IBM is to announce that its Lotus Sametime instant messaging service will soon be interoperable with AOL’s AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger.
The notable exception was Microsoft’s MSN or Live Messenger. An IBM spokesperson said that while no Microsoft gateway currently existed, IBM was open to working with other protocols in the future. IBM is using the extensible messaging and presence protocol, or XMPP, and session initiated protocol, or SIP/SIMPLE, standards to make Lotus Sametime interoperable with AOL, Google and Yahoo’s cilents.
Once Microsoft adopts the same SIP and XMPP IM standards, IBM is open to working with them to allow business users to work across all IM platforms anytime, anywhere, said the IBM spokesperson.
In the meantime, Lotus Sametime users can send and receive IMs with users IM, Google Talk or Yahoo Messenger, and can add them as contacts to their Sametime client and view their presence status.
IBM claims this will help companies save money by not needing to manage multiple IM clients.
IBM is the first major enterprise vendor to use computing standards to connect over 70% of the worldwide instant messaging user base, said IBM Lotus general manager Michael Rhodin, in a statement.
Sametime will connect with other IM clients through the IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway, which receives and translates non-Sametime messages into the appropriate protocol so they can be delivered to recipients regardless of platform.
IBM said IT administrators could also use this policy management feature to customer user access based on set business needs.
The Lotus Sametime Gateway can currently provide federated access with AIM and Google Talk, while interoperability with Yahoo Messenger is slated for release in coming weeks, IBM said.