Instant Messaging is one of those technologies that most network executives are trying to weed out of their network. IM is considered a major time-waster by most businesses.
I know that my use of IM rarely has a business purpose, consisting frequently of messages to my wife or one of my children or some friend - typically inquiring about that person's availability for a meal. On rare occasions when a particular remote network or service appears to be down I can contact someone on site to check. That's at least a business use of the technology. It's rare, though, that I use IM when researching something I'm writing - but its also rare for me to use the phone when e-mail will do. Still, there are lots of folks who primarily use the phone and who would be candidates for a business-oriented IM product. WiredRed wants to find them.
From our point of view, the most important part of WiredRed's Enterprise Instant Messenger (EIM) is that it's integrated with the directory - eDirectory, Active Directory - any Lightweight Directory Access Protocol-compliant directory. That alone should get our attention, but there's a whole lot more.
For the network exec worried about traffic, you can:
* Limit selected users to selected features (features removed, not just grayed-out).
* Limit selected users to one-way messaging.
* Limit presence management directory views (profiles).
* Lock-down the client (generic client can not defeat feature-select).
In fact, EIM allows for complete customization via an all-encompassing SDK, which includes sample applications you can easily adapt (for the programming-challenged).
If security is your concern, be assured that EIM is very secure. You have total control over who is on your IM system. While those users are on the system, their connections are authenticated, and all traffic is encrypted, end-to-end. Systemwide security policies (RC4, DES, Triple-DES, AES, RSA) are automatically enforced, including optional RSA authentication, signing and certificates. But all that security is easy to administer since one admin console is all you need, even for multiple-server installations.
For those of you who, like me, think of IM as simply a "cooler" way to make a phone call - try doing any of these things with your phone:
* Graphics (OK, some phones can do that).
* Rich text (RTF) & HTML formatting.
* Embedded sound (options: play once, play continuously).
* Control on-screen message placement.
* Web push ("push" actual HTML content or launch browser and push URL only).
You can do all of that with EIM; you can control who can use each of those features and everything is fully integrated with the directory. Check it out at http://www.wiredred.com/ and find out if Enterprise Instant Messaging is for you.
Expect even more buzz when Novell releases GroupWise Instant Messenger, probably in March or April. It may already be too late to keep IM out of your enterprise; my advice is to plan now to introduce a directory-enabled product that has features your users want while also having the security your company needs. WiredRed's EIM appears to fit that description.