IBM Lotus Sametime, AOL's AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger Create World's Largest Business Instant Messaging Community

New Support of Industry Standards Unites Business and Consumer IM Communities

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ARMONK, NY - 06 Dec 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that IBM Lotus Sametime instant messaging customers can now communicate with users of AIM and the Google Talk™ instant messaging service and interoperability with Yahoo!® Messenger will be available in the coming weeks. Connecting the instant messaging communities will enable Lotus Sametime users to send and receive instant messages with, and view the presence awareness status of, more than 157 million instant messaging users worldwide.

Integrated access between Lotus Sametime and AOL's AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger is possible through the use of both industry standards for instant messaging -- the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) standard and the Session Initiated Protocol (SIP/SIMPLE) standard.

Industry standards are propelling change and growth in the real-time collaboration industry, helping the technology evolve beyond its basic chat roots to the centerpiece for varied types of communication such as VoIP and Web conferencing. IBM is joining AOL, Google, Jabber and Yahoo! in support of the SIP/SIMPLE and XMPP standards.

"According to a recent global survey(1) of CEOs conducted by IBM, executives worldwide believe that to achieve effective growth they must communicate beyond corporate walls," said Michael Rhodin, general manager IBM Lotus. "IBM is the first major enterprise vendor to use computing standards to connect over 70% of the worldwide instant messaging user base."

"Tens of millions of people around the globe use instant messaging each day to enhance their business communications," said Brian Curry, vice president, Business Services, AOL. "By working together to connect Lotus Sametime users with the global AOL messaging community, we're making it even easier for IM users to send messages across the street or across the ocean."

"Our goal has always been to put real-time communication at users' fingertips whenever and wherever they want it, and standards like XMPP and the commitment of industry partners are essential to achieving that goal," said Mike Jazayeri, product manager for Google Talk. "We're glad to be driving both easier collaboration with business associates, some of whom may be using Google Talk through the Google Apps for Your Domain platform for organizations, and a seamless way to stay in touch with friends and family who are on the Google Talk network."

"Yahoo! is a leader in driving industry-wide interoperability forward and we are pleased to provide high-quality interoperability between Yahoo! Messenger and Lotus Sametime users and enhance productivity and collaboration in the workplace," said Jeff Bonforte, senior director, Real Time Communications, Yahoo! Inc. "Yahoo! Messenger users have the unique flexibility to connect with people across various major consumer and enterprise IM communities and we will continue to work with market leaders who share our commitment to provide a safe and convenient experience for IM users."

Lotus Sametime will connect with AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger through the IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway. The Gateway acts as an intermediary among Lotus Sametime and each public IM community by receiving instant messages, translating them into the proper protocol, and delivering them to recipients regardless of platform. IT administrators can take advantage of the policy management feature in the Lotus Sametime Gateway to provide customized access based on a user's business need.

Lotus Sametime users will be able to add their AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger contacts directly to their Lotus Sametime client. The ability to seamlessly communicate regardless of instant messaging platform eliminates the barriers that made the real-time exchange of information between an organization and outside contacts challenging. Businesses can realize time and cost savings by removing the need to manage multiple instant messaging clients within one environment and increasing the speed of information sharing.

In addition, the availability status of external contacts will also be displayed within Lotus Sametime. This will show users if their contacts are available, have selected not to be disturbed or are offline, letting users know immediately if their question or concern can be addressed.

The Lotus Sametime Gateway providing federated access with AIM and Google Talk is now available. Access to the AOL, Yahoo! and Google IM communities is included in the license fee for Lotus Sametime 7.5. Lotus Sametime 7.5 customers may download the Lotus Sametime Gateway from IBM Passport Advantage. Interoperability between Lotus Sametime and Yahoo! Messenger is expected in the coming weeks.

For more information on Lotus Sametime:

IBM, Lotus and Sametime are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Google and Google Talk are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. AIM is a registered trademark of AOL. Yahoo! Messenger is a trademark of Yahoo! Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

(1) The IBM Global CEO Study, March 1, 2006.

Erica Topolski
IBM Software Group

Elena Fernandez
IBM Software Group

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