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January 2006

January 25, 2006
Messaging Becoming The Sizzle On The Steak

Did ya happen to notice that messaging is really cool?

I'm not basing this observation on the fact that our nation's youth are walking around clicking on their cell phones like there is no tomorrow. They obviously think its cool, and so do the service providers, but the software development community must think messaging is pretty cool, too. All the recent really big, really cool software product announcements have included some form of integrated messaging.

Yes, finding unique and useful ways to integrate, e-mail, instant messaging and voice messaging into applications is becoming a key differentiator and looks to represent a major battleground for upcoming heavyweight clashes.

Just since the start of the year we've seen Microsoft, IBM, Google, Yahoo, AOL and Research In Motion all starting to move their chess pieces with greater urgency and form various alliances, all in an effort to strengthen their positions in the messaging space and bridge the enterprise and wireless worlds.

One might think Microsoft would get a little sidetracked dealing with all the security issues that its messaging technologies have wrought lately (did you catch Fox Sports personality Terry Bradshaw asking Microsoft's billionaire co-founder Paul Allen if he could help him with a little e-mail problem?), but the Redmondites seem to be keeping their eye on the ball. We saw reports that Microsoft's Office Live service will likely include a Web-based e-mail client dubbed "Office Live Mail."

. . . Full Story: "Messaging Becoming The Sizzle On The Steak"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

January 18, 2006
SPAM Is A Labor Intensive Problem For Small Businesses

I've always assumed that smaller business bore a disproportionate load of spam. It just sort of made sense that would be the case since they are not able to deploy the technology or the resources against the problem that larger enterprises are able to muster.

So when Postini said that one of its survey findings in it's upcoming Message Security & Management Annual Report for 2006 was that small businesses receive five times more spam per user/per day than larger companies when comparing smallest to largest companies, I said, "ah ha."

So then I wondered if the anti-spam tools and firewall appliances targeted specifically for small businesses were not up to the task. I didn't think that would be the case, and I didn't think that SMBs would be leaving themselves completely unprotected. Not even individual users can afford to do that anymore.

. . . Full Story: "SPAM Is A Labor Intensive Problem For Small Businesses"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

January 12, 2006
Power To The User: Do It Yourself

Making users responsible and accountable for managing their own e-mail is one way to reduce the burden on overworked IT staffs. And according to a recent survey, that is exactly what is starting to happen.

It's not like the technical staffs managing large corporate e-mail servers don't already have enough on their hands taking care of things like disaster recovery, legal discovery, compliance and storage management. So why not make it possible for users and compliance managers to perform their own search and discovery on current and historical messages without relying on IT administrators?

The Osterman study, commissioned by , found that those responsible for managing large MS Exchange installations were actively looking for self-service tools to help lighten the load. Now these were big Exchange shops with an average number of mailboxes of more than 9,000. So you know the burden on staff is already heavy before you throw in demands from internal compliance officers and external legal counsel.

. . . Full Story: "Power To The User: Do It Yourself"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 08:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

January 10, 2006
Let There Be An Upside

Reading all the year-end wrap ups and 2006 projections for the messaging market, you'd think messaging and collaboration were a scourge rather than a productivity enhancing technology. All the reports I've seen talk about viruses and worms, phishing attacks, regulatory demands for retention, archiving and discovery, and warn of all the new problems we'll face when mobile messaging really takes off.

And after the past year, who can blame the pundits for painting such a dark picture? But still, there must be some good things to say about messaging. I mean, if these technologies were not so wide spread and gaining in popularity, we wouldn't be seeing all these issues, right? Sure, the security and compliance issues will probably mount in 2006, but aren't there other things going on of some import in this market.

OK, I know what the benefits of messaging and collaboration are to an organization, but we don't see much discussion of how new capabilities and new applications of the technology will move the needle in a positive direction 2006. In fact, when you read about great new integrated messaging systems, combining voice, text, and conferencing with real-time presence capabilities, the next sentence is usually about the all new ways that attackers will find to bring these systems to there knees or turn it into a cyber mule for carrying undesirable payloads.

. . . Full Story: "Let There Be An Upside"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 08:19 PM | Permalink | Comments

January 06, 2006
A Mobile New Year

The new year kicked off with a mobile slant, not surprising since the giant Consumer Electronics Show also kicked off this week in Las Vegas.

Microsoft got things rolling quickly at the event by telling its MSN Messenger users that it isn't about to let Skype consume all of its VoIP lunch. to make VoIP phones available for use with the new Windows Live Messenger should make Microsoft's VoIP partner MCI plenty relieved, but it will have to wait until Windows Live Messenger 8.0. is released later this year.

Speaking of Skype, users learned that they will soon be able to make VoIP calls without their PCs acting as the mediator. The new from Creative Labs Inc. is said to connect directly with a router via an Ethernet cable. The phone will be available in the spring.

. . . Full Story: "A Mobile New Year"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

January 04, 2006
It's Time For Another Look At IM Federation

With all the year-end and New Year IM network attacks and threats of attacks, perhaps it is time for another look at instant messaging federation, especially if your users are becoming avid IM hounds while you are trying to discourage internal use of consumer IM services on your network.

While secure, real-time collaboration and presence are valued capabilities, you've learned the hard way through your experience with corporate e-mail systems that company communications need to be be authorized, and based on trusted relationships. At the same time, you can't make verification so onerous to users that it defeats the simple, real-time nature of IM.

That is were federation comes in and Maxime Seguineau, CEO and chairman of
provided a detailed look at federation, its benefits and its alternatives. In this week's feature story,
Setting A Course Toward Instant Messaging Federation, Seguinea explains the various federation models for enterprise IM, from closed, VPN-like networks to third-party

. . . Full Story: "It's Time For Another Look At IM Federation"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments


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