Software lets IT managers monitor instant messaging

Software from FaceTime Communications Inc. allows IT managers to log what employees are saying over Internet instant messaging services, and to control who has access to such services.

The software can track the use of America Online Inc.'s AIM service, Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo! Messenger and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Messenger, FaceTime said in a statement Monday.

IM Auditor 2.0 is aimed at financial securities traders and other groups needing to demonstrate compliance with regulations requiring the logging of communication with clients, but its audit capabilities could find a use elsewhere.

The software sits on a server behind the corporate firewall, filtering and logging traffic to and from the messaging services, the statement said.

IM Auditor 2.0 allows administrators to map instant messaging screen names or identities to their employee directory. This enables auditors to identify who said what, and allows managers to control access to the messaging services. Reports and logs of usage can be prepared for individual users or for groups of users, to simplify auditing and regulatory compliance monitoring.

The software is already used by two securities traders: Banc of America Securities LLC and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, according to the FaceTime statement.

FaceTime also offers software to help companies manage customer service over instant messaging services.

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