Friday, May 29, 2009

Corporate Instant Messaging Service For BlackBerry From Intermedia

May 27, 2009 - Software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider specializing in messaging and collaboration solutions, Intermedia, has unveiled an instant messaging and presence solution that allows business users to engage in secure instant message conversations from BlackBerry smartphones to colleagues working at their desks.

Serguei Sofinski, CEO of Intermedia offered, '''Host OCS 2007 on the BlackBerry is another first to market achievement for Intermedia. We continuously strive to help our small and medium business customers compete more effective.''

This Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) for BlackBerry solution is designed to go beyond basic wireless email synchronization to better connect mobile and remote employees with their offices for increased collaboration and productivity. Intermedia's offering is the first hosted version of OCS for the BlackBerry platform.

Rachi Messing, Vice President of Technology Services for DiscoverReady LLC, an Integrated Discovery Management solutions provider and Intermedia customer remarked, ''Having instant messaging and presence through OCS 2007 on our BlackBerry devices makes it easier for our staff to be in constant contact and able to share information. Intermedia's services have greatly improved communications and productivity for our company and this new offering is an excellent extension of that.''

This offering is an extension of Intermedia's existing hosted OCS 2007 service, which Intermedia was also first to launch in February 2008. OCS 2007 is a business instant messaging platform that integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook to provide secure communication and integrated presence. Presence capabilities allow users to immediately determine at-a-glance their colleague's status - available, busy, away and offline - enabling them to quickly connect with available colleagues. The OCS for BlackBerry solutions extends these capabilities to mobile users when they are out of the office. Combined, the two solutions provide small business customers with enterprise-grade unified communications tools that greatly increase collaboration and productivity at a price they can afford.

A recent Osterman Research study on instant messaging shows that mobile IM grew 18% in 2008, the fastest growing segment of the IM market. Osterman identifies 'traveling employees' and 'senior technical managers' as the biggest users of mobile IM. 52% of the study's participants responded that enabling users to use IM on mobile devices is either important or extremely important to them.

Business users already heavily rely on their BlackBerry smartphones for telephone and wireless email communications. The OCS for Blackberry solution adds secure instant messaging and presence, to fill in the missing gap, and provide true remote connectivity and productivity capabilities to mobile workers.

Founded in 1995, Intermedia is the leading provider of business email including Microsoft Exchange hosting to the small and medium business market. Intermedia specializes in providing enterprise-grade solutions through its world class infrastructure and service to small and medium businesses at a price they can afford.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twitter VS Instant Messaging. What's next?

As time goes on I become more and more attracted by twitter. It’s amazing how it’s been connecting me more realtime with people I’d never be in contact with, and allows me to really build community relationships. It’s really becoming powerful.

It’s probably not fair to compare Twitter to live instant messenger, but I think it’s fair time that MS take a wake up call or two from the potential of twitter and how it will impact the enteprise. I know the SharePoint team has to take it seriously. Obviously I’m a HUGE MS Fan, and I’m not loosing my MS Religion. Twitter is not political, and I hope that it stays that way.

5 reasons why I’m spending less time invested with instant messaging and spending that time with Twitter… Instant messaging software isn’t dead, especially in the corporation, but it sure is taking some lumps and loosing some eyeballs for good reason. Hopefully this means innovation and we’ll see some magical integration. Do I hear a mashup?

Why didn’t cell phones replace LAN lines? We did make cordless LAN phones, but we never integrated the functionality to give you a LAN line when you walk into your office. There are some form factor decisions, but I think we could even get past that with the proper blue tooth devices. It’s always a challenge for the new technology to put out the old because that’s not the design.

(Love to hear how Bob Fox has seen a shift in his Messenger use vs.his Twitter life for example)

1. I choose how I get bombarded/interrupted. With Twitter I decide what comes to me as a text message (nothing), and what comes as an email, and what pops up on the screen. With the more real time nature of IM, I find the conversations are forced to happen more real time where my twitter conversations can happen naturally over days. My really real friends can text me if they HAVE to contact me super real time.

