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IBM Brings IM Together

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the working-together-against-corporate-religion dept.

IBM 47

An anonymous reader writes "At their Lotusphere conference, IBM announced IM interoperability with AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, and Google Talk, to be shipped in the next release of its Sametime enterprise IM/web conferencing product in mid-2006." The omission of Microsoft's instant messenger seemed to raise quite a few questions, however.

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Sametime (4, Informative)

ender81b (520454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541971)

Sametime is actually a fairly nifty little app. It's got far better integration with notes than - say messenger does with Outlook. The ability to important groups from your address book, open a chat based on an email, schedule a web based conferenced, program bots to interface with a Lotus Notes database, etc is fairly cool.

The old version always supported an OSCAR gateway, but it's nice to have it "fully" compatible without a whole lotta effort.

Re:Sametime (1)

j3110 (193209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544288)

Gaim + Meanwhile

It's better than the current sametime app, and I would prefer that Notes would just die already. It was a great application, but I would prefer having a sane scripting language and debugging tools. It's time for IBM to make the transition to the internet.

Re:Sametime (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546074)

I agree. Using Meanwhile instead of the stock client saves me a bit of grief

Re:Sametime (1)

rholliday (754515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544825)

I really don't like Notes, so for Sametime I use NotesBuddy made by the AlphaWorks unit. It has a slim frontend for the Notes email component so I almost never have to actually open it up.

Re:Sametime (1)

ender81b (520454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546194)

I'll have to check it out, hadn't heard of that one. Unfortunately my job requires heavy Notes DB work so I'll still have to open the 'ol bugger up no matter what.

Already here (3, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541980)

Let see, we already have all this with Trillian [] and Adium [] . Why do I need IBM doing it?

Re:Already here (2, Insightful)

QQoicu2 (797685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542028)

Uhh, cuz Trillian is hideous. Personally I use gaim ported for WinXP, but GTK+ is pretty buggy with a lot of XP stuff (transparency, et al). I'm more than open to any new multi-network IM clients.

wrong (2, Informative)

Kwiik (655591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542605)

Because this is a corporate suite that also allows you to gather your co-workers together locally, without them needing to be on any other IM service. and for the record, having used this at IBM, I can tell you that you DO need accounts for all of the other services.. and, actually, MSN integration is in at IBM, it's just not going out on production for licensing reasons.

Re:Already here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14542077)

Let see, we already have all this with Trillian and Adium. Why do I need IBM doing it?

Because, as nice as those applications are, they require you to have separate accounts. is proposing an IM interopability gateway for Sametime - so you won't need a AIM or Yahoo account to talk to someone on their networks.

Re:Already here (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542108)

The point of SameTime that the summary glossed over is that it's an IM component of Lotus Notes, and is integrated with the rest of the Notes environment. Also, it's a desktop sharing tool (like WebEx). Obviously this wouldn't be news if it were just a cross-network IM client.

SameTime is easily the nicest component in the Notes suite, although anything that doesn't make you want to smash your skull through the monitor would qualify for that honor.

Re:Already here (1)

ender81b (520454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542220)

SameTime is easily the nicest component in the Notes suite, although anything that doesn't make you want to smash your skull through the monitor would qualify for that honor.

Spoken like a true Notes pro!

I do agree with you, Sametime seems to be a really well designed program with really good integration - which is downright shocking considering.

Re:Already here (1)

urbaer (778997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546167)

The keynote is available at the Sametime Forum [] .
The Sametime part kicks in at page 31ish.

Ed Brill [] also has some stuff up (including the sametime song).

Re:Already here (1)

michelcultivo (524114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542121)

And we have Gaim [] that's do all of the hard work and works great with various protocols.

Re:Already here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14542136)

So don't use it if you don't need it. But the rest of us aren't necessarily you.

Re:Already here (2, Interesting)

raadradd (685683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542183)

And Miranda IM [] .

Re:Already here (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542306)

Because having choices is important. Who wrote the rule that you're only allowed to have one application per purpose per platform?

Re:Already here (1)

Astroboy! (126236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544817)


Oh, wait. You said "per platform". But don't you know there's only one platform?

Re:Already here (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545357)

Microsoft made Gaim and Trillian? No wonder they're so terrible on Windows.

Re:Already here (2, Informative)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542422)

Programs like Trillian and GAIM are handy and work fairly well, but if you want to have your IM set up in more than one place (say at home, at work and at school), you have to set up every account you have in each location.

