Messaging on the Express-way

For the average individual, instant messaging can be found easily with a Hotmail account. But for enterprise corporations wishing to do more than find out what their friends are doing on any given night, public messaging services just don’t cut it.

ACD Systems International has developed a solution to address the concerns of businesses and institutions in need of secure, instant and reliable communication among users of their private networks.

According to the company, Express Messaging Server 2.0 is an instant messaging application for both local and wide area networks. With version 2.0, ACD said companies can run private, secure network communications without sharing bandwidth with millions of others.

Ron Schroder, ACD product manager, said that with Express Messaging Server, users can see at all times who is available for communication. He said that version 2.0 offers a variety of contact options over the network including a two-way voice feature that the company said cuts long distance phone calls.

Schroder said that Express works similarly to the likes of MSN Instant Messenger with features that allow users to block communication with other users, and away options including an ‘on the phone’ and ‘in a meeting’ message.

“Express Messaging Server 2.0 is a presence and instant messaging product that is updated in real-time,” Schroder said. “Version 1.0 supported presence and instant messaging at a lower level. It had a simple level of presence with only on-line, away or off-line options.”

He added that messages are sent directly from person to person and are received in a few seconds or less even with large attachments.

The Victoria, B.C.-based company said Express is designed to fit the requirements of any size business, and users can connect from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

According to Sean Humphries, president of Vision Business Technologies in Tampa, Fla., the choice of whether to use public or private messaging was easy.

“Express Messaging Server has features like the ability to send messages to groups, that (public offerings) don’t have,” Humphries said. Humphries, who has been using Express Messaging Server for the last year, and who has already implemented version 2.0, added that the product has made communication within Vision Business easier, and more efficient.

ACD said version 2.0 uses less than 1.5 per cent of a 1.54Mbps T-1 line per 200 users and less than 0.5 per cent of a 28.8Kbps modem’s bandwidth for each individual user, and also comes with industry standard 64-bit encryption. Express runs on the Windows NT architecture as a service to Windows NT or Windows 2000 to allow users easy integration of their existing user databases, the company said.

Express Messaging Server 2.0 is available now and comes in two versions: Small Business version, which includes five client access licenses, priced at US$395; and the Standard version, which supports up to 500 concurrent users, comes with 10 client access licensing and is priced at US$995.

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