IBM has beefed up its Lotus Sametime collaborative working environment with improved platform support and the addition of connectivity for consumer IM platforms, including those operated by AOL, Yahoo and, in the future, Google.
Lotus Sametime 7.5 customers will also have access to AOL's AIM Clearinghouse service to connect with other enterprise IM users. IBM's deal with Yahoo allows Lotus Sametime 7.5 users to connect with Yahoo Messenger users.
The computing giant added that, building on its existing relationship with Google, it intends to enable interoperability between Sametime users and the Google Talk public IM network.
In addition to improved audio and videoconferencing, the Sametime 7.5 release boasts a revamped IM client interface which mirrors public IM clients, and enhanced security features, privacy settings and location awareness capabilities.
IBM also promised expanded platform support in 2006 with versions under development for Apple's Mac OS X version 10.4 and Linux.
"Real-time technology has helped flatten the world by eliminating time and space barriers between people," said Michael Rhodin, general manager of IBM's Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software business.
"IBM views this as an evolution from real-time tools to 'real-time business' and has introduced a set of technologies and offerings to help customers keep up and compete at the dizzying speed of today's economic landscape."
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