MessageVine gives wireless collaboration a boost

By Eric Hammond, InfoWorld |  Software

MessageVine

BUSINESS CASE

This wireless IM solution is compelling for organizations that need to tie together a widely distributed workforce, including workers linked only by wireless devices. MessageVine brings the value of instant messaging to WAP-enabled devices and offers a simpler version to less sophisticated wireless tools, while increasing user productivity.

TECHNOLOGY CASE

MessageVine is currently targeted only at ISPs, wireless providers, and portals. Allowing somebody else to manage the MessageVine infrastructure means fewer administrative headaches for the typical enterprise.

PROS

+ Simple end-user setup

+ Support for a variety of wireless technologies

CONS

- Product isn't sold to the typical enterprise

- Relatively unsophisticated IM functionality

COST

Price varies; sold in 25,000 user bundles to ISPs, portals, and wireless providers.

PLATFORMS

Microsoft Windows and numerous wireless devices

MessageVine Inc., New York, (212) 924-9662; www.messagevine.com

DESKTOP INSTANT messaging is a great collaborative tool, especially for widely distributed organizations. IM (instant messaging) fills a critical gap somewhere between the telephone and e-mail in terms of disruption, urgency, and response time. Currently, most IM tools are purely desktop-based. Imagine the time saved if your entire mobile workforce was able to access IM from their WAP(Wireless Application Protocol)-enabled devices.

With MessageVine's IM solution, users are able to access IM via various wireless platforms as well as across PC desktops. When users are away from the office and carrying a wireless phone with text messaging functionality, they can specify that messages already sent to their MessageVine account also be forwarded to their phones. Of course a user's ability to respond to these messages is limited by the ability of the phone to send (not just receive) text messages.

With MessageVine, WAP-enabled devices can also connect to a MessageVine server and enjoy the functionality of the MessageVine chat client, thereby providing wireless IM. Currently, the MessageVine WAP client doesn't allow file transfers, but it is only a matter of time before that happens. Overall, we found the service to be Good in our test ratings.

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