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Instant Messenger For internal company - Recomendations?

A clients company wants to install Instant Messenger software for their staff.
Mostly located in teh same office (but no harm having it work if the staff member is away from the office).

Obvioulsy MSN / Yahoo are out there, but are there ones aimed at corporate environment (about 70 staff -one site -maybe two in the future)

Any recommendations / experiance would be appreciated.
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afflik1923
Asked:
afflik1923
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mjutrasCommented:
I have been able to try jabber and trillian which I think was 2 great IM services that you can setup an internal server for a great communication through the company!

I havent worked on the server but I used the client and it's easy configuring and do want it has to do!
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cdesignerCommented:
Take a look to LanTalk NET
http://www.cezeo.com/products/lantalk-net/
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debuggerauCommented:
do you want to host the service internally? or use an external service?
Yahoo and MSN are free, but are publicly available, so can be a security concern when communicating within your org.

and then there is always the net send type of service built in...
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Hosting it on the server would be a good thing. The comany would probably want a degree of control so somthing like MSN is probably out of the question. Security will be important.
The ability to use when out of the office (and even an additional VOIP feature) would be a real bonus.

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debuggerauCommented:
well MSN do allow company control via Live Communications Server. You can control internet access and the contacts that users allow.
Out of the office use of your company services would probably depends on a VPN or other connection method.

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murgroupCommented:
Miranda is a great little IM program that uses bonjour to communicate. Not sure if it will work outside the office but great inside.

http://www.miranda-im.org/

http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/bonjourforwindows.html
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Thanks for input so far.Been looking at suggetions and so far nothing quite seems to fit what I need.

Windows live communincations server seems like overkill and is expensive overall.

http://www.cezeo.com/products/lantalk-net/
May meet some of the requirements actually, but the interface does seem to take up a big part of the screen, it looks a bit cumbersome. Bascially it jsut does not look nice and for the majority of novice users in this office it will be hard to convince them.

In some ways the best fit seems to be the Windows MEssenger (as opposed to Windows Live Messgner):
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/windowsmessenger/getstarted/discover.mspx

But I get the impression this is a product that will no longer be supported in the future.

Any more suggestions and what are other peope doing in their offices for Instant Message communication.

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cdesignerCommented:
LanTalk Net can be switched ti MSN like interface ( menu Tools -> Switch Interface )
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KnossusCommented:
I got just what you need.

The Jabber protocol works much like an e-mail. Your company hosts a jabber server and the users register with their desired username. They can then use a variety of clients to connect to the server. A well-featured client is Psi-Im. Users on Linux can chat with users on Windows, even with using another client program. Their username will look like an e-mail address: user@domain.com. Users can therefore give out their e-mail as both the e-mail address and IM-contact.

Users will be able to chat to each other, as well as users on other Jabber servers. Jabber offers advanced features like offline messages, customized away messages, avatars, etc.

Jabber is secure. It encodes its transmission with SSL, the same encryption for Secure Websites. If you want added security you can also use end-to end encryption with GnuPG.

Jabber has a feature to allow you to connect to MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, Irc and other services via Gateways. Gateways reside on the Jabber server and when users have registered with their desired MSN username, their MSN contact show up in the contacts list. All features of MSN are supported: For example, Names in contacts list are changed automatically when the contact makes a change to it, the "Personal Message" shows up, other contacts can see your avatar just like in MSN.

The features I described are tested on the Jabber server OpenFire by Ignite Realtime and with the Jabber client Psi.

There is detailed information, as well as a list of servers and clients here:
http://www.jabber.org/

If you think it's too much of a hassle to set up your own Jabber server (although there are countless of HowTo's), you can simply register your users with one of the countless free Jabber providers here:
http://www.jabber.org/user/publicservers.shtml

Ignite Realtime offers their OpenFire server as well as their own Jabber client called Sparks. I suggest you try the ones that look good to you and find the one that fits.
http://www.igniterealtime.org/

Psi-Im is a full-featured client, available for Linux/windows/OsX:
http://www.psi-im.org/

Good Luck.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
In the end I have found what I believe is the perfect tool:

http://messenger.softros.com/

This is much closer to my requirements then the others I have seen and tried. Simple interface but effective product so far (1st day ot testing).

I'll report back how testing goes after the trial is completed.
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cdesignerCommented:
It would be good if you'll let us know the difference between this messenger and others.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Off hand the look and feel.
Lan talk was ugly and not simple for me to instatnly understand (two different screen modes but the default one is the complicated one it seemed).

The users I'm installng it for are VERY VERY basic PC users. If I install anythign tht confues them I will have to provide more support.
I wanted something I could understand on glancing within a few moments and worked like MSN but without outside contact (only on the LAN). It had to look attractive and ork effectively. Softros ticks the boxes for me right away so far (although trialling will reveal any shortcommings)

The other links that were sent did not fit critera on investigation

http://www.jabber.org/ - coud not see screen shots. therefore ruled out (if I can't quickly find on website what it looks like I doubt it will be easy)
http://www.igniterealtime.org/ - could not quickly find details of the product and how it works
http://psi-im.org/ - looked OK but did not understand this jabber network stuff.

Others rejected for similar reasons.

the one I'm trialling exactly answered what I Was looking for - simple, effecitve,  low maintenance, attraciteve, easy to use.



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cdesignerCommented:
MessagePal also very easy
http://www.messagepal.com/screenshots.htm
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Perhaps, but again onfirst glance this would not qualify for us. Interface is too large and imposing, and there are still quite a few optoins on the interface.

The one I said before I like because it is quite discrete.
thre preset messages actually make it look more complicated.
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cdesignerCommented:
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Looks good on first glance. Seems to have more features and is cheaper.
Download.com reviews not particularly good
http://www.download.com/Outlook-Messenger/3000-2150_4-10345943.html?tag=lst-1

but will consider it if this trial fails.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
All useful suggestions. In the end I went for one I found (http://messenger.softros.com/) and this seemed to perform OK (not as feature rich as others) during the trial. Lan talk was another contended but decided that it had a bit of an overloaded interface for the simple needs we had.
Thanks for all input
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