Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Line56: IBM Lotus: Presence Push

I did an interview last week with Line56 for an article on presence.  The article brings up some very good points about the value of presence, which really is central to the concepts of real-time collaboration and unified communications and collaboration.

Full article here:  IBM Lotus: Presence Push

Businesses have been behind the curve on presence, the technology that allows you to see when other people are online. Most businesses still think of presence as the instant messaging (IM) buddy list, but the truth is that presence can be embedded into any application or document.

That's the message we got from Adam Gartenberg, Manager for Unified Communications in IBM's collaborative software unit, along with a sneak peak at an upcoming IBM Lotus update: "In Q1 of next year, there's going to be an update to surface presence inside Microsoft Office documents and Microsoft Outlook."
The most pressing problem is business collaboration is that, when you really want to collaborate, you can't. An important thought strikes you while reading a document or e-mail, and there is no easy way to call together a quick meeting (even if it is informal a multi-party IM chat session) based on that thought. The great thing about presence is that you can see if the authors of a document or e-mail are online; as in an IM client, presence indicators can show the exact status (available, unavailable, temporarily busy, out for lunch &c) of your potential collaborators, and other tools let you invite those people to a chat or Web conference, making it simple to round up an ad hoc team.