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“The wheel is come full circle.” William Shakespeare

May 29, 2013

Yahoo_Dock_Icon_by_MazMorrisAs of September 1st, 2012, the Microsoft Lync Public IM Connectivity User Subscription License (“PIC USL”) is no longer available for purchase for new or renewing agreements.  Customers with active licenses will be able to continue to federate with Yahoo! Messenger until the service shut down date (exact date TBD, but no sooner than June 2013).

The PIC USL is a per-user, per-month subscription license that is required for Lync Server or Office Communications Server to federate with Yahoo! Messenger.  Microsoft’s ability to provide this service has been contingent upon support from Yahoo!, the underlying agreement for which is winding down.

Yahoo! Messenger has been around since 1998 and was one of the first IM services to gain widespread use. Around 2004 enterprises began using Yahoo! Messenger and other consumer IM systems for business purposes. To improve security and more-effectively support business processes organizations began to deploy Enterprise IM platforms (EIM) and subsequently UC platforms, such as MS OCS and IBM Sametime.

However, implementing enterprise IM didn’t solve the security and compliance problems, as enterprise workers still used Yahoo! Messenger and other public IM from providers such as AOL, and Windows Live Messenger to communicate with suppliers, partners and customers.

In 2008 to address security and compliance problems UC vendors, such as Microsoft and IBM, formally offered federation with Yahoo! Messenger and other public IM networks.

With IBM losing its agreement with Yahoo! Messenger at the end of December 2011, and Microsoft announcing it too is winding down its agreements with Yahoo and AOL, it’s safe to say that the “wheel” has come full circle.

Organizations that offer Yahoo! federation for their end-users are in a tough spot, especially the highly regulated ones, such as banks and energy companies, where Yahoo! Messenger is a fairly common tool among energy traders. If companies still want their employees to communicate with the Yahoo! Messenger community, they need to allow them to download and install Yahoo! Messenger on their desktops.  This move, however, will not be acceptable to the network IT security groups.

To get around this unexpected dilemma and roadblock, companies have begun using NextPlane’s UC Exchange to federate their UC platforms with Yahoo! Messenger.  As a result, employees can seamlessly connect with Yahoo users from their UC clients.  Yahoo! Messenger contacts can also be easily added to UC client contact lists exactly the same way as other federated contacts.

Microsoft Lync 2013, Microsoft Lync 2010, and OCS 2007, Cisco Jabber, CUPS and WebEx Messenger, Isode M-link, eZuce OpenUC, Google Apps and IBM Sametime users can all share presence and exchange instant messages with Yahoo! contacts as if they were on the same UC platform.

To learn more about NextPlane services and how to ensure a smooth transition or continuation of services with Yahoo! Messenger visit our website, where you can learn how to federate your organization’s UC platform with the rest of your supply chain and business partners.

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