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01:06 PM
Cristina McEachern
Cristina McEachern
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Reuters has formally launched its Reuters Messaging service for members of the financial services community, regardless of whether or not they are Reuters customers.

Reuters has formally launched its Reuters Messaging service for members of the financial services community, regardless of whether or not they are Reuters customers. The high-speed, secure instant-messaging service was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and partners in the financial community and is based on the Session Initiation Protocol standard.

SIP is a standard protocol used to establish a connection between users, so once a person is logged on the connection is open. Users can access a contact network through the service directory to see when others are online and can hold one-on-one and group discussions with other users.

"Any legitimate member of the financial industry, whether they are a Reuters customer or not can get this service at no cost to them," says Lewis Knopf, managing director of collaboration services at Reuters. Potential customers can log onto the Reuters Web site to download the service once Reuters verifies that they are involved in the financial community.

"We go even further with our Reuters products," says Knopf. For Reuters customers, the messaging service will be integrated within certain products, including Reuters 3000Xtra, Reuters BridgeStation and ReutersPlus. Reuters will also work with customers looking to integrate the service into in-house or customer-facing systems for communication.

Knopf says that with the integration, the messaging service goes beyond simple text transmission. "If you look at the way people work—they have data, charting, background information and e-mail already and they don't want to have to go back and forth and leave screens all the time," he adds. "So we put all of the user's incoming instant messages and e-mails in the same box." Users of the service within Reuters products can also drag and drop information such as quotes, charts and news to message to other Reuters users for "ongoing collaborative discussion," says Knopf.

"This is a result of Reuters and Microsoft working together for quite a while," explains Bill Hartnett, general manager of financial-services strategy and solutions at Microsoft. "This also comes as a result of feedback we've gotten from our customers and concern about the status of instant messaging." He says that even before the recent scandals surrounding e-mail message archival and retrieval, customers were contemplating instant messaging capabilities in the financial services area, as well.

The Reuters Messaging service also includes logging capability and the messages are encrypted for security. To accomplish this, Reuters and IMlogic have formed a strategic alliance to provide instant messaging management for the Reuters Messaging Service. IMlogic's IM Manager product includes reporting and compliance features and for companies using additional IM systems, IM Manager will centralize the controlling, reporting, archiving and compliance of all instant messages.

"In addition to current products, we are integrating using the concept of instant messaging and presence in just about every other product for the future," says Knopf. The service has been live for a couple of weeks with several beta clients and is now generally available.

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