expected to help businesses derive benefits such as fault-tolerance, more security and a compliant infrastructure from theirIBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Office Communication Server deployments.

IMAuditor 9.1 enables organizations to put Unified Communications (UC) and enterprise instant messaging deployments to optimum use by offering regulatory and corporate norm compliance like logging, archiving and retrieval of data from Web conferencing.

Further instant messages and attachments are protected from outside interference on public networks due to the deep compliance protection offered by IMAuditor as there is a growing concern regarding instant messages. FaceTime IMAuditor secures and manages instant messaging in enterprises within the network of an organization. It operates from the LAN and offers high security to corporate data from threats like spyware, viruses and worms besides…

Glo launches Global Chat service

Globacom has expanded its bouquet of value added services with the launch of Afri-Chat, an instant messaging-powered service which enables users to chat with people who share their interests.

A statement from the Marketing Department of Globacom said the SMS-based mobile messaging and community solution is the first such product in the market and provides a fun-filled platform for users to make friends and interact.

“It is a simple, fast, text-based anonymous chatting service that provides an exciting medium for people of like minds to build friendships and exchange ideas,” the statement said. It explained that Globacom subscribers to the service will be able to access not just subscribers of other participating networks in Nigeria but a pan-African community of users in a secure environment.

“This is an innovative service which offers our consumers the benefits of social networking and self expression. It has a combination of easy-to-use offerings which provide a highly engaging enviro…

AOL Launches OpenAIM 2.0

AOL announced early Wednesday morning the launch of Open AIM 2.0, a program meant to increase third-party development on the popular instant-messaging app through the release of new SDKs and APIs. Web-messenger apps meebo and eBuddy have already signed on with Open AIM 2.0, and AOL has announced integration with its forthcoming AIM Money, to debut in April, which will let developers generate income from their apps. AOL launched the first incarnation of Open AIM back in 2006, before open-source was all the rage with big-name Web companies. This second iteration arrives in the midst of similar open announcements from big guns such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Since AOL first launched the program, more than 235,000 developers have signed on to Open AIM. "Our mission for AIM is to facilitate the world's online, real-time conversations," AOL's senior vice president of social media, messaging and homepages, said in a statement. "To that end, we've come toget…

How to keep prying eyes away from your Web browser, e-mail, and IM.

Nearly a decade ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy snapped out a warning to the worriers of the Internet Age: "You don't have any privacy. Get over it." McNealy's words look more prescient every year. In 2006, AOL unwittingly divulged the personal lives of 650,000 customers by publishing their search histories as research data. Despite AOL's attempts to anonymize the info, the New York Times quickly outed a 62-year-old lady in Georgia whose searches revealed her dog was wetting the upholstery. The Justice Department has subpoenaed Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL for lists of search queries. More recently, Facebook employees were caught reading the customer logs.With more people putting more of their personal lives online every day, there's a huge potential market for the Web's privacy pushers. A couple of weeks ago, search engine tried to poach customers from Google by launching a new service called AskEraser. Worried that Google keeps your sear…

ACT’L introduces Talk2M Internet access to machines

March 3, 2008 - Machine Builders and Infrastructure markets have, for many years, used Modem-to-Modem connections for remote access to devices and outstations. Today, the Internet offers exciting prospects for industry players but also brings more IT complexity. Talk2M makes things smarter.

Talk2M (stands for Talk to Machines) is an Internet Service designed to address the growing need for broadband and wireless access to perform remote maintenance & access distant equipments. The key added-value of Talk2M is the full integration of IT security standards by allowing an Internet communication tunnel between the user and the remote machine without any IT network security change on both sides! This major breakthrough allows easy deployment while hiding the complexity of the IT network infrastructure.

The Talk2M solution using GPRS/EDGE connection on the remote sites only requires standard national SIM cards - avoiding the use of dedicated international APN or dedicated SIM cards - and …

Security considerations for unified communications

Over the last year or two, unified communications has become more and more common. As with any other IT technology, the more mainstream unified communications becomes, the greater will be the need to secure it. As it stands right now, products and mechanisms exist for securing unified communications -- but it seems to me that unified messaging security is being largely ignored.From what I have been able to gather through observation and by talking to other network administrators at various trade shows, a lot of administrators seem to be oblivious to the need for specialised unified messaging security, and therefore they work to secure unified communications networks in the same way that they would secure any other IP-based network. Some of the administrators that I have talked to have done enough telephony work over the past few years to understand some of the specialised security needs associated with VoIP, but they view unified communications as simply an extension of VoIP rather th…

Extricom Announces PartnerAdvantage Channel Partner Program

Extricom, provider of enterprise-class wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure systems for converged voice (VoWLAN), data, video, and RFID services, today launched its PartnerAdvantage Partner Program. The PartnerAdvantage launch comes as solution providers and Value Added Resellers (VARs) of all sizes are searching for differentiated solutions that will enable them to take advantage of the multi-billion dollar opportunity the wireless LAN (WLAN) market represents. The PartnerAdvantage Program is based on a single premise: drive revenue growth and profitability for Extricom Partners, by creating a strong sales and marketing bond between them and Extricom. PartnerAdvantage will offer common-sense, value-adding programs for sales enablement, co-marketing, promotion, and investment protection. These will ultimately enable Extricom Partners to capture above-average product margins, develop their wireless LAN expertise, cost-effectively market their solutions, and protect their pre-sal…