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Technologies at Geometric
Instant Messaging (IM) Technology

Geometric Software has developed the Instant Messaging Technology platform for MatrixOne, a world-leading provider of collaborative product development solutions. The objective was to develop an instant messaging, conferencing and mobile alert application for MatrixOne’s collaborative product – Team Central.

What does IM do?
IM extends the online collaborative capabilities such as the ability for secure enterprise instant messaging, for one-to-one or multiple user sessions across the value chain. An IM user can detect other online team members and invite them into an instant messaging session. Inviting others, thereby providing a real-time, text communication medium, can expand the session. Additionally, participants may instantly transition to other supported online conference mechanisms that support real-time collaboration in context for multiple media types such as WebEx.

IM is different from MSN and Yahoo
IM is based on secure Internet protocols across firewalls. Though based on Yahoo standards, IM differs from MSN and Yahoo Messenger — messages are sent in a secure medium and become jumbled in transit and decode only at the authenticated user’s end.

The technology provides online project access to authenticated users, irrespective of geographical location, thereby helping users accelerate product development and reduce time-to-market.

The IM technology platform has been developed using Geometric’s risk-sharing model.

Instant Messaging is a type of communications service that enables one to create a private chat room with another individual. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts the user whenever somebody on his or her private list is online, a capability known as “presence”. They can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual. People can communicate with each other by typing with a PC, wireless device (cell phone, PDA, etc.) or other Internet appliance/device. Or, they can use a combination of these gadgets to communicate.

Instant messaging also exists, to a certain extent, in the wireless world. Short messaging services (SMS) is a system that sends short text messages to mobile phones. The process isn’t quite as “instant” as wired IM is, though. SMS messages are stored on servers and then sent to recipients. Users can access IM within enterprise applications and detect online presence of project team members. Once online presence is verified, an IM session can be initiated, enabling instant ad-hoc collaboration.

Presence Management: Instant Messaging Technology helps to detect current connectivity of a “buddy” or “team member” in order to initiate a message exchange with them, and is effective when a contact initiator overtly wants to make an immediate contact for gaining information which could lead to decision-making. Detecting online presence increases communication capabilities and schedules tasks better in teams improving overall productivity.

The benefit of integrating IM and enterprise programs like PDM is that the hierarchy of team members is automatically uploaded to the IM presence management system and the user can locate team members relevant to particular projects for communication. Once presence is detected, the user can initiate communication with the required project team member.

Secure: This application is secure and not open to the public domain like the freely available IM applications. Only those users, part of enterprise systems with proper authentication, can access this application. The project leader can control the members who take part in the communication. The application also has a 128-bit encryption built into it, which ensures the communication exchange is secure.

Reliable: This application runs on the enterprise servers and is not dependent on outside servers like public IM applications. The enterprise can be sure of the reliability of communication exchange and not have to depend on third-party hardware and software.

Interoperable: The IM application is interoperable and seamlessly built into the enterprise system. Users can log on to the application without exiting the enterprise system, which helps to access crucial data necessary for communication and decision-making.

Today, collaboration across the value chain is the single most important requirement amongst corporate product development teams. Other applications include EDM, CAD/CAM and other product development tools. (Also refer to Osterman Research on IM applications http://www.ostermanresearch.com/index.htm)

Huma Afridi
Geometric Software Solutions Co. Ltd.