Remember the old days when every credible business had a receptionist that had a huge receptionist phone covered with "busy lamp fields" (BLF) that showed which employees were on or off the phone?
She was indeed the "gatekeeper" because she always knew from looking at her BLF who within the local office could or could not take a call.
Moreover, even if someone (like her boss) could take a call, she know which calls to put through and which calls to put into "the trash" (a voicemail box where all messages were deleted without being listened to).
Well for good or bad, few businesses have receptionists anymore. But without a receptionist, how do people within a company know which other people in a company can take an important customer prospect call?
What's "presence"? Wikipedia defines presence as "a status indicator that conveys ability and willingness of a potential communication partner to communicate". Think "red light, yellow light, green light."
As companies try to be more productive with fewer employees, it becomes critical to enable the sort of instant collaboration that minimizes voicemail and email "tag".
Always knowing "who can help" solve a problem "right now" and then taking advantage of that via instant collaboration via instant message or a phone call that doesn't go to voicemail is exactly how small nimble competitors often beat our their larger, slower competitors.
Buy Presence First - It's the Foundation for all of Your Unified Communications
At a unified communications conference I recently attended it was remarked that "every vendor wants to sell you presence" because once a vendor owned your presence system they basically became your key vendor and all other communication vendor solutions were subservient.
So if a receptionist with her "busy lamp field" phone represented "Presence 1.0" and digital business phone systems where everyone had a "do not disturb" button on their official desk phone represented "Presence 2.0", what solution represents "Presence 3.0" where every company employee knows the presence of every other company employee no matter how close or far away they are from their official "desk phone" - and which vendor should you buy your Presence 3.0 system from?
Who indeed. That's the current $64,000 question for business owners trying to stay one step ahead of their nearest competitor.
Computer Vendor, Phone Vendor, Cloud Vendor or Other? Who does presence best?