I recently had a compelling collaborative session and conversation with Robert de Monts. Robert contacted me after reading my article in NetworkWorld entitled “Real-Time Collaboration Gets Real.” Robert has an executive background in the network security industry and was on the original Dassault Systemes team that implemented Catia design tools at Boeing. As I describe in The Culture of Collaboration book, Boeing has a unique approach to collaborating with partners. Now Robert is the vice president of marketing and business development for Imera, a company founded by Jaushin Lee and Budi Sutardja, two former Cisco technical managers.
Imera is a security play in the collaboration space. The company’s TeamLinks platform provides “on-premise” vs. hosted web conferencing and instant messaging. This involves buying hardware and software. The focus is on security, compliance, enterprise controls, and federation. TeamLinks has particular relevance for extended enterprises in which companies collaborate regularly with business partners. These partners may be spread around the globe.
With TeamLinks, each participating enterprise in the “ecosystem” controls user-level access to information. Authentication, authorization, and auditing of end-users takes place within the IT department of each enterprise. And each participant can collaborate with external colleagues within the federation without compromising enterprise network security.
There are certainly other web conferencing and IM products that can be used across enterprises, but often security problems preclude the use of all features when collaborating with people outside the firewall. Imera’s emphasis on security for external collaboration among business partners is impressive.