Chat/IRC Clients for Office


Daemon Poster
We're currently using an older version of MS Office Communicator, and I'm looking for a chat client similar to MS Lync that would be able to handle an entire office atmosphere, allowing all of our employees to come in/out of chat rooms, access files and easily message each other from the office and from remote/home locations.

Are there any suggestions out there? I've yet to study Lync in-depth, but some suggestions I've gotten are:

Microsoft Lync
OpenFire w/ Spark

The two most-important features should be ultimate connectivity for employees (again, work computers, remote computer, maybe even cell phones, iPads, etc), and obviously a system that has security on the top of their list.




Daemon Poster

I would recommend that you have a look at setting up and IRC server at your work place or with a free service such at Connectivity isn't really going to be a problem as most every computer/smartphone should be able to connect as long as the port is open. Not being a Windows user very much I don't have a lot of experience with Lync so I can't really help you there.

As for client side Pidgin is an option it isn't that hard for people to setup just a couple of menus and they are done. The one problem that I have had with Pidgin is that if I use one username with pidgin then I can't use it agian on another client. As for the people that are a little more tech savvy I might recommend mIRC, and for you have a look at thier help pages. This will give you some insight on setting up and running an IRC server. You could even set one up in a test enviroment and see if you liked it.

Well that is my five cents. If you have any questions I can help where I can.