IAnywhere Solutions is adding an IM component to Information Anywhere Suite, a set of products for managing applications on PDAs and other wireless devices.

The suite can already deliver email wirelessly from Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and other back-end systems. IAnywhere, a subsidiary of database vendor Sybase, is now adding an IM component that works with several chat applications including Lotus SameTime and Google Talk.

Wireless IM is in its infancy today, at about the level wireless email was just before RIM's BlackBerry took off, said Senthil Krishnapillai, iAnywhere manager for product management. But wireless IM use is growing and businesses need to start thinking about how to use it efficiently and securely, he said.

Like the email component of Information Anywhere Suite, the IM software can encrypt messages while they are in transit as well as while stored on the device itself. It also provides a single interface for mobile workers, so they can chat with people using other IM applications without loading them all on one device.

The software also provides presence information that shows when people are online. iAnywhere is making the presence information available to developers so they can embed it into other applications they build, Krishnapillai said.

The IM component works with enterprise IM products including SameTime, Microsoft Live Communications Server, Jabber XCP, Jabber Wildfire and Reuters Messaging. It also works with some public services, via the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, including Google Talk and Jabber. The product is not currently certified to work with AOL's AIM, however.

The IM component will be available as part of Information Anywhere Suite in the second quarter, perhaps as soon as April, Krishnapillai said. It will also be offered on a standalone basis for US$69 per seat, he said.