As a follow up to my post earlier this week and Phil’s post on presence, Alec Saunders continues the discussion on presence and relevance issues with two posts:
First is a post triggered by an email response from Kyle Marsh, Microsoft’s UC evangelist, to Alec’s initial commentary on Microsoft’s Unified Communications “Strategy” announcement last Monday. It is most interesting to read Kyle’s email itself (included in the post):
“….For example, when someone sees an email they may want to respond with an IM or voice or video conversation instead….” You can see this concept in action now: Skype for Outlook Toolbar already allows one to trigger a Chat session with the subject line from the email subject; at the same time the ability to call the “Sender” from a single click, whether via Skype or SkypeOut is also available via the Skype for Outlook Toolbar. Or, as Phil says in the post referenced above: “Knock before calling. … It’s polite, and also a presence check.”.
Kyle also notes a correction to Alec’s original post whereby Exchange Server is not being absorbed into Communicator but rather will complement it. But read the entire email to get some flavor of where unified communications may be going. And note the invitation to Alec to participate in the upcoming Microsoft developer lab to be held later this month.
In the second post Alec comments on Bryan Richards article in VoIP Magazine on Microsoft’s Unified Communications Strategy. Alec gets to the heart of presence vs relevance with his comment:
It’s the intersection of the fundamentals of presence and business processes that will provide the value that customers are looking for. That intersection will happen in three phases:
- implementation of presence infrastructure – the servers, etc that are capable of managing presence information.
- automation of presence setting – relieving human beings of the necessity to set and review presence status. If this step doesn’t happen, nobody will use presence.
- new applications dependent on presence.
Food for thought as both the Skype with its philosophy of contextual integration via toolbars and Microsoft’s Unified Communications ecosystems evolve. Could we even contemplate Skype and Microsoft “federating” to bring truly unified communications?