Instant Messaging Is Moving From Isolation To Federation

Ad hoc IM solutions no longer cut it, but while federation is a moving target, it defines the future of enterprise instant messaging.

Art Gilliland, director of product management for IM management and security provider IMlogic, offers a counterpoint to the snowballing acceptance of enterprise federation. The following are among his arguments against federation:

  • Federation exposes organizations to security and spam risk. Federation connects users to the outside world, which opens a highway for viruses and worms. It also gives corporate users easily determined online identities that makes targeting of a corporation easier than with the names of AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! users.

    Messaging Pipeline editor John Dickinson thinks much the same thing and said so more than a year ago in his blog (See Federated IM Is The Last Thing We Need).

  • Federation is complicated. An IT manager has to manage access control and protection of individuals. “You don’t want all parties from federated organizations to see the status or presence of the executive team. Control and management of access is critical.”

  • Organizations need to implement policies based on whether an individual is internal or external.

J.W. Olsen has been a full-time author, editor, and freelance book project manager with more than 1000 editorial credits for IT publishers since 1990, and has provided computer, Web site, and editorial services to other clients since 1985. He welcomes feedback via the email response form at [[tag appropriate?]]
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