There is a lot of talk about chat and presence in the enterprise. And of course as an IP PBX / Unified communications vendor 3CX is closely looking at chat. I am not sure most companies need chat, but definitely there are going to be enterprises using it. Right now chat in the enterprise (if allowed) is probably fragmented, with users installing clients of popular chat networks.
So what are the options? Of course the ever proprietary Microsoft has a solution - its 'Jack of all trades, master of none' product called Microsoft Office Communications Server. It does chat. Kind of. It has a proprietary client which works only with OCS. OCS itself requires a truck load of servers to setup and doesnt talk to any of the leading chat services. So with OCS you can now chat to the guy in the office next door. Great. Surely enterprise chat only works if you can use it to connect to todays AND tomorrows popular chat networks? Yahoo, MSN, Google et all? And talk to your customers, suppliers - the world basically? I am pretty sure chat can only be succesfull if based on an open standard. Just like the web is, email is, voip is.
Is XMPP this open standard protocol that will open up chat & worldwide presence? Its been around for a long time and has a lot of support. The Jabber chat server and its derivatives are based on it. Google uses it in its chat network, and there are loads of gateways to other chat networks implemented and working. If you would want chat, wouldnt you want an XMPP based solution? They are inexpensive (with several free options) and with lots of client options.
So where does 3CX tie in? We're evaluating our options how to integrate into enterprise chat. Do we create a simple integrated chat solution with SIP simple? Do we integrate with OCS? Or do we integrate XMPP and allow phone presence to be viewable in any XMPP compatible chat server and client?
I'd welcome the feedback from our 3CX community! Is chat important to you? If yes - standards based?