2. With Live Messenger the 100 or so contacts I have are overwhelming, it’s tough to find people that are even in my list. I know I’ve got groups, but the displays and profiles are not easy to manage. The APIs in twitter allow me to use a non proprietary client which puts me more in control of how I manage my account or accounts. (Thanks Windows Live for pulling all those people out of facebook. Still not sure whether I should have done that.)

3. My Mobile to Desktop and visa versa experience is so much more seamless in twitter. With the rich GUIs and the simple twitter API I find it much more smooth to get up and move from device to device. With IM, I have to finish a conversation before getting up from my desktop.

4. Instant Messaging isn’t as Social – The design of IM was never to meet new people, so that aspect isn’t really strong with IM. With twitter it’s the ability for other people to join in and enrich the conversation that really takes things to another level. That’s why I’d prefer to have public conversations in the public. If someone has a SharePoint question, it’s much better on a public forum like a newsgroup or twitter. :)

5. Instant Messaging Status hasn’t been flushed out… needs to evolve – I don’t want to be so accessible when I’m “Online.” I want to have different status’s to different people. Todd Bleeker has some really good ideas that fell on deaf ears when he mentioned this to the messaging team. I want to tell work people I’m OOF, I want to tell my top tier friends I’m online and accessible, and I want to say I’m away for the masses. Make sense? The away says don’t bother me unless you need to. With twitter I can spend as little or as much time as I need to looking at the tiered information of direct messages and replies and respond to those that make sense at the time. With multiple concurrent IM conversations I feel bad not responding, but often I will. I don’t want to have to. The line of text we now get in IM is a step toward the integration of the two and the ability to have a richer status. I can say I’m travelling and where I am, so work people will know I’m on the road, but how accessible I’m trying to be still isn’t conveyed. If you don’t know someone how approachable are you really? Via Twitter the non-invasive “you choose how to be impacted” technology says… you don’t mind being contacted.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Chat Encryption For Instant Messaging (IM) Presented By BitDefender

Like email messages, Instant Messaging (IM)software too suffers from the threat of malicious intruder. IM have become all-pervasive; at every location where a PC user access his/her IM account, faces the risk of being observed by hackers. You can never know who’s got an eye on your private conversations. There are several things you can do to make sure your chatting experience in instant messaging environments remains safe and secure such as never, ever give out personal information in a chat room, etc.

BitDefender Chat Encryption is a freeware program that controls your instant messages safe from hijacking through a simple and automatic encryption process. It protects your confidential documents and your instant messaging conversations through Yahoo! Messenger (8.1 or newer) and Windows Live (MSN) Messenger (v8.5 or newer).

To use BitDefender Chat Encryption, you just have to make sure the persons you are talking to install on their computer the same encryption tool or a BitDefender product, version 2009 or higher.

Main features of BitDefender Chat Encryption are: The tool does not require any password or other special settings. When a conversation is initiated, the encryption procedure begins automatically. Its top level encryption guarantees that only you and your contact have access to your IM conversations.

Requirements: Windows XP SP2 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Yahoo! Messenger v8 or higher, Windows Live Messenger v8.5 or higher

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Geodesic Company Finished Acquisition Of Instant Messaging Co Interactive Networks Inc

After announcing its plans to acquire a South American messaging business in February, BSE listed firm Geodesic Ltd has completed the acquisition of Interactive Networks Inc (INI), a Montevideo, Uruguay. The amount paid to acquired a 100% stake in the company, which will now be a subsidiary of Geodesic, has not been disclosed. INI was founded in 1999, and in 2007, they had raised (translation)$800,000 from venture capital firm Properitas Capital Partners.

The acqusiition is in line with Geodesic’s focus on the messaging business, with its Mundu portfolio of solutions: while one may question the need for Geodesic to acquire INI instead of developing its own products, the company gets access to products and a client base by virtue of this deal.

Last year, Geodesic had acquired Internet Telephony company Phonestack. Note that the company is yet to officially confirm this.


INI specializes in secure private instant messaging (IM) solutions for enterprises, as well as Instant Messaging solutions for mobile operators. Operators can offer PC and Web IM clients to both subscribers and non-subscribers, allowing conversations through SMS and MMS. The platform allows sending of PC to mobile and Mobile to PC text messages, voice clips, photos etc. These capabilities will allow Geodesic to offer a greater range of messaging applications to their client base of telecom operators, handset manufacturers and media companies. Last year, INI had introduced a new version of its instant messaging application for financial institutions. INI also has web based video chat room solutions.

