Last November, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a memo saying that all collaboration products used by the department had to meet certain interoperability and security requirements. One of the commercial products that has come out of the Defense Department\u2019s effort is Envoke, a secure instant messaging product offered by Asynchrony Solutions.Envoke started as a Defense Department research project to integrate a variety of collaboration systems already in use by the department. Asynchrony modified the system for military applications and was permitted to commercialize the product.Envoke is secure instant messaging software that interoperates with other collaborative applications, including Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime), Microsoft NetMeeting and Groove. Envoke also integrates with IMlogic\u2019s IM Manager for archiving instant messaging content, and it integrates with both Lightweight Directory Access Protocol-enabled directories and Windows NT\/2000 user account domains. Envoke also allows messages sent to offline users to be automatically forwarded to an e-mail address, and SMS-compatible cell phone or a wireless device. Envoke can be used either with a Java-based client or any modern Web browser.The Defense Department requires that all collaborative applications that operate on a U.S. military network must be compatible with Envoke\u2019s published application programming interface, giving the product a significant advantage for use in military applications, as well as commercial ones.Envoke is a good example of military-inspired technology finding application in the commercial sector. More importantly, however, it represents another avenue by which interoperability is being forced into the IM market in the absence of fully developed commercial standards that provide this capability, as well as the growing demand for interoperability by military and commercial users.