Florida plugs in private Instant Messaging network

The State of Florida has launched an ambitious Instant Messaging (IM) roll out that links all of its state agencies together via a single private IM network designed to secure internal and external communications.

After evaluating Omnipod's private IM network in a state-wide pilot, the State Technology Office has begun implementing Omnipod's POD (Professional Online Desktop) technology across all 33 state agencies.

The MyFlorida Secure IM Solution links email, phone and instant messaging communications on a unified hosted platform.

"Any new technology poses additional challenges to the information security community; IM security seems to be one of the least known areas," said Mike Russo, Florida's chief information security officer.

According to Russo, the Omnipod offering was tested in pilots with the State Technology Office, the Executive Office of the Governor and the Department of Education. He said he was impressed with the service's security architecture, which encrypts data, determines security access and controls presence detection.

Florida will use the platform not only for more unified communications, but as a secure platform to send instant alerts across the state to relay new information about terrorist threats or disasters, Russo added.




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