Office messagingApril 7, 2008 at 8:01 am | Posted in Computers, Software | 1 Comment
Back in the day, my old office used to use a little known tool in Win98 called WinPopup. A little instant messaging tool built into the OS for messages in your local network. WinXP however comes from the NT branch of the Windows tree that favored the command line approach with Net Send. Not exactly IM unless you knew your network well.
Recently, I was asked to find a tool for our local office. I know some offices just use the built in Windows Messenger or similar but these are public networks, opening a vector for infection and to your office communications. Using a secure tool thats a closed loop is much superior. Much as we might think the messages would be nothing of import, its surprising what people will send that way or by email, also traveling unencrypted on a public network.
There are quite a few such products out there now. Some are highly structured server-based beasts. Some are simple peer to peer clients. The second is what I was looking for. IM-like behavior but encrypted local performance.
What I found was Outlook Messenger, a simple, small footprint peer to peer IM tool, but a tool loaded with features and customization options. Its multi-platform, so we can tie in the Mac users. It has tools for connecting across sub-nets or VPN or via Terminal Services to remote networks. File Sharing, manual status changes (I’m at Lunch), Remote desktop, centralized Admin, chat logs, and some things like Reminders and Notes.
If you’re an Outlook office, it also has a nifty Add-in. It allows you to move messages from your Outlook to someone elses. Not forward – move. So they can reply directly.
And the great part is – it just works. Install, turn on the extra features desired and it finds the other peers. And to round it out nicely, its very reasonably priced. The boss is happy, so so am I 😉