"Instant messaging began in the same way that many Internet tools did -- through grass-roots efforts among network users.
Now, the ubiquitous "ping tools" have become an integral part of most enterprise employees' workdays. The problem is how to make those tools enterprise-worthy and meet tracking and mobility needs.
Research In Motion , maker of the handheld Blackberry communication device, has taken a step in that direction by announcing that it will collaborate with Microsoft on products and joint marketing.
The team effort will extend enterprise instant messaging and presence to BlackBerry subscribers through connectivity between Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
"Instant messaging not within the context of a collaboration suite or platform is not trackable," said Yankee Group's Tony White.
That issue has plagued its implementation in regulation-sensitive industries, such as financial services. The advent of Microsoft's Live Communications Server alleviates some of those concerns.
However, enterprises have become increasingly reliant on the mobile portions of their communication networks -- allowing employees to be reached while sitting at their desks or on the road.
In addition, some companies use instant messaging tools to track employees' on-duty or off-duty status.
Without a way to extend the constant connectivity of instant messaging to the mobile device, many in the workforce were left outside the loop.
Checking in With Road Warriors
The combined Microsoft-RIM system, said the companies, is designed to extend Live Communications Server features to employees using the BlackBerry device.
Thus mobile professionals can transmit instant messages and share presence-based information with office-based colleagues.
Extending real-time communications tools to mobile devices "is a core element of our vision for integrated communications, which aims to unify communications across PCs, phones and mobile devices" said Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for the Real-Time Collaboration Group at Microsoft." http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtm...d=1110000274EF