A much better solution is Jabber with transports. My AIM and MSN settings and buddylists are saved on the Jabber server, and all I have to do is login to my Jabber account. Considering the multitude of Jabber clients available (open protocol for the win!), this is a much easier system for those of us who regularly use computers in more than one location.

Re:Already here (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542464)

Let see, we already have all this with Trillian and Adium. Why do I need IBM doing it?

The difference is one is a client and one is a server/service. Ideally, IM will become like e-mail using standard protocols. Anyone can check any server using any client. In the beginning this was not the case, until the major players agreed to start using standards. Now you can use mutt or outlook access e-mail from AOL or Comcast using SMTP and POP hosted on Sendmail or Communigate.

This is IBM saying that their service and servers and client will all start recognizing the SIP standard. This means you can get messages from users of IBM's service even if you are using Trillian with your AIM account. Further, if you are using IBM's service, you won't need to sign up for multiple accounts with AOL, ICQ, Yahoo, etc. to be able to chat with people using those services. With Google, IBM, AOL, Yahoo all starting to provide interoperability we are finally starting to get out of walled gardens and moving towards open, interoperable standards. This is very good news for anyone who uses IM and would like it to be more useful and have more possible people they can contact and it is good news for people running secure IM servers using IBM software. They will not be able to communicate with the outside world.

Note, all of this excepts MSN who don't believe in open standards of communication or something.

Re:Already here (1)

jojo1835 (470854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543120)

You need it for one reason... logging at the firewall. Any company (especially those in the financial or healthcare industries) that lets its employees chat with IM to any public IM service and doesn't log it is crazy. With a gateway, I'm sure that Lotus will give you the ability to log this at the firewall and make sure Mary from the admin department isn't sending out credit card numbers because her boss didn't give her the $.10 (US) raise that she asked for.

Right now, there aren't any large companies that provide logging / archiving at the firewall. If IBM does it, it'll be pretty impressive.

What I can't figure is how the licensing is going to work. AOL, Yahoo, they make money from sending annoying ad's to your IM client. With Gaim / Trillian, you don't get these ads. How are these companies going to make their money if IBM owns the client? I'm sure that if I deploy IBM's solution, I don't want my users getting ads about the next new summer blockbuster.

Just a few thoughts!


Re:Already here (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547264)

That's why Jabber is such a good idea... It works very much like email, you can use any provider and communicate with any other. Companies seem to make plenty of money providing email services, so providing jabber in the same way would work too.

So just like email, you will get free providers, value-add paid providers, your local isp providing the service, vanity domains etc... And because there's no single user database, you won't need to have a username like bert432489237489327.

Re:Already here (1)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543301)

Ofcourse Gaim, Adium and Miranda IM all use Meanwhile [] for their sametime libraries.


Re:Already here (1)

CFrankBernard (605994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544407)

I *think* you meant [] (for Mac OS X).
The site is about "financial, management, consulting and investment services"

Y? (1)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541985)

But isn't Yahoo working on being able to talk to MSN? If so, does that make MSN compatibility moot?

Re:Y? (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542291)

But isn't Yahoo working on being able to talk to MSN? If so, does that make MSN compatibility moot?

Microsoft Live Communication Server and its Public IM Connectivity [] should do this. It links LCS with Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger. We're about to do a pilot so I'll have more details the next time the subject comes up, but as of now it sure looks like it unifies all the biggest players with your corporate IM and a single account.

Cost, $1-$2 per user, per month, plus servers, server licenses etc. Not free, and maybe not cheap, depending on your view of things, but definately something to consider if you want it all in one place.


P.S. Not a shill or fan-boy, just a customer.

B/C. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543616)


No Skype instant messaging either (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542017)

No mention of Skype instant messaging in the article, either. As far as I know, Skype is not Jabber-compatible. I need Skype for various contacts nowadays, especially Europeans.

Re:No Skype instant messaging either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544820)

Switch to Gizmo, which is SIP and Jabber based. It's compatible with dozens of networks and clients on multiple platforms, as opposed to Skype, which locks you into a client and a network.

Get your contacts to switch, too. Skype is passé.

all I have to say is (0)

chameleon3 (801105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542076) []

Re:all I have to say is (2, Insightful)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542204)

I agree.

IBM should put all of their effort (and donate Sametime specs/source) to the meanwhile project. People could then create GAIM plugins, or just link their custom code to the meanwhile library.

