Remember the old days when every credible Southern California 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?
Start By Talking to an Independent Unified Communications Consultant
If you've built your business around Microsoft you already know that Microsoft will want to sell you their version of presence -- and maybe their presence solutions are best for your situation. But don't you think you need to speak with an impartial expert about the merits of other equipment or cloud based solutions?
How about Google Aps? You can't swing a dead cat in a full circle without hitting a local government or university IT director giving a Google Aps case study success story.
What about Salesforce.com, the original "No Software" company? Visit their website and you'll see the names of numerous companies from the smallest to the largest that have dumped all their software licenses in favor going "all cloud".
And what about your current business phone system vendor? Whether you're with Avaya, NEC, Mitel, Cisco, Siemens or some other phone vendor, certainly you've got a pile of money invested in their desktop phone solutions and are most likely your current "presence vendor".
Certainly you need to speak with all the presence vendors that want your business but by starting the conversation first with an unbiased UC consultant you'll be working with an expert that has your success in mind. By starting your UC conversations with a presence vendor you're going to be speaking with someone that is afraid of loosing your business or might say anything you want to hear in order to earn your business.
An unbiased UC consultant will ultimately recommend multiple UC vendors best suited for your unique business situation -- but only after helping you define what exactly you need to buy and in what unique configurations you need to buy it.
Need help finding an unbiased UC consultant to help you buy your "last" presence system? Give us a call. We'll let you know what we can do for you as well as introduce you to people who are even smarter than us.
Is This Solution Right For You?
The only way to learn is to give me a call. I specialize in helping Southern California business customers in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario and beyond. If we set you up for our free 45-minute consulting call (click here for details) we might be able to solve your problem for free!