Sunday, January 22, 2006

IBM Provides Federated IM Access to AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, iChat

IBM unveiled a new version of its Lotus "Sametime" audio and video corporate conferencing application, featuring federated connectivity with leading consumer IM platforms, including AOL, and Yahoo! In addition, IBM and Google intend to connect Lotus Sametime and Google Talk users.

Lotus Sametime 7.5 sports more than 100 new features and represents a major upgrade in instant messaging and Web conferencing capabilities. New features and functions include:

  • In addition to enhanced security features, privacy settings and location awareness capabilities, Lotus Sametime 7.5 simplifies connections with other instant messaging platforms and has embedded VoIP capabilities.

  • In 2006, IBM plans to add Lotus Sametime 7.5 client support for Apple's Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" and Linux.

  • The new instant messaging client is built on the Eclipse open source framework. By leveraging Eclipse, Lotus Sametime users get access to new "plug-in" capabilities, such as audio/video extensions, location-oriented or "mapping" applications and corporate calendar integration.

  • Social networking capabilities -- leveraging Lotus Sametime's new Eclipse-based application platform, businesses can tap into the collective knowledge of their employees through instant polls, focused broadcasts to members of a specific community, context-sensitive chat rooms and the automated capture and storage of ad-hoc information that can be searched for future reference.

  • Real-time collaboration "gateway" -- Lotus Sametime 7.5 will also feature a new advanced, multi-protocol real-time collaboration "gateway" to increase the ease and manageability of enterprise-to-enterprise and enterprise-to-public network connections. The gateway will initially be based on SIP (session initiation protocol), a growing standard for instant messaging technology.

  • Integration with IBM Workplace software -- also planned to serve as the instant messaging client for future editions of IBM Workplace Collaboration Services, Lotus Sametime 7.5 will provide an identical user experience while working with both Lotus Sametime and Workplace Collaboration Services servers.