Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Instant Messaging Challenge in the Businesses.

One of the common threads in the organizations that I’ve worked with in the last decade or so is a near ubiquitous use of IM, usually AOL’s IM client. Regardless of the publisher, the entire staff seemed to be on AIM, and it proved to be a useful means of asking a quick question or sending out an urgent message. IM was also useful to figure out if someone was in the office before you spent a couple of hours trying to track them down on the phone.

The value of instant messaging isn’t lost on corporations of all sizes, but in many companies you can’t just download a copy of Skype, AIM, Yahoo IM and start using it. Even assuming you have the ability to install software on your computer or smartphone, you have to do it in a way that meets the approval of the IT department. That approval should only come if your instant messaging doesn’t create a security or compliance hole. Chances are, if it’s a widely available free IM client, it does.

Fortunately for the companies that need them, there are corporate versions of IM clients. One of the best known is Microsoft’s Office Communicator. But Communicator shares a problem with most of the other corporate IM solutions – it requires a specific environment to work, in this case, Microsoft Windows. This may be fine if every device on your network is a Windows device, but what happens if you have an iPhone or a BlackBerry? Basically, you’re out of luck, just as you are if you’re using Linux or a Mac.

What many enterprises need in reality is a means of instant messaging that’s secure, auditable, compliant and that works on nearly any platform out there. I finally found such an IM client when a friend sent me a press release telling about Palringo. At first look, it seemed almost too good to be true. The software is available for the top three desktop operating systems, as well as for every mobile phone out there. It doesn’t even require a smartphone – something as simple as a Motorola RAZR with Java will run the client.

While Palringo isn’t the slickest interface in the world, it does connect with other users on the same Palringo network, as well as with other IM systems including AIM, MSN, Google and Yahoo, ICQ and a number of others. There’s more than just text messaging here. You can also send photos and use your phone (or computer) like a walkie-talkie.

Implementing a push-to-talk service on devices and networks that don’t support it took some doing. Palringo accomplished it by having you press a button and then recording your voice. Once you release the button, your recorded voice is sent to the person on the other end. While there is some latency involved, as you’d imagine, it works well, and it’s much better than not having a solution, which is the choice for many smartphone users.

The enterprise version of Palringo lets you archive messages for use in compliance monitoring and e-discovery. The Palringo client will even archive messages that are passed between it and non-Palringo messaging systems, so if you use the client to chat with someone using AIM, the conversation is stored. As you’d expect, the communications within Palringo are encrypted so attempts to intercept voice, text or photo messages won’t work. There’s a free version of the Palringo client for virtually any known platform on the Palringo website. The enterprise version costs money, but it does more, and it’s completely customizable.

While the Palringo software doesn’t support video, it’s still the best enterprise-class instant messaging I’ve run across. The fact that it’s platform-independent provides the kind of flexibility that companies have needed, but haven’t found until now.

Source:Enterprise Applications | Blog Post | Wayne Rash

Is Your Instant Messenger Secure?

As data security becomes more and more necessary, many businesses are realizing that instant messenger security is no longer an option. Small businesses are even shifting to secure instant messaging as prices are dropping dramatically.

Old way: Public IM

Many businesses still use free, public instant messengers like ICQ, Skype, AOL IM for day-to-day communications. This makes sense: employees are already familiar with the technology and interface, and it's hard to beat a free service.

But employees often spend time chatting with friends and family, so companies suffer from productivity losses in this scenario.

What about the security risks? Hackers can easily send files containing viruses, impersonate employees, or just ask for any data. This is becoming more and more common as attackers are getting smarter about what companies use what technologies for communication.

New way: enterprise instant messaging

Companies large and small are now reaching for business instant messaging tools that they can control. And costs are plummeting: for example, one award winning enterprise instant messenger is just a few dollars per employee per month (http//:brosix.com).

These tools provide considerable instant messenger security by simply limiting who employees can talk to and by scanning files that have been transferred for viruses.

Conclusion

With PCI compliance quickly becoming more and more of an issue, companies are looking at more than how software handles data; but also how
Instant messenger
employees handle data as well. Instant messenger security is more of an issue than even now that companies rely on this technology for day-to-day communication.

With inexpensive easy-to-implement solutions available, small and large businesses are reaching for enterprise solutions for instant messenger security.

By: Justyn Hornor

Useful Tips for AIM Messenger

1. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is an IM (Instant Messaging) client that people the world over use to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. If you've used this IM for a length of time, you have likely learned a few tips and tricks that have helped you get the most out of the AIM service. However, there may be a few things you missed that you'll be glad to learn.

Never Appear Idle Again

2. If you would like never to be listed as idle, right-click on the AIM icon in your system tray and click "Preferences." Select "Privacy" and uncheck the box that says "...how long I've been idle." This allows you to be seen by others as online always, and never idle.

Monitor Log On/Log Off Times
3. If you want to know when a buddy is logging on and logging off, but do not have time to be at your computer, you can activate a timestamp that will give you the exact times that buddy logged on and off. To do so, right-click on the AIM icon in your system tray and select "Preferences." Select "IM/Chat" and check the box that says "Always view timestamp." On your buddy list, double-click the name of the buddy you want to monitor. This will open an instant messaging window. Minimize the window and go about your business. When you come back to your computer later, you will see the times your buddy logged on and off.

Eliminate 1024 Character Limitation
4. AIM limits instant messages to 1024 characters. If you want to send anything longer, you must send a string of messages, each no more than 1024 characters. To eliminate this problem, you must direct connect to your buddy. To do so, click the "Connect to Send IM" icon in the toolbar of the IM window. When you are directly connected, there is no longer a 1024 character limit.


By David Paige, eHow Contributor

LAN Instant Messaging Software - LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger is an instant messaging software for home or office users that can be very useful for your work. LAN chats allow you to commu...