Emphasis on Relationships
IM is a recent addition to the corporate communications toolkit, which means that it now must comply with regulations, like HIPAA and Sarbannes-Oxely, and fit within all of the security and privacy measures the organization is already using. IM Manager gets high marks for reaching out to third-party products (many of which may already be in place) to handle these IM monitoring chores.
IM Manager supports connections to anti-virus software (most notably McAfee and Sybari) to vette IM file transfers. It can be integrated with e-mail to provide monitoring alerts and to connect with e-mail-based archiving services. An unusual option it also offers is encryption of public IM traffic. These are professional enterprise encryption services. Although they are not trivial to set up, they are effective where heavy-duty IM message security is required.
Spim (IM spam) filtering consists of an exclusion list of senders. This can be entered manually or imported from a text file. IM Manager filters content using a word list. These relatively crude tools point to IM Manager’s support for more sophisticated filtering, such as those provided by WebSense. IM Manager also has an unusually close relationship with MSN Messenger Connect for Enterprise services, which allows for protection of corporate domains (@company.com), user e-mail addresses, and IM screen names.
IM Manager provides solid control and review features, plus or minus a few points with competing products. Its developing track record is strong enough to make it worthy of consideration for large-scale installations, and we give the nod to IM Manager’s attention to its support for public and private IM services. Close links to key products (especially Microsoft’s) and an approach designed to stay on top of version changes are an important advantage in the rapidly changing and expanding world of IM.
Pros: Close-knit support for public and private IM services; Caches messages for 100-percent archiving reliability.
Cons: For some corporate environments, the Microsoft-only platform and database may be a serious disadvantage.
Reviewed by: Nelson King
Original Review Date: 6/23/2004
Original Review Version: 6.0