AOL introduces business tools for IM

America Online is cozying up to the corporate citizenry of its massive IM user network with new on-demand business services for Web and voice conferencing.

AOL on Thursday launched AIM Business Services, created through partnerships with voice conferencing vendor Lightbridge and Web conferencing provider WebEx Communications. The new services were built on AOL Instant Messenger and can be launched from the AIM Buddy List feature with a only a few clicks, according to Ed Fish, senior vice president and general manager of desktop messaging at AOL.

Tens of millions of people in the workplace and at home already use AIM as a communications hub, Fish said.

"What we've done is to think about AIM as a new front door for communication services," Fish said. "Users are using (AIM) to initiate conversions, but those often escalate to a teleconference, a telephone call, or a Web meeting."

The new on-demand services leverage AIM's presence-awareness capabilities and the familiarity of the Buddy List to let users escalate an AIM chat to a voice conference or an online meeting for document sharing and collaboration, Fish said.

The AIM Voice Conferencing by Lightbridge service is designed to simplify the process of gathering workers for a conference call. The service places toll-free telephone calls directly to participants. Initiations can be sent to any participant via AIM to a PC or handheld device or cell phone. SMS text messages can also be used to invite mobile users.

AIM Web Meetings by WebEx is a presence-enabled Web meeting service that lets users connect to multimedia online meetings directly from their AIM Buddy List.

WebEx and AOL worked together for about nine months to integrate their respective networks, according to Praful Shah, vice president of strategic communications at WebEx.

The back-end integration between WebEx's MediaTone network and the AIM network included stitching together security services such as authentication and billing mechanisms, Shah said.

"Corporate WebEx users now can use the AIM client as a hub to go into a WebEx meeting without extra costs," he said.

AOL also offers optional security services for AIM, including encryption, digital certificate support, and an identity service model for authentication against corporate directories, according to Fish.

The AIM Business Services are targeted at small and midsize business, home office workers, and large corporate customers, AOL's Fish said. The services are available at http://www.aimatwork.com and will be offered to new users as an option the first time they log on. First-time users will be sent to a secure site to register and will need a credit card for billing purposes. Participants who are invited to meetings by a host don't need to pay, according to AOL officials.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cathleen Moore

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?