One option: The hosted network
- By Alan R. Earls
The hosted IM network is another permutation of IM, with the most visible example probably being Messaging. In this scenario, rather than rely on a public IM service (such as AOL) or build an internal IM capability (using a product such as IBM SameTime), a company uses an outside company such as Reuters. In this model, the outside provider runs the servers and implements the security, encryption and archiving.
Reuters is targeting the global financial community with its offering, but it's not alone. For example, one ISP, NetAtlantic, offers a branded service, Worktime IM, which provides a range of deployment options. For one, customers can choose between open and closed networks (allowing or restricting connections with those outside the company).
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Alan R. Earls is a technology and business writer based near Boston.