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We're looking at expanding our office, which will mean that we'll have to separate offices. This will make communication a bit more difficult, because any time we have a question, we'll need to rely on email, which can have a bit of a delay.

So instead the idea of the use of a network instant messenger comes to mind.

We'll be using a VPN, for communication between the Domain Controllers on each site, with a LAN network in each location.

OS: Windows 7 Pro/10 Pro (Currently using 7 Pro, but we are upgrading to 10 Pro shortly)

Possible features:

  • If needed, we want to be able to save conversations
  • We want to restrict who we add to the contact list, perhaps restrict it to admin rights only
  • Can add files (not essential, we can use email to send attachments)
  • Group chat feature would be useful, but not necessary
  • Preferably free or low cost
  • Preferably not cloud based
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    For which operating system(s) should the client be available? And I guess you want to self-host the server (if the chat protocol needs one), correct? Support of group chats? With "save conversations", do you mean storing the chat log (if yes, on the clients and/or on the server)? – unor Oct 20 '15 at 1:41
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    @unor I have added some of the information to the question, but to clarify: self-host server - preferably yes (just keeps it neat) but not essential; Group chats - preferable, but not essential; save the chat log - yes, but the location isn't a necessity, that can be managed separately if needed. – Ben Oct 20 '15 at 4:29
  • Are cloud-based solutions OK? Do you need voice? – Nicolas Raoul Oct 20 '15 at 5:23
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    Is your question the same as softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/18754/… ? If not, please detail why each solution proposed there does not fit your needs. Thanks! :-) – Nicolas Raoul Oct 20 '15 at 5:24
  • @NicolasRaoul preferably not cloud based, as we don't have anything set up for that at the moment. – Ben Oct 20 '15 at 7:08