LOTUSPHERE: Vendors bolster IM, e-mail management

ORLANDO, FLA. – At the annual Lotusphere conference here this week, third-party vendors unwrapped a bevy of tools designed to bolster management and performance of messaging products from IBM Corp.’s Lotus Software.

Targeting Lotus’ IM (instant messaging) and e-meetings software, DYS Analytics Inc. introduced Collaboration Control for Lotus Sametime 3, a metrics reporting and analysis tool that provides IT managers with network-level visibility into IM environments, according to Andrew Wolff, vice-president of product marketing at DYS Analytics, in Wellesley, Mass.

Improving upon existing monitoring controls in Sametime 3, Collaboration Control allows managers to understand how the IM system is being used, where it is used, and by whom.

“Sametime’s [existing] monitoring controls are focused on the individual server level, providing only a snapshot,” Wolff said. “We collect information about servers, correlate it, and present trending information, [such as] does [Sametime] need more capacity?”

FaceTime Communications Inc. used Lotusphere to demonstrate IM Auditor Enterprise, which lets businesses centrally manage and control IM communications without requiring changes to the messenger client or IM network community, said FaceTime officials in Foster City, Calif.

IM Auditor Enterprise integrates with corporate directories such as Lotus Domino, Microsoft Corp.’s Active Directory, and Sun Microsystems Inc.’s ONE (Open Net Environment) Directory, which allows automated mapping of IM contact names to authenticated employee IDs. Other features include the capability to set authorization levels for users, internal routing of public IM sessions, and an application integration gateway.

Targeting e-mail monitoring, BVRP Software Group announced MailMeter, a server-based investigative tool for monitoring and analyzing e-mail communications. The product is designed to help network managers enforce e-mail policies by uncovering non-productive e-mail usage, according to BVRP officials in Westminster, Colo.

MailMeter works in conjunction with spam and antivirus filtering tools to track all e-mail sent and received by employees. The product captures address pairs, subject, and attachments and provides reports that can be updated in real time over the Web.

Meanwhile, security technology vendor Symantec Corp. at the show rolled out an antivirus and content filtering product for Lotus Notes/Domino environments. The Symantec AntiVirus/Filtering for Domino adds support for Notes/Domino 6 and features improved content filtering capabilities designed to offer policy-based filtering of undesirable content, according to Symantec officials. The product also provides real-time protection against spam attacks, protection for more e-mail attachment types, and simplified logging and alerting functionality provided through integration with Symantec’s Enterprise Security Architecture.

Also announced at the show:

– ActiveBuddy Inc. rolled out interactive agent technology designed to return human resources information to corporate workers over wired or wireless text messaging networks. The HR Agent allows employees to request payroll and benefits information, check vacation and sick leave time, and view and update personal information without having to navigate enterprise HR applications.

– Avaya Inc. and Captaris Inc. separately launched unified messaging offerings that aim to simplify access to critical business communication technologies. Avaya at the show launched the IBM Lotus Domino version of its Avaya Unified Messenger, which offers single mailbox access to e-mail, voicemail, and fax messages from any phone or PC, according to Avaya officials. Avaya currently offers a version of its Unified Messenger for Microsoft Exchange.

– Captaris, meanwhile, offered a preview demo at the show of its forthcoming coming Lotus Domino Unified Communication Services, which the company co-developed with Lotus Software. Built on Lotus Domino, the offering is designed to create a unified communication platform using technologies from Captaris, Cisco Systems Inc., and Avaya.

– PKWare Inc. unveiled PKZip 6.0 data compression and encryption software. The new version offers support for Lotus Notes and security enhancements through integration with RSA Security Inc.’s BSAFE security product.

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