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Intranet Instant Messaging

Posted on 2006-05-16
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi,

Ive got a Windows SBS 2003 domain, with about ten client computers tied into it. THe work stations are located all over the place and my boss wants me to find an alternative to him having to walk around to relay messages or even have to use the phone constantly.

I'm looking for a good instant messaging program, preferably free or cheap, relatively easy to install, and one that wouldnt require an additional server to run on. Our domain server is Dell 3.0ghz 2gb ram, pretty beefy server and we only use it for file sharing, dhcp, firewall, and login authentication. No SQL or Exchange (maybe down the road).

Any ideas of a messaging program I could use that would fit my criteria? Bear in mind the client machines arent great- some of them barely meet the windows XP requirements- so a program like AIM or MSN messenger might be too intense. Also, my boss doesnt want them using it to chat with anyone outside of the network.

Thanks a lot for your feedback
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Question by:jkowan11
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16695883
Why on earth do you not have Exchange installed?  That would solve your problem right away and it's included in the server.  In fact, if you don't have Exchange installed SBS will not let you install Service Pack 1 which is really a necessary upgrade.

Moving the users to Outlook 2003 which is included as well with SBS for all clients would be a tremendous productivity enhancement.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16695888
Also... do they do any faxing at all?  If so, I am picturing that they still get up from their desks and manually punchin in a phone number on a fax machine and wait 9 or 10 minutes while it redials a busy fax number.  Talk about wastes in productivity!

(see http://sbsurl.com/fax)

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jkowan11
ID: 16695891
We have Exchange installed, but ive been having problems getting it setup, so we dont use it right now. But my client wants instant messaging, not really email. I really need to get Exchange rolling soon though.
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Author Comment

by:jkowan11
ID: 16695903
And no, fax isnt installed, they prefer to do things the old fashioned way, they didnt even have a central server for years until finaly a computer crashed and they lost their client database and gave me the budget for a windows 2003 sbs. How easy is the fax service to use? Maybe ill get them setup with that, the server doesnt even have a modem though ill have to work on that.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 1000 total points
ID: 16695907
There is no real setup with Exchange you just run the Configure Email and Internet Connection Wizard.  (see http://sbsurl.com/ceicw and http://sbsurl.com/msicw).

If you want a true instant messaging you have a couple of options.  You can use the built-in Windows Messenger and even though it goes through the Microsoft Messneger Service (external) you can control everyone's use by downloading the Messenger ADM files and creating a group policy (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CB7218FC-B456-47F4-BE8C-9F16C96B3BDE&displaylang=en)

Alternatively please review this article about how to install and configure Jive Messenger, a Jabber server and client:
http://www.vladville.com/articles/smallbizim.asp

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16696203
The fax service is SIMPLE to use and I provided you with the link for how to make sure it's configured properly.  Everything on the SBS is explained rather well if you go to http://<servername>/ClientHelp.  These instructions are linked as well from the http://companyweb page as "Information and Answers".

There is also a very good user training module available at http://sbsurl.com/training

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:jkowan11
ID: 16696278
Jeff, again, youre a vast a library of excellent information!

Thanks much, got the Jabber server installed and am now working on a way to push down the client installation somehow.

Next step ill go out and buy a fax modem and try that out for a spin.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16698054
No problem... just one last word of advice... get a BUSINESS CLASS modem... not a cheap one and not an external one.  I generally recommend the US ROBOTICS Performance Pro Modem or something in that class.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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