Akonix Looks to Offer More Corporate IM Control
November 16, 2004
Akonix Systems, a San Diego-based provider of software designed to help enterprises secure and manage instant messaging from mutliple networks, yesterday announced Akonix L7 Enterprise Version 4.0.
The goal of the new version is to extend Akonix's IMX real-time event architecture to provide policy enforcement for users of Microsoft LCS and IBM Lotus Instant Messaging (aka Sametime) as well the public IM networks.
As the number of users of both enterprise-class and consumer-grade IM services grow in the enterprise, Akonix reports that companies are looking for a single management tool to better monitor and control all IM use.
By controlling the use of public IM features, enterprises can better protect valuable corporate data as well as prevent a drain on network resources. With that in mind, version 4.0 of L7 Enterprise is designed to mangage access to games, audio and video conferencing, application sharing and other components of public IM clients. For example, the new release offers granular control over features such as MSN Messenger's Application Sharing, AIM's Games or Yahoo!'s WebCam.
Francis Costello, Akonix' chief marketing officer, said the version further takes advantage of the company's "strength in policy management." The policy engine will allow administrators to set up multiple rules-based conditions and filters and target groups of users based on roles. "You can start with general rules. IT managers see the need for this and they appreciate the capabilities."
Version 4.0 also offers what Akonix calls "granular disclaimers." System admins can customize notifications by user, group or domain to address different departments, business units or country requirements. For example, certain departments may be prohibited from receiving or transmiting IMs with certain words or phrases. Managers can then view Web-based reports to see how employees are complying with the policies. They can also have rescheduled reports sent to them.
Costello said the new version now supports load balancers, providing enterprises with better scalability and the capability to support up to 40,000 users from a single server. The new software also offers enhanced anti-virus features as well as the capability to monitor and log mobile and remote users.
Akonix reports that it currently has 400 customers and supports more than a half million users. Costello said the market for IM products has gone through several phases ranging from a grassroots movement to being "embraced" by enterprises. "We're seeing more RFPs. It's becoming part of the budget process."
The new version will be available by the end of the year, according to Akonix.