Importantly, Interactive Networks brings with it a client base of 12 major carriers across South America, Africa and Asia, and this will allow Geodesic to offer its Mundu portfolio of services to the same set of clients. Note that INI’s website does not specify the names of its clients, nor are there any inputs on the time span of these deals.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Secure and encrypted instant messaging applications.

Being security-conscious isn’t an admission that you have info you’d be ashamed to share. It’s about not willing to broadcast every detail of your person to the fine folks in the IT department at work, or who-knows-who at the neighborhood cafe.

If you are interested in security and safety when we talk about an instant messaging, you have many options for encrypted IM. A reminder: IM encryption means ‘more difficult to read’, not ‘impossible to read’. Here’s a list of instant messenger encryption options and overviews of their features. If you’ve used any of these your comments would be welcome.

IM Crypto.
The problem with IM Crypto is that the free version allows only one secured contact. Also limited IM client support: Yahoo messenger and ICQ only, and platform-wise only Windows 2000/XP/Vista, at least for now. The interface is attractive though.

It’s an encrypted IM client aimed at corporate customers. It’s not free, but it includes value-added features like White Board and Screen Sharing, and pricing is less than US$2/user per month.

It looks like a feature-rich encrypted IM option for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, with conferencing, whiteboards, fast file transfers and file sharing, and quite a few other features. Variable pricing structure, but the ‘BitWise IM Personal’ basic service is free.

This instant messaging application offers its Simp line of IM encryption tools, which support popular clients including MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ/AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Jabber/Google Talk. Simp Server (in beta) handles Unix/Linux/Mac OS X platforms and is free.

A lot of people hold Pidgin, formerly known as Gaim, in high regard for instant messaging. You will find Pidgin-Encryption, over at Sourceforge, available for the Windows version of the Pidgin IM client and with Gaim 1.x releases.

This messaging software is an attractive-looking option for instant messaging and filesharing, that essentially includes IM encryption. It is open-source, cross platform (Windows/OSX/Linux) and server-less: you simply send your friend a key to set up your own IM network.

First off, there’s X-IM, with its 256-bit strong encryption and firewall compatibility. Free for the standard version, but for secure file transfer, digitally signed documents, and an ad-free interface, you’ll need to go for the Pro version. It advertises its “improved functionality under Windows XP”, but it appears from the site that it does not support other platforms.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

University Adopts Wireless LAN as Unified Data, Video, Voice Platform.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- North Carolina's Gardner-Webb University has installed a Meru Networks wireless LAN to support as the school's platform for unified data, instant messaging, voice and video communications for the next seven years.

The campus-wide Meru IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 WLAN, installed in 2008, gives more than 4,000 students, faculty and teachers wireless access from every building and almost every outdoor space on Gardner-Webb's 200-acre campus. A residence hall now under construction will rely completely on the WLAN for all non-emergency intstant messaging communication, resulting in a ninety percent reduction in telecommunication costs for the new building.

Despite having built a state-of-the-art wired network - with a gigabit Ethernet port in every student's dormitory room - Gardner-Webb had been seeing a steady student migration to wireless connectivity over the past several years.

"We had invested in one of the best fixed networks at any university, yet that network couldn't meet the demands of an increasingly mobile student population," said Joseph Bridges, associate vice president of technology services at Gardner-Webb. Students wanted access to increasing amounts of online educational content without being tied to a physical port, while faculty members sought the freedom to work in the classroom, the office or at home - anywhere they could carry a laptop.

So the university, which had previously deployed wireless only on a sporadic basis using a mix of different vendors' products, decided it needed an enterprise-level wireless solution. Wayne Johnson, who manages purchasing for capital projects, undertook an extensive vendor evaluation in cooperation with the university CIO and network engineer. They knew from the outset they would go with a WLAN based on 802.11n, the highest-performance technology available ("we didn't want to have to upgrade again for 7-10 years"). Equally important was finding a system they could easily manage and grow.

