Instant Messaging and Presence

Instant messaging is a form of real-time communication, wherein text-based messages are sent between two or more software clients. Some of the currently available instant messaging services on the internet include AOL Instant Messenger, GoogleTalk, ICQ, and Yahoo! Instant Messenger. The earliest of instant messaging applications predate the internet, which include the Unix-based “talk” program.

Today, more and more companies are beginning to leverage instant messaging capabilities in the workplace. This provides the workforce with another communications tool, which may be better suited for non-formal, general conversations. Some of the solutions currently available include Microsoft Office Communications Server, Microsoft Lync, Lotus SameTime, and Avaya Aura® Presence Services.

There are several protocols that drive instant messaging on the network, the most popular of which are SIP and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), Presence and Instant Messaging Protocol (Prim), and the XML-based Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). Each instant messaging and presence solution available may use one, or more, of these protocols./p>

Presence is the term used to describe to availability of people on a communications network. A user’s instant messaging client typically provides presence information to others via a network connection. This presence information can include such statuses as “available,” “away,” or “do not disturb,” and gives users the flexibility to set their own availability. As such, presence information is a growing tool for more effective and efficient communications within the enterprise.

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