AOL Opens Up its Instant Messaging Service to Brokerage Firms

AOL and Reuters are forming a partnership to provide a secure, encrypted instant messaging (IM) service for commercial banks, investment firms, mutual funds and other financial organisations. Another feature of the service is that messages can be stored, as regulators require.

This is the first time that AOL has opened up its IM service to another network. The guts of it comes down to translating to and from AOL’s OSCAR protocol and Reuter’s own SIMPLE schema.

Michael Osterman, and industry analyst makes the point: “Email no longer offers a competitive advantage since everyone has it. If you offer instant messaging and the ability to communicate with customers and partners, that can provide you with a competitive advantage.”

Washington Post


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?