One of the challenges for enterprises when implementing instant messaging is to decide whether or not to connect their enterprise instant messaging (EIM) solution with other instant messaging solutions. In order to make the connection, a gateway is generally implemented that permits the exchange of IM messages – providing the EIM solution selected has a gateway that supports the connection and translation required with the other IM system(s).

Thomson Reuters recently announced their launch of Reuters Messaging (RM) Interchange , a service which allows an enterprise to connect with other EIM systems. The service is currently limited to connecting Cisco’s Jabber XCP, IBM Lotus’ Sametime, and Microsoft’s LCS/OCS – although those are the big three in the enterprise instant messaging and unified communications market.

The idea of an IM interchange is interesting, but ultimately, vendors need to implement the standards (XMPP and SIP/SIMPLE) for the benefit of their customers and the technology. It has been said many times by many different people – IM messages should be as easy to exchange as e-mail and telephone. While the standards are only one barrier (others include security, compliance, directory, and controls) to interoperability, implementing them would hasten the fall of the rest.

It will be interesting to see how Reuters Messaging (RM) Interchange does in the market, as it solves the IM communication problem that the vendors have not fully addressed – but for a price.