The new features found in Istanbul can be used only if companies install LCS 2005, currently in release to manufacturing status, and Exchange server software. LCS 2005 is expected to launch by the end of the year.
And what about search darling Google? Although few people seem to realize it, Google already owns an IM client called Hello that it picked up this summer with its acquisition of photo-sharing service Picasa.
I can hear you now: This doesn't apply to accounting firms. But you might be interested to learn that your fellow accountants considered this important enough to include as one of the 'Top 10 Technologies' for 2005 (see page 4). It came in at number six, up from number 10 in 2004. Here's what Anne Stanton, president of the Norwich Group, had to say about IM:
'Instant Messaging and Secure Instant Messaging usage continues to proliferate at businesses in 2004. IM is an interruption and a software package that can instantly indicate if someone is online. There are times when an interruption is just what is called for, and, if you are doing business globally or among multiple offices, the online indicator can truly help with efficiency and cut down on voice mail tag.'
It just confirms that the convergence of communications technologies is still on the move and picking up momentum. I suspect that in a few years the device we're using will be ubiquitous, and we'll (most of the time) be reachable if we want to be.
You'll remember that what
is now LCS was included with versions
of Exchange 2000. With the release
of Exchange 2003, the IM server
application was stripped out and
is now purchased separately. Irrespective
of the motivation behind this move,
you should take a serious look at
Mr. Goodfellow is a partner of BKR Fordham Goodfellow, LLP, and manages its wholly-owned subsidiary One Tech, LLC. He can be reached at 503-648-6651 ext. 115 or email@example.com.