Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity Overview

Updated: November 15, 2005
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Live Communications Server 2005 Public Instant Messaging (IM) Connectivity provides organizations with the capability to connect their existing base of Live Communications Server-enabled users to the top public IM service providers (MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!).

The tools supplied in Live Communications Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1), allow corporations that wish to use public IM services to communicate with customers and partners outside their corporate network the ability to do so while utilizing the enterprise-grade encryption and optional logging features offered by Live Communications Server 2005. Live Communications Server-enabled users can communicate with users of these networks in real time, just as they can with their internal co-workers.

On This Page
The Public IM DilemmaThe Public IM Dilemma
Public IM Connectivity SolutionPublic IM Connectivity Solution
Public IM Connectivity AvailabilityPublic IM Connectivity Availability
Public IM Connectivity PricingPublic IM Connectivity Pricing
System RequirementsSystem Requirements

The Public IM Dilemma

Today, users inside typical corporations can instant message with customers and partners using one of the three main public IM clients (MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger). However, using these public IM clients does not offer the encryption of data, or the ability for administrators to log and archive the transactions, which is often required to meet record retention or disclosure requirements.

Public IM clients usually do not meet most corporate security standards and often require corporate users to run multiple clients simultaneously to enable connections with multiple public IM service providers. This makes the management of desktop software difficult as well as decreases productivity by the individual user.

Many corporations choose to disable public IM connectivity either at the network edge or by locking the desktop software, either to help increase corporate security or to help reduce the number of employees that use public IM services for personal use.

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Public IM Connectivity Solution

Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity allows corporate users of Live Communications Server to connect with customers and partners utilizing MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! IM services providing encrypted and optionally logged connectivity between those services and Live Communications Server internal users.

Using the new Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 client, Live Communications Server-enabled users will have a single client experience for adding contacts, sending IM, and sharing presence information with users on MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! networks.

With tools delivered in Live Communications Server 2005 SP1, administrators can authorize public IM connectivity on a per-user basis. These tools allow administrators to enable public IM connectivity for those corporate users that have a legitimate business need to communicate with customers and partners over one of the public IM service provider networks, thus helping to manage the number of employees using public IM services for personal use.

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Public IM Connectivity Availability

Microsoft Volume License customers can order Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity licenses for their existing Live Communications Server users. Public IM Connectivity licenses are available on a per-user, per-month subscription and are additional to the Live Communications Server Client Access License (CAL). Public IM Connectivity has two licensing components associated with its use, a Services Subscription License (SSL) and a User Subscription License (USL).

While SP1 offers the necessary tools to connect users to public IM Internet service providers, the Public IM Connectivity service is sold separately on a per-user, per-month basis. Public IM Connectivity service licenses are available for Microsoft Volume License customers only and are not available for retail open customers following other Microsoft subscription licensing programs.

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Public IM Connectivity Pricing

Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity is offered on a per-user, per-month subscription price. This service is an additional cost to the standard Live Communications Server Client Access License (CAL). The service license price includes access to all three public IM Internet service providers. Please visit the How To Buy page for more information.

When purchasing public IM service licenses, the licenses are added to a customers current Select or Enterprise agreement. Doing so will allow customers to pro-rate the months left on the agreement, adding Public IM Connectivity service licenses for that specific length of time. For example, if you have 17 months left on your current agreement, you have the option to buy 17 months of Public IM Connectivity service.

On average, depending on Volume Licensing discounts, the price for Public IM Connectivity will be approximately approximately $1—$2 per-user/per-month. Please note: The Public IM Connectivity License provides connectivity to all three public IM service providers. There are no license options for connectivity to only one provider. However, administrators have the option of provisioning and deploying either one or all three public IM service providers. Termination of the Public IM Connectivity license must co-terminate with the customer's Select or Enterprise agreement.

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System Requirements

Live Communications Server 2005 Public IM Connectivity requires a fully installed and licensed version of Live Communications Server 2005 with SP1. For more details about SP1, please see the Live Communications Server SP1 page.

For detailed system requirements of both Live Communications Server SP1 and Public IM Connectivity, please see the technical documentation located at the Live Communications Server deployment center.


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