IBM Lotus Sametime Deployment in Microsoft Environment
Integrating IM with the current messaging platform.
This Client, a major owner and operator of a variety of energy-related operations worldwide, was looking for an Instant Messaging (IM) solution that would integrate with their current messaging platform without any major changes. The primary requirement was that this IM solution had to be able to interact with external IM Communities such as Yahoo and AOL. Other important requirements were security, encryption and logging.
Protecting the current messaging investment
The challenge was clear – the Client wanted to meet their operational needs without the massive investment or disruption of removing and replacing their current messaging infrastructure. After careful research, IBM Lotus Sametime and IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway were selected as the right solution. Although the Client was using Microsoft technologies for their day to day operations, there was no other product that they felt could deliver the same benefits as those provided by Sametime.
The IBM Lotus Sametime choice came with all the required security already built into the product. The IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway provided additional levels of encryption by using SSL when connecting to Yahoo and AOL. The logging functionality was provided by IMtegrity, developed by Instant Technologies.
Leveraging the best of both worlds
The implementation was rather straight-forward. PSC consultants used the Client’s current Active Directory deployment as the directory server for Sametime with no modifications. In order to provide communication with the external IM Communities, the Lotus Sametime Gateway was deployed. The Sametime/Office integration features provided the presence awareness benefits from within the Microsoft Outlook Client.
The Web Conference features provided by Sametime were another benefit of this solution. Although the Client was just looking for IM, they also acquired Web Conferencing with Video/Audio in the same package. The Client now has the latest in Web Conferencing and Instant Messaging provided by IBM Lotus Sametime 8.0.1 and IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway 8.0.1. Internal and external instant messages and web meetings are secured, encrypted and logged as required. All of the needs were fulfilled by combining the two leading enterprise products. Because of its ability to integrate with just about every major messaging environment, the Open Source, Web Services nature of Sametime enabled the Client to install and integrate a start-of-the-art IM system while keeping the familiarity of Microsoft Outlook. Doing this not only saved time and money, but eliminated the need for retraining users on a new system.
The lesson learned is that with today’s Web 2.0 technology, you no longer have to give up your current environment (in this case, Microsoft) to add new functionality from another vendor (Collaboration from IBM).