Feeds

IBM snubs MSN with Sametime gateway

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.