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Concentric Offers Secure and Affordable Instant Messaging for SMBs

March 23, 2009 by  

Webmaster NewsSAN JOSE, CA – Concentric® announced the launch of Concentric Business Messenger, an enterprise-class, encrypted, fully managed messaging and collaboration solution designed for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). Concentric Business Messenger helps employees communicate more efficiently using real-time instant messaging without the security risks of a public chat service. All communications via Concentric Business Messenger are encrypted with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) giving SMBs security comparable to online banking applications. Unlike public chat services, Business Messenger allows IT managers to take control of instant messaging by restricting communications just to people in the organization, ensuring that information shared is secure and private.

“Concentric Business Messenger is part of our continued strategy to provide our SMB customers with enterprise-class applications at affordable prices,” said Craig Collins, president of Concentric. “A growing concern for SMBs is the increase in instances where worms or viruses enter their network through a public instant messaging network. By using Concentric Business Messenger, SMBs can have the benefits of chat without the risks while enabling employees to stay connected in the office and on the go.”

Concentric Business Messenger is independent of any email platform making it usable whether you are running your own email server, hosting your email elsewhere, or using any Concentric email service. This fully hosted service requires no hardware or software to be purchased, configured, installed, or maintained. Users can access the web-based chat client securely from any web browser.

“Using public chat or instant messaging services in a professional setting poses information security risks to the company,” said Michael Osterman, President of Osterman Research. “With public chat services, anyone can create a username that sounds like any company employee and can access private company information by posing as someone else. Concentric Business Messenger allows IT managers to restrict instant messaging to just between company employees, ensuring that company information is kept private and secure.”

Concentric Business Messenger is fully integrated with the Concentric Gateway, allowing simplified administration and reduced operational costs when combined with Concentric email, web hosting, or suite of Hosted IT services. Users can easily add co-workers to their Business Messenger by selecting their names through the Gateway. Configuration is a simple process as users download Concentric’s pre-configured chat client from the Gateway and install it on their desktop. Built-in controls allow the chat client to be automatically updated, and allow the IT manager to determine if and when the chat client is updated. All Concentric hosted services, including Business Messenger, are fully redundant and monitored 24X7 for maximum uptime.

Concentric Business Messenger is based on the open standard XMPP for compatibility with a wide variety of chat clients. Other features and benefits include:

Easy-to-use contact list — Users can easily add co-workers to their contact list with a simple point-and-click interface; IT managers can control access for privacy and security
Convenient online status — Users will know when co-workers are available for chat with the customizable presence indicator and status messages
Secure chat rooms — Users can create chat rooms and communicate in real-time with multiple people; IT managers can control access to the room
SSL encrypted enterprise-class, real-time messaging
Contact groups with profiles

Concentric Business Messenger is bundled with Concentric’s Hosted Microsoft® Exchange at no additional charge. Most other Hosted Exchange providers charge extra monthly fees to offer comparable messaging capabilities. For other users, Business Messenger can be added on for $1 per user per month.

About Concentric
Concentric provides enterprise hosted IT solutions that streamline IT management, improve security and uptime, and reduce costs for organizations of all sizes. The company’s innovative technology platform is based on patented, clustered architecture that delivers superior reliability, scalability, and security. Services include applications hosting, business-class email, anti-spam and anti-virus solutions, and managed servers, all backed by 24×7 live customer support and an in-house Professional Services group to help businesses that need additional resources. Concentric is a business unit of XO Communications, a leading national telecommunications provider. For more information, visit www.concentric.com or call (866) 500-9696.

About XO Communications
XO Communications, a subsidiary of XO Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: XOHO), is a leading nationwide provider of advanced communications services and solutions for businesses, enterprises, government, carriers and service providers. Its customers include more than half of the Fortune 500, in addition to leading cable companies, carriers, content providers and mobile network operators. Utilizing its unique combination of high-capacity nationwide and metro networks and broadband wireless capabilities, XO offers customers a broad range of managed voice, data and IP services with proven performance, scalability and value in more than 75 metropolitan markets across the United States. For more information, visit www.xo.com.

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