The Importance of Presence Integration and UC Interoperability

Presence, smresence, what’s the big deal with Presence? Presence is all about connections. If you were to ask a user what presence is, you would probably get a lot of different answers: Presence is telling whether someone is available, online in the case of IM, or in a meeting until 3PM in the case of Microsoft Outlook, etc. Presence equals efficiency, especially for an end user. Contact Centers are the ultimate proving ground for a company’s ROI.

Presence allows anyone not just Contact Centers the ability to pull in enterprise resources to resolve any issue immediately. Efficiency increases when a company can eliminate phone tag, by letting users know, through device presence, if someone is on the phone or available to accept a phone call. Imagine the possibilities if you could integrate all forms of presence (IM, device presence and email) and federation. End users desperately need this type of UC interoperability.

Earlier this year Blair Pleasant wondered about the future of UC without federation. While Federation might be number one on many people’s list; I think she needed to include the importance of presence. Blair wishes for federation, but right now Presence makes my life more efficient because I am not playing phone tag, and I do not foresee the big 3 playing nice in the sand box so federation is way down on my list. Nothing ruins my day more than having left a voice mail at the beginning of the day and by the EOB I haven’t heard from my contact, only to hear that they have been in a meeting in my own building all day. Presence can make my day, by telling me through MS Outlook, that my contact has a lunch break at 1:00, so I will walk on over to the meeting and catch him in the hallway. A much more efficient use of my time than waiting on a return call from a voice mail message I left at the beginning of the day.

I would consider Presence Integration to be more important than Federation when it comes to UC interoperability between multi vendor platforms like Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, such as letting an end user know when the contact in your IM client is “in a call”. While many would scoff at that possibility, I call that the “Ultimate Presence Experience”, eliminating phone tag, ensuring reach-ability, eliminating email latency, and eliminating the frustration of how can I connect with someone now. I continue to lead the charge for efficiency through presence, and what better way for all of us to keep our New Year’s Resolution than with UC Interoperability and Integrated Presence!!

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