Requiem for IM Manager

When we first purchased IMLogic.   I believe we had done a bakeoff with IMLogic, Akonix and Facetime.    Public IM worms were common back then.   And without a IM security product, virus outbreaks occurred and even when no infection occurred the help desk would get flooded with calls from people who got the viral message but didn’t click on the link thus were not infected.

IMLogic abated the IM threats in public IM and in the internal Live Communications Server.   Back then it worked with Sybari Antigen to protect against file transfer malware as well.

But all was not well.   Big Yellow needed an IM product and Microsoft needed antivirus for Exchange.   Both IMLogic and Sybari were swallowed up.   Things began to change.   Symantec and Microsoft didn’t want to play ball the way IMLogic and Sybari had.  The integration of IMLogic, now called Symantec IM Manager, and Sybari was dropped in favor of Symantec Antivirus.  I really wasn’t happy when IMLogic support was merged into Symantec support.

Over time, things settled down, and Symantec IM Manager was relatively static.  After a while you start to wonder exactly what is it doing for us?    The number of real security detections/blocks is pretty much zero.   Most users have moved on to Facebook for chat which isn’t protected.  

Recently I began to wonder when support for Microsoft Lync was coming to Symantec IM Manager.   The sad news is never.   While nothing official has been announced, it looks like Symantec intends to end of life IM Manager.   While support will be provided for some time for the existing version, the public IM providers may make changes that break the existing connector.   If they do that, it is doubtful a fix would be available.   As we upgrade to Lync our biggest use of IM Manager (OCS) will go away.  

Symantec recommends going to their cloud solution.  I can’t imagine that would be cost effective for us.   We’re paying software maintenance right now and it is very cheap.   Cloud services are subscription based.   Its like buying software new every ear.  It wouldn’t hurt to talk to sales, but I dont have the numbers to indicate the need to continue IM security.

Its kind of a sad thing, IM Manager on life support.   But when there aren’t big worms, you don’t have new sales.   I suspect the IM venders filter most of that in their database nowdays.   Without the security need, it is back to being a compliance (IM Logging) sale.   Most companies just don’t need that.   Another reason I suspect Symantec is getting out is public IM is secondary to Facebook Chat and Skype.   If there is no way to expand the product for Facebook, then it is incomplete.  

So we’ll see what happens officially.   Will they announce a End of Sale?   Will the end of support be after my existing contract, or will we have issues?

10 Comments

  1. I have fond memories of IM Logic. Pity the time that symantic took them over and trippled the licences from 5USD to 15USD per user. didn’t help we were at a bank in the UK!.

    The main problem, of course, is that its only use was logging messages. the whole “we prevent malware” feature was rubbish. all they did was filter urls in messages.

    the bank’s traders never liked it.

    rest in peace, IM logic. Facetime, where areyou?

    @InfosecChap.

  2. Yeah, we’ve had issues with IM Manager for quite some time. It doesn’t support MSN 2011 and users are sick of downgrading just to use IM in the office. All of the major vendors are no more. Akonix was bought by Quest Software and they have since shut it down and gotten out of the IM business. And Facetime is now called Actiance. They sold the FACETIME name to Apple (for a nice chunk of change I’m sure). I am in discussions with Actiance now to see about getting them in here on a pilot so we can see how it works. Their sales folks told me that Symantec did post an official announcement on the retirement of IM Manager and that they will NOT be supporting Lync. They also said that Symantec had agreed to recommend Actiance as the replacement for IM Manager going forward. I have yet to get any of that information from my Symantec reps so I’m not inclined to take the word of a Salesman just yet. 🙂

    • If you have a link that works or can cut and paste an email, I’d love to see it.

      Search eol in the Symantec KB and you find two links that return 404s.
      The correct place for this info according to the Symantec Lifecycle policy is under release details. That doesn’t have any info.
      No one has posted about this for a while in the IM Manager forum on Symantec Connect. I see someone did post in the backup vault area on Symantec Connect. Their dates dont match what I was told.

      Back in August, I saw the posts on Symantec Connect that IM Manager was EOL. I opened communication channels with Symantec. They got back to me three weeks later, then followed up tuesday with actual dates. Not sure what was public I wrote a more general article. If an actual EOL notice turns up and it is something I’m interested in, I’ll update the original post. Or maybe I’ll just use this as fodder for symantec’s questionable communications ability.

  3. Just to confirm, FaceTime has changed it’s name to Actiance, and our IM Management solution (Vantage) is alive and well. We support MSN 2011, Lync, etc. – we are actively adding support for new versions and actively developing the solution, as well as actively expanding our solution for Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). And we have Skype support, and many others. So to the comments above on Facebook, Skype, etc. – we can give you the best of both worlds. Support for the folks still on PIM, support for enterprise UC, and support for the future of social media. Come check us out! (Just to clarify, this is not an unbiased post, but clearly a pitch for Actiance. Doesn’t mean it’s not true 🙂

    http://www.actiance.com

    • You make a good argument, yet I’m still not convinced about the need. Years of nothing but false positives from Symantec IM Manager leave me wondering why I’d spend money on this.

      We’re currently battling out Microsoft Lync versus Cisco for enterprise IM so I was happy to see Cisco listed. I do have some questions, I’ll follow up with my Actiance sales guy.

      • Hi Roger, just checking in to see if you were able to get hold of your Actiance rep. I’m in Business Development, not sales. I manage our global strategic alliance partnerships and would be happy to help connect you to our internal Actiance resources or technolgy partners. Please let us know how we can help.

        Cheers,

        Cinthia

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