Last week I discussed what you”d need to connect OCS 2007 R2 to the MSN/Windows Live IM service. This week I”ll do the same for AIM and Yahoo – the two biggest Instant Messaging services out there.

A word of caution before I write this out, though — spammers & phishers use AIM and Yahoo to send out dangerous links and files. Make sure your company”s communications policy explains this. And advises all users to ignore/block any suspicious messages they receive.

As I mentioned last week, in order to connect to AIM or Yahoo you must move up from a Standard CAL to a Public IM Connectivity (PIC) License. PIC licenses are available through Microsoft Volume Licensing. This is necessary because your Edge Servers will need the PIC License Numbers before Microsoft can approve their provisioning.

But Wait! Configure Users” Ability to Connect First
I found this in TechNet yesterday. It”s a prerequisite step to individual users communicating with external Instant Messages. It”s probably covered in existing OCS documentation, but I thought it was prudent to add here:
Configure Users for Federation, Public IM Connectivity, and Remote User Access

Connecting to AIM And/Or Yahoo IM
With that settled, let”s move to what we”re here for. The process for AIM and Yahoo is very similar to provisioning MSN/Windows Live. Here it is:

  1. Purchase an OCS Public IM Connectivity (PIC) License under Microsoft Volume Licensing (Enterprise, Select or Open Value). Contact your local Microsoft partner for this.
  2. Once the PIC License is approved by a Regional Operations Center (ROC), Microsoft Volume Licensing sends you a letter with instructions on public IM connectivity provisioning.
  3. Use the instructions provided to start the provisioning, depending on which IM service you”re connecting to.
  4. When all requested public IM providers complete their provisioning, Microsoft sends a notice of completion to you. It may take up to 4 weeks for provisioning to finish on both Microsoft”s side and AOL/Yahoo”s.

Things to Note
–AOL requires the A record to be published in DNS in order to authenticate its public certificate.
–While you can IM between networks with this setup, Multi-party IM,file transfers,and audio/video aren”t supported.

That”s it. That”s how you connect OCS 2007 to Public IM networks. Not too difficult, provided your setup is in order.

If you”d like more, Microsoft has published a guide with detailed specs and some more information. Download it here:

How to IM People on Other Networks (AIM, Yahoo, MSN) from OCS — Part 2
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