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AOL Jumps Into the Corporate Collaboration Game

Look out Microsoft, you’re not the only ones who want in on the corporate instant messaging and collaboration tools game, or the online services market.

In a deal announced this week, AOL says it will pair with online conferencing provider WebEx Communications to deliver an AOL-based secure IM and collaboration platform in a new service to be offered to business users.

The new service – codenamed “AIM Pro” – will be available in two editions. A professional edition is designed for individual professionals and small to mid-sized business. An enterprise instant messaging edition will also provide central administrative controls tuned for larger corporations.

Both editions will interact with enterprise directory services and let users securely chat, launch conference calls, hold online meetings and present live demonstrations with any AIM user, according to a statement by Dulles, Va.-based AOL.

The jointly-developed services will be provided through WebEx’s global MediaTone Network. The companies plan to have both services available by the end of the second quarter.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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