PresenceUnified Communications is garnering much attention as more than just a buzz word for business communications, and a big component of that is Presence Technology. Presence Technology is defined as real time information about a person’s availability. Have you ever needed to contact a co-worker and had to think for a minute on whether to call their cell phone or desk phone, text them or email them? What if you call their cell only to find out they were on vacation… or they were sitting in their office just down the hall? It is easy to see the value of Presence in our connected world.

In telecommunications, presence has long been in use. For some organizations, end users can give one phone number as their contact number, and can have a multitude of devices/numbers ring depending on their availability at that moment.  This can be something they select and set as they go, or synced with a calendar application, sending a call to voicemail automatically if they are scheduled to be in a meeting, for example.

In a call center, presence is immensely useful in phone systems.  A perfect example is in a company that operates a help desk in which various help desk employees all have their own specialties. An application that asks end users about the types of problem they are having can cross-reference a directory that matches help desk employees to their specialties then automatically connect a user who is having problems with the appropriate help desk employee based upon which ones are available at that moment.

But the concept of Unified Communications isn’t just about phone system capabilities, but rather, it is bringing all forms of communications we use today together.  Presence has become a key to employee productivity thanks to Instant Messaging applications.  Skype for Business, for example, syncs with employee’s Outlook calendars to determine their availability.  With Office 365, you can get a status on your co-workers availability when you are sending them an email or going to IM them on Skype for Business. If you were hoping for an answer to a question by the close of business, but see that your co-worker is off work, you can begin to pursue plan B rather than wait around. The true value of presence is removing those delays in company communication, making your business run more efficiently by increasing employee productivity.

The success of presence working within your organization goes beyond ensuring you have the right applications in place that allow for it, such as Skype for Business. Employee education and due diligence is key.  Even with Office 365 deployed, and Outlook calendars synced with Skype for Business to show a user is in a meeting, if the employee forgets to put the meeting on their calendar, or they forget to mark themselves as “off work” when they left for the day with their PC still connected, the information is only as good as the system is given by the employee. Making presence a part of your company culture will increase the benefits and effectiveness of it.

Learn more about bringing the value of presence in Unified Communications by attending one of AltiGen’s webinars – Register HERE.