Balance presence with counter-presence
Advanced collaboration solutions must be "permission-based" as well as "presence-driven." Intelligent reach, not just greater reach, is required to create an atmosphere of efficient and polite communication exchanges. Does the presence solution allow a user to define when, as well as how, in certain circumstances, the user can be reached? For example, a sales manager may not wish to be disturbed by a phone call, even though the manager's device is open, at the same time they are about to close a new contract. Preferences must also accommodate e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging and other modes of communication – each valuable in different scenarios without adding to communication chaos.
Bring presence into the core
Enterprise must begin to value presence for more than its out-of-the-box capabilities. That means a direct link to line-of-business processes and workflow
Cultural barriers are critical
With presence, enterprises are embracing a technology that is much bigger than just an IT or telecommunications project. Senior management support is required to ensure entire organizational commitment to the presence way of doing business. Functional and cross-functional areas must be identified with the help of human resource managers. Division leaders must be readied to explore and expose their own business processes to create maximum linkages. Team members must be taught how to stop messaging and start collaborating: working with others on a real-time basis to achieve mutually identified goals.
Invest in change
Only by the adoption of open, standards-based presence solutions can an enterprise ensure complete interoperability with existing applications and networks as well as with future customizations.
Face the truth. Employees will continue to use many different networks – LANs, WANs, Wi-Fi, GSM and PSTN, for example – to collaborate and get things done. Enterprises seeking best-in-class solutions will have to continue adopting multi-modal as well as multi-vendor solutions. This will include ensuring the seamless integration of fixed-line carrier, mobile carrier and enterprise solutions. Packets of voice and data must be effective over the air as they are across wires, and agile enough to move from land line, to cell and to Wi-Fi – creating a unified experience for today's mobile and on-the-go worker.
About the author:
As Chief Technology Officer at Siemens Communications, Bob Thompson is responsible for bringing to the U.S. market the entire Siemens Communications portfolio of strategic offerings, including SURPASS next-generation network carrier solutions and HiPath advanced IP enterprise solutions. In his position, he ensures that Siemens offerings meet customer requirements and are delivered on time and to specification.
In particular, Bob is responsible for the global realization of the Siemens LifeWorks(tm) strategic vision for integrating home, business and carrier networks as well as wired and wireless networks, so end-users can gain more control over their communications and productivity in their work and personal lives. Toward this end, he directs development of the HiPath 8000, a carrier-grade VoIP platform for very large enterprises, and for HiPath OpenScape, Siemens' groundbreaking, presence-aware business collaboration and productivity tool.
Bob's long tenure with Siemens started in 1984. He has held a wide variety of operational and executive positions with the company including sales and development. His experience in both these areas helps him to be uniquely capable of understanding Siemens customers' requirements and translating them into solutions that bring additional value to their businesses.
This was first published in September 2005