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AOL and WebEx Team to Develop On-Demand Service for Instant Messaging Users at Work

Leverage Web-Based Consumer Model to Create Industry's First On-Demand Collaborative IM Service for Businesses and Individual (February 21, 2006)
Businesses and individuals looking for a secure instant messaging (IM) solution will soon have access to an innovative on-demand service that includes unparalleled collaboration capabilities. AOL and WebEx Communications, the leading provider of on-demand collaborative business applications, have teamed to create a secure, feature-rich version of the popular AIM service for businesses and at-work instant messaging users.

According to The Radicati Group, Inc., instant messaging has become a mission-critical collaboration tool for an estimated 135 million workers in organizations of all sizes, and is projected to grow to more than 477 million by 2009. Many of these users rely on consumer products such as AOL's industry leading AIM service, the nation's largest online community.

Codenamed 'AIM Pro,' the new service will build on the central role that the AIM service already plays in people's work lives while offering a customized interface for business users. The new service will be available in two editions: a professional edition designed for individual professionals and small to mid-size businesses, and an enterprise instant messaging (EIM) edition with centralized administrative controls for larger corporations. Both editions of the service will work with enterprise directory services and allow users to securely chat, launch conference calls, online meetings and live demonstrations with any AIM user with just a few quick clicks to the customized AIM Buddy List feature.

The jointly developed service will deliver additional security as well as the unparalleled voice, video and web collaboration capabilities of the global WebEx MediaTone Network. It will allow workers to instantly connect with the more than 70 million users on the AOL instant messaging network via the AOL, AIM, ICQ and Apple iChat services. Through AOL's AIM Clearinghouse service and federation agreements, users will also be able to securely connect with existing on-premise enterprise instant messaging users.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with WebEx to offer at-work users a customized AIM experience that works in a professional environment and addresses today's business communications needs," said Brian Curry, vice president, Premium and Subscription Services, AOL, Inc. "Co-created with the recognized business collaboration leader, the new service will bring business-class IM, online conferencing, collaboration, desktop sharing and advanced multimedia services to the global workplace."

"Our new service combines the reach and flexibility of the consumer AIM service with the security, compliance and administration controls of enterprise instant messaging to create a cost-effective, zero-maintenance business and EIM solution," said Subrah Iyar, chairman and CEO, WebEx. "Over twenty-two thousand companies rely on WebEx applications every day to accelerate the pace of their businesses and optimize interactions with customers, partners and co-workers. By partnering with AOL, the nation's leading IM provider, WebEx is able to deliver an on-demand business IM solution with access to hundreds of millions of AIM and federated IM users."

Availability
The new services are expected to be available in Q2 2006.

About the AIM Service
The AIM service  is at the center of one of the largest and most dynamic online communities, and is available for use on computers, cell phones and other handheld devices. The AIM service is an integrated communications client that offers instant messaging, email and SMS mobile texting as well as voice and video chat services. Features include a Plaxo-enabled AIM Address Book and integrated access to the AOL Explorer, AOL Mail, AIM Mail, AOL Radio and AIM Talk services. Through the AIM Enterprise Federation program and AIM Clearinghouse service, the AIM service reaches more than 75 percent of enterprise instant messaging users worldwide, including users on systems from IBM, Microsoft Corporation, Reuters, Inc., Jabber, Inc., Antepo, Inc., Omnipod, Inc., Communicator, Inc., Parlano, Inc., Thomson Financial as well as Pivot Solution's IMTrader service.

About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Brands include the AOL service, the AOL.com website, and the AIM, MapQuest, Moviefone, Netscape, CompuServe and ICQ services. America Online offers a range of digital services including the TotalTalk voice service. The company also has operations in Canada and Europe. America Online, Inc. is based in Dulles, Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).

About WebEx Communications
WebEx Communications, Inc. is the global leader of on-demand applications for collaborative business on the web. WebEx applications are used across the enterprise in sales, support, training, marketing, engineering and product design. WebEx delivers its range of applications over the WebEx MediaTone Network, a global network specifically designed for secure delivery of on-demand applications. WebEx Communications is based in Santa Clara, California and has regional headquarters in Europe, Asia and Australia. Please call toll free 877-509-3239 or visit www.webex.com for more information.

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Related Keywords:instant messaging, im, collaboration, secure IM, aol, webex

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