AOL and IBM Sametime IM clients federate

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AOL and IBM Sametime IM clients federate

Looks like my prediction that in 2006 that IM clients will interoperate is coming true. AOL today announced that it has formed a relationship with IBM to connect their instant messaging communities. The popular enterprise IM client, IBM Lotus Sametime will be able to connect and communicate in real time with users of the AOL, AIM, ICQ and Apple iChat instant messaging services.

With today's announcement of Lotus Sametime 7.5, IBM plans to provide instant messaging customers with federated access to AOL's global instant messaging network as an embedded feature for each user. These customers will be able to exchange instant messages with the more than 70 million users of the AOL, AIM, ICQ, and Apple iChat.

Sametime users will also be able to exchange presence information by adding AOL Screen Names and ICQ numbers to their Sametime contact lists while inviting others to add Sametime identities to their AIM Buddy List, iChat and ICQ Contact List features.

According to AOL, now with its new relationship with IBM, AOL's instant messaging services will reach more than 75 percent of all enterprise instant messaging users. AOL's existing federation partners include Microsoft Corporation, Reuters, Inc., Jabber, Inc., Antepo, Inc., Omnipod, Inc., Communicator, Inc., Parlano, Inc., Thomson Financial and Pivot Solution's IMTrader service.

Update: 4:45pm
Just learned that Yahoo also announced interoperability with IBM's Sametime. More proof that IM interoperability is happening in 2006!

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