Microsoft to adopt instant message archiving technology

Aiming to further legitimize real-time communications, Microsoft Corp. announced a licensing agreement with IMlogic to embed IM (instant messaging) archiving technology into future versions of its enterprise-level IM products.

IMlogic's archiving system, IMLog 2000, is designed to integrate with existing IM infrastructures to enable enterprises to keep a record of business conducted via IM. IMLog provides the ability to record, log, index, search, audit, and retrieve IM communications.

IMlogic's chief executive officer and founder, Francis deSouza, was a former a Microsoft executive in charge of real-time collaboration products including Exchange IM and NetMeeting. He left Microsoft to pursue IM as a real-time infrastructure on which to build enterprise applications.

"The idea was to build the next level of real-time application platform based on IM," he said.

As IM begins to take hold in the enterprise space, the ability to archive IM traffic is a required element, according to deSouza.

"As enterprises do more and more business over IM, they need to be able to go back over the record to see what happened over IM," deSouza said.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said it plans to embed IMlogic's archiving tool into its enterprise IM offerings, which include Windows Messenger and Exchange IM, but the company has not yet announced specific products or release dates.

Microsoft's move to adopt IM archiving technology "represents a clear signal that IM is ready for prime time business," deSouza said.

A key step toward unlocking real-time communication tools in the enterprise is developing interoperability with consumer systems such as AOL's AIM, Yahoo, and MSN, according to deSouza. Many business users rely on these consumer offerings to conduct business with customers and partners.

By mid-summer, Boston-based IMlogic hopes to release a gateway that, in conjunction with interoperability agreements with IM service providers, will link its system to the consumer IM products.

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