Gordano has chosen to deal with the security issue by taking ownership of the instant messaging system, providing a secure server and clients as part of a comprehensive internet communications package which includes an email server and anti-spam software.
There are many more facilities available as parts of the complete suite, but these three components are all that is required to provide an integrated email and instant messaging system.
The system can handle large numbers of users, divided into domains for convenience, with comprehensive auditing and reporting facilities.
The system offers two instant messaging clients – one is Java-based, while the other is a Windows application. A plugin component for Microsoft Outlook is also supplied.
An advantage of integrating it with Outlook is that it can work with the email system so that it is possible to determine if the person who sent the email you are reading is online, and to initiate an IM session with them without leaving Outlook.
The Java client requires a Java-enabled web browser, and provides the same options as the Windows client. The user needs to log into the system to use this facility, using a combination of their user name and password to gain access.
System security is further strengthened because instant messaging is only available to email users with local accounts. It is not possible to use the IM clients to contact users logged into other IM servers such as Yahoo! or AOL.
The system can log all messages on the server, providing a useful audit trail. The administration system also needs a Java-enabled browser, although system administrators might be reluctant to install a Java virtual machine on their server, especially if it is hosting other services as well as the messaging installation.
However, the system can be managed just as well from a workstation, using the same log-in procedure as the Java client, but only designated users will be able to access the administration interface.