This is what IBM told me to use when I complained about their lack of a Linux Sametime client @ Linuxworld 2005 (Boston). It was durring their "Linux on the desktop" panel, which was kind of ironic.

Re:all I have to say is (2, Informative)

perdelucena (455667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542632)

There is a myriad of SameTime Clients for Linux: ICT, Sanity, SameTime (on Wine), Meanwhile plugin for GAIM, SameTime plugin for workplace....

Re:all I have to say is (1)

Halo- (175936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543181)

I work at IBM. (but don't speak for them)

Internally we have a quite nice GAIM plugin which I use constantly. It also integrates with our corporate LDAP directory, so you can get all sorts of info about your contacts. There is also a Java client (which I haven't used), and a whole suite of Java based tools called the ICT (IBM Community Tools) which do all kinds of IM-type things on top of simple messaging. (Which I find annoying... it's things like directed broadcasts to interest groups... that sort of thing)

Re:all I have to say is (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545708)

Meanwhile has since improved a lot, that is true. My problem is that IBM, when you contact them about this, does NOT help you in this matter. I am not sure if ICT works with our Sametime server, it seemed like something different when I looked at it.

What I want is:
1) Sametime Chat
2) Lookup for users.
3) Support for DL based groups
4) Support for screen sharing.

It kind of thick to offer an enterprise service, but not release software yourself. And the Java client blows goats.

ICT? (3, Interesting)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542079)

Sounds like the inhouse app that IBM people made "IBM Community Tools", Sametime backend with MSN, Yahoo, AOL functionality along with tons of really cool stuff and community building. (Skilltap for the win)

Bit of a resource hog but it is pretty nice.

If they are releasing this for public consumption I think it would be a good idea.

Re:ICT? (1)

perdelucena (455667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542568)

ICT also has an VOIP client, desktop sharing and many other cool features beside IM.

What about Workplace? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542971)

I believe IBM® Workplace(TM) Collaboration Services is the desired destination. Based on Eclipse.

Re:ICT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543158)

Looks like it could be a combination of the best of ICT [] and Notes Buddy [] . Notes Buddy gives the "breakthroughs ... include bouncing GIFs and smiley faces". But ICT does give something different to standard IM even if it is a resource hog. Hopefully Sametime will be able to do ICT stuff while still having a smallish impact on system resources.

Cross-platform too (1)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542133)

I like how this is going to be available on all platforms. Yahoo's own linux client, by comparison, is still stuck in the stone ages.

Finally some linux support (1)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542159)

Finally some webcam support on linux maybe?

Re:Finally some linux support (1)

WhiteFoxBR (834957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542486)

Sure. You can try Kopete [] (part of KDE [] ), gaim-vv [] or the new gaim 2.0 beta [] .

Or wait for IBM, of course ;)

Re:Finally some linux support (1)

aconbere (802137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542666)

Gaim 2.0 won't have the vv components ported into it, and thus there is very little likelyhood (if any at all) that it will interface with video this version.

~ Anders

Jabber (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14542531)

One of the original ideas behind Jabber was that it could unite the various IM systems together under the banner of a common protocol via the use of the transport mechanism. It seems unfortunate to me how that never really took off and instead that same work has been replicated on the client side so many times with Gaim, Trillian, Adium, etc.

Re:Jabber (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547960)

Well client->server could be any protocol, so long as the backend server supported the jabber server to server protocol... Now that gtalk has opened up server to server, and they're planning on producing interoperability with AOL, what's the chances that AOL will implement a jabber server to server system that ties in to their proprietary backend systems?

Insertion of Charts (1)

serodores (526546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544224)

The feature that got the biggest applause was ability to embed graphs and charts into IM messages. That enables a user to discuss a spreadsheet or chart with his or her buddy.
Is this the only instant message client that has this capability? There are several that support slapping in GIFs on the fly to buddies in the chat window, but how about actual charts/graphs that aren't natively in an image format?

Re:Insertion of Charts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14547431)

It's not just gifs. You can share an application or a document with multiple people not just being able to see but also contribute. So, this enables collaborative document creation, meetings, presentations, etc. to be as effective as face to face.

Sametime already integrates with AIM (1)

I_M_Noman (653982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14551519)

We use Sametime 3.0, and we have AIM integration. Would be nice to have Yahoo availability, though.
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