The ability to see the real time presence information about someone is one of the most overlooked aspects of modern communications. It was not that long ago that when you needed some information from another person you picked up the phone or wrote an email with no real expectation if they were really going to answer you in a short period of time. You had no idea even if they were at their workspace to answer you at all. Now with the ability to look at a directory of users and to see that the person you want to talk to is available or not before your place the call or email saves you time.
The time saving is a soft cost for most users but can be a real hard cost for call center agents that need an answer right now. With knowledge before a call that the user is not available the caller can find another resource that is available to get their answer. This time savings can be a few moments to several days depending on how long the non-available person is out of touch. Even with shaving a few seconds off the time to get an answer can save companies large amounts of money.
With the Presence functionality of modern communication a user can know that the person they need to reach is in a meeting and will not be available until later that day or on vacation and will be out of touch for the next week. The user can judge within seconds to wait for the person or to go to another source. It also works for the person being called as they can set their presence status so that no one can contact them if they need to be heads down working on a project with a tight deadline.
Once users get used to working with realtime presence they tend to forget what it was like without it. They go about their day knowing that the people they need to contact are available or not no matter if they are in the next cube or across the planet. Presence just works; it’s one of those small things that make our lives easier without make a big deal. Presence provides a big impact with very little effort on either the users or the callers.