Integrating Telephony, IM, Video And Mobility With Presence
by Irwin Lazar
Published June 2006; Posted December 2006



Presence dashboards aim to integrate various forms of real-time communications into a unified view. Are they ready for deployment?

As enterprises have come to increasingly rely on new forms of communications services, such as instant messaging, mobile phones, IP-telephony, and desktop videoconferencing, the reality is that all of these new applications have served to make communications more cumbersome than ever before. Individuals often operate as “communications detectives,” using a series of logical guesses in an attempt to pick the optimal communications medium for a given situation.

For example, one may first check their IM buddy list to see if a co-worker is on line before calling. Or one may preface a call with an IM to see if the person on the other end has time to talk. If the person isn’t on line, a call to a mobile phone is the likely result, or perhaps leaving voice mail in multiple places while also sending an email that hopefully will be read via a BlackBerry.

In this environment, group communications is nearly impossible, with the result being that most group communications occur during pre-scheduled teleconferences during which a constant struggle occurs to take attendance as people both join and leave the conference.

Given these scenarios, numerous vendors and service providers have introduced the capability to converge disparate communications systems and applications into a single, unified dashboard that enables individuals to see if others are available, and initiate communications via whatever applications or services are available.



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About the author:

Irwin Lazar is a senior analyst with Burton Group where he covers VOIP and related real-time applications and technologies.


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