Gardner-Webb selected Meru Networks on the basis of its virtual cell technology, which allows a single radio channel to be used by all wireless access points; if more capacity is needed, additional channels can be layered on top. In the micro cell approach used by other WLAN vendors, no two adjacent access points can be on the same channel, and three radio channels must be expended to provide a single layer of wireless coverage.

Meru APs Broadcast at 100 Percent Power; School Gains Extended Coverage Area "With Meru you get full value for the APs," Johnson said. "With other vendors you have to mitigate an AP's signal strength because of potential interference from a neighboring AP on another channel. But a Meru AP can always be broadcasting at 100 percent power." The single-channel approach also makes it easy to expand the system, he added. "We just put new APs where we need more coverage and the system automatically handles the new load without our having to do any channel planning. If we eventually fill up the channel we're using, we can add one or more channel layers on top of it. This basically guarantees us triple the bandwidth for our future needs - something no other vendor could offer." Johnson said the ability to use APs at full signal strength without interference concerns led to an unanticipated benefit: outdoor wireless coverage without having to mount access points outdoors.

"We had planned two APs for our Springs Athletic Facility. By positioning them indoors and at opposite ends of the building and using directional antennas outside, we're not only getting full coverage inside the facility but all the way across three athletic fields to our Softball Complex - nearly 1,000 feet away. That's major green-area coverage at a very low cost. I can have a crystal-clear conversation on my Avaya phone that whole distance. Once we get our full grid of antennas up, you'll be able to start a phone conversation at one end of campus and not lose coverage all the way to the other end. Laptop users will be able to do the same thing with SIP phones or softphones." New Building Cuts Telecom Costs by 90 Percent by Relying on Wireless A residence hall now under construction will be the first to be built without telephone lines or Ethernet ports installed in students' rooms - the only cabling will be for emergency phones. "Using wireless exclusively will cut our telecom costs by 90 percent for that dorm," Johnson said. "Students can rely on their cell phones, and will also have the option of using wireless SIP or H323 phones." Gardner-Webb uses Bradford Networks' Campus Manager for network access control, and its ability to interoperate with Meru's WLAN controllers allows the university to implement identical security policies across its wired and wireless networks. "Bradford's integration with Meru provides our front-line security for faculty, staff, students and visitors who come onto Gardner-Webb's campus," said Eric Brewton, network engineer. Bradford's policy enforcement prevents casual users from disrupting a mission-critical activities on the WLAN by verifying wireless client "clean access" policies and also provides emergency messaging to the university's wireless population.

In addition to the technology, Gardner-Webb considered the kind of wireless partner it wanted to work with. "We were looking for a company where wireless is the core business, not a division or a resold brand," Johnson said. "They had to understand the concept of 'partnership', and be willing to put their people on campus to get a deployment off the ground. And the company had to be financially stable - what good would it do me to buy a 10-year solution if I didn't think the company would be around for the future? Meru met all these criteria." Gardner-Webb's wireless deployment uses about 170 Meru AP320 dual-radio access points, which support the newest 802.11n standard but are also backward-compatible with earlier 802.11a/b/g standards. A Meru MC4100 controller provides centralized configuration and management for all APs on the network.

About Gardner-Webb University Located on a 200-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., 50 miles west of Charlotte in the Piedmont area, Gardner-Webb University offers 13 departments with 45 major fields of student. The school serves approximately 4,000 students from 39 states and 24 foreign countries in its undergraduate, graduate and adult learning programs, with the bulk of students majoring in business, education and social sciences. For more information, visit

About Meru Networks Founded in 2002, Meru Networks develops and markets wireless LAN infrastructure solutions that use virtualization to deliver pervasive, high-fidelity wireless service for business-critical voice, video and data applications. The company first introduced its award-winning virtual cell wireless architecture in 2003, and Meru products embody a complete departure from typical hub-based WLAN approaches, offering a wireless solution with levels of performance, reliability, security and cost-effectiveness previously found only in wired networking environments. Meru's solutions have been adopted in all major industry vertical markets, including Fortune 500 enterprises, healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and government. Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit or call (408) 215-5300.

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