I recently spoke with Don Montgomery, vice president of marketing at Akonix (http://www.akonix.com), about the release of Akonix L7 Enterprise 4.3. This secure gateway for Instant Messaging (IM) clients comes preinstalled on the Akonix L7 CM5000 Appliance (which Windows IT Pro reviewed in "Akonix L7 CM5000 Appliance," December 2005, InstantDoc ID 48113) or can be purchased separately. The upgrade will be the last major release until Akonix L7 Enterprise 5.0 debuts in the spring of 2006.
Akonix L7 Enterprise 4.3 introduces several improvements over earlier versions. First (and most important, according to Don), the software now integrates with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) so that you can manage Akonix L7 Enterprise functionality from the MOM console and integrate the Akonix appliance into your overall management scheme. Second, the software features a new remote security agent, which sits on off-network clients (e.g., laptops) to prevent users from connecting to public IM networks—including GoogleTalk. Without this type of feature, "anybody who has a laptop and wants to sit in a Starbucks can circumvent security measures and get on AOL or Yahoo, putting the company at risk of liability or introducing viruses that can be passed back on the network," Don pointed out. Third, users can now create personal archives of their IM communications. You can find additional details of the new release at the Akonix Web site.