AOL is making IM management vendor IMlogic Inc. its first certified AOL Instant Messenger Partner. The designation means that companies using IMlogic's IM Manager tool to log, archive, and secure IM traffic being exchanged with AOL's IM network will get updates on new AOL functionality as well as technical support from AOL. Bruce Stewart, AOL's senior VP of strategic business solutions, says that will give IMlogic customers an advantage over other companies that are integrating business processes with AOL's IM network in unauthorized ways. Stewart says AOL is actively "looking for ways to make instant messaging a more effective part of business processes and applications."
Jabber Inc., developer of an open-source IM architecture, also is looking to expand IM's reach into business processes. Toward that end, it has embedded Active Buddy Inc.'s interactive IM agent technology into Jabber's commercial IM platform, letting customers integrate IM with any enterprise application so employees can access data with conversational IM queries.
IMlogic customer FTN Financial isn't sure whether AOL certification will affect its use of IM, but it's looking at using IM in a new way. It's testing a new Microsoft service called .Net Alerts, which lets companies push information to customers using MSN Messenger. The brokerage firm wants to find out if it can get a competitive edge by delivering updates such as a new bond issue via IM, says Tommy Wright, VP and manager of information systems development. "If we can get that security in front of the customer before the next guy, then we're more likely to make that sale."