Professional Online Desktop

Quick look: Instant messaging tool

The Professional Online Desktop, or POD, is an online communications tool that does not try to reinvent the wheel.

POD, from OmniPod Inc. of New York, integrates into a non-IM environment or one that already has America Online, Microsoft or Yahoo instant messenger services. The POD works much like the other messenger programs, but it has the advantages of instant messaging over a 168-bit, Triple Data Encryption Standard, Secure Sockets Layer encrypted connection. Text within POD is nonexecutable, so it is not susceptible to most IM-based virus attacks.

Files being transferred go through OmniPod's data servers, which eliminates most bandwidth problems. Agencies that prefer to keep their data in-house can set up centralized servers.

If users already have some of the many consumer IM programs, POD will display them within the POD screen. Users are identified based on their associations, so you know whether 'Bob' is an Internet friend you met on AOL, or your supervisor on the secure network.

Administering POD is surprisingly easy. Users can download it by grabbing a 5M file.

The administrator can set up accounts, maintain the network or even restrict access to non-POD IM services.

Price: Starts at $6 per user per month

Phone: 212-620-2845

Online@ www.omnipod.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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