Feeds

IBM snubs MSN with Sametime gateway

AOL, Yahoo! and Google count as business IM, but MS doesn't

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

IBM's Lotus Sametime instant messaging (IM) system got a boost this week when the company announced that it can now provide what it's been promising for some months, namely interoperability with AOL's assorted IM communities, including ICQ and AIM, and with GoogleTalk. Yahoo! Messenger will be added to the compatibility list within weeks, IBM added.

This interoperability gives Sametime users access to between 65 per cent and 70 per cent of business and consumer IM users world-wide, according to estimates from IDC.

Conspicuously missing from the compatibility list are MSN Messenger and Microsoft's Live Communication Server. The snub to Microsoft appears to be a business decision by IBM, not a technical or political issue - IBM obviously reckons it can reach all the business IM users it needs, without involving Redmond.

The key to this new interoperability is IBM's decision to support XMPP, the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, as well as its longer term backing for SIP. XMPP is used by GoogleTalk and also by the Jabber open IM protocols, which GoogleTalk is based on.

Sametime users have been able to connect to AIM users for several years - Sametime was originally based on AIM. However, that early interoperability kept the back-end systems separate and simply allowed one client program to log onto two services.

Now though, IBM has brought out a gateway server which acts as an intermediary between Sametime and the various public IM systems. The gateway allows you to have Sametime, AIM, Yahoo! and GoogleTalk contacts all in one single list, just as you can with third-party IM clients such as Trillian or GAIM.

The difference is that where a third-party client must itself log onto each IM service, the gateway handles all the comms between the IM networks using a federated model. It translates messages and presence or availability data as needed, and can also be set up to restrict access based on corporate policies.

IBM likens it to the evolution of email from its proprietary days, when you could only write to other users on the same network, to today's open network that lets anyone email anyone else.

Initially the Sametime gateway only supports text messages. IBM said it plans to add support for other IM features such as file transfers, Web conferencing and voice and video chats - Sametime already offers click-to-talk VoIP and Web conferencing, but only to other Sametime users.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.