MessageLabs Ltd has followed through on its acquisition of instant messaging service supplier Omnipod Inc last November with the launch of three service bundles for managed enterprise IM.
The new Enterprise Instant Messenger (EIM) Service line builds on use of the IM client-side software that came with the Omnipod purchase which lets people inside and outside an organization use IM without having to use a screen name provided by public IM networks like AOL, Yahoo and MSN.
The three service bundles will let people using the vendor’s IM security service to chat and exchange files with colleagues on the same network using the Professional Online Desktop (POD) client. It will connect them with public IM networks and log all inbound and outbound message exchanges. Alternatively, it can be used to secure IM in support of applications such as Webex conferencing or sales force applications. Pricing will start at around $2 per seat per month but monthly charges could go to $6 a seat, depending on the number of seats.
The POD technology has been augmented with stronger security features, and MessageLabs said it has also invested time and resource on an improving the processes and infrastructure that underpin its managed service. We have updated the encryption protocol from SSL to TLS, to make for stronger security, and over the next 12 months we will add extra security and message hygiene features said Dave Hahn of the company. The company said it wants eventually to provide the same levels of messaging hygiene that have been achieved with managed email services.
The uptake of IM is expected to rise sharply over the coming year or two especially in Europe where enterprise adoption has been slower than in the US. Analysts estimate that more than 100 million people use IM in the enterprise, a figure which is expected to increase at an annual rate of between 23% to 40% over the next four years. To date around 450 clients of MessageLabs use its managed IM service, out of a customer base that is said to top 13,000.
IM use in the enterprise is, for the most part, unmanaged. But in a business like investment bank an IM message is seen as a business record and so should be managed. The service helps get IM under management to improve compliance and reduce risk Hahn said.
The EIM service addresses security, organizational compliance, legal discovery, acceptable use, and accountability, the company claimed.