HP signs up with AOL to offer corporate IM services

In a move aimed at sparking a flame under its corporate instant messaging business, America Online (AOL) is teaming with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to integrate its Enterprise AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Services into HP's portfolio of collaboration offerings.

The distribution and development agreement, announced Wednesday, will leverage AIM's well-known brand and user base with HP's reach as a provider of hosted enterprise services that target small and medium-sized businesses, as well as carriers.

Under the deal, HP will become a participant in AOL's new Enterprise AIM Certified Partner program, allowing HP to build applications using AOL's corporate instant messaging (IM) products, including an enterprise gateway and a private domain service with authentication, in addition to the IM software.

AOL boasts one of the leading consumer IM services with more than 195 million registered users who send more than 1.5 billion instant messages per day. It's recent move into the corporate IM market is meant to drum up revenue for the Internet division of AOL Time Warner, which has come under increased pressure recently to make ends meet amid a weak online ad market and slower subscriber growth.

AOL rivals in the IM market, such as Yahoo and Microsoft, have also moved into the corporate realm, which has been adopting the collaboration tool at a quick rate.

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