New compliance requirements like HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley have made the increasing employee use of public instant messaging (IM) networks a potential liability for enterprises. Smart companies are evaluating enterprise instant messaging (EIM) solutions to shield them from this risk — and to take advantage of the unique benefits of IM in the enterprise. Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) announces Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) TechRankings™, which provides highly objective research on the leading products in this emerging market.

Forrester’s Enterprise Instant Messaging TechRankings evaluated six global market leaders:

  • Akonix
  • FaceTime
  • IBM
  • IMlogic
  • Jabber
  • Microsoft

Forrester evaluated two types of IM products: EIM platforms from IBM, Microsoft, and Jabber; and EIM gateways from Akonix, FaceTime, and IMlogic. “Lab testing confirmed market dogma — neither category of product yet offers a complete EIM solution without the other,” said Forrester Senior Analyst Nate Root. “Leading-edge firms that want to both reduce legal liability and begin to explore IM as a legitimate business tool need to evaluate both EIM platforms and EIM gateways.”

To analyze the products according to their core strengths and capabilities, Forrester tested them against many criteria, including:

  • Messaging — How robust are the product’s messaging clients?
  • Architecture — How scalable and extensible is the product’s server-side architecture?
  • Integration — How well does the product integrate with existing IM networks, third-party software, and custom applications?
  • Management — How robust are the product’s tools for system setup, reporting, maintenance, and policy enforcement?
  • Market presence — How strong are the vendor’s presence and pricing model in the EIM market?

The TechRankings research mentioned in this press release is available to Forrester WholeView™ clients and can be found at