Cisco is advertising it. Microsoft is pushing it. Presence. For Fortune 1000 companies that already are Microsoft and Cisco shops, the integration of Cisco's Presence and HD Video Conferencing as well as MS Live Comm Server and its IM/Presence and Voice over IM into the workplace works at the F1000 level. Because the vendor-client relationships at the F1000 level are co-mingled. How does that work at the Medium (500 employees and less) or even at the Small (99 and under) business level?
The Productivity gains that Presence is supposed to deliver come from integrated communications. So instead of phone tag, you will see that the person you want to talk with is out of the office with his mobile off. So you send an SMS message and an email. This works if the people you need to communicate with give you that kind of access.
Where this really pays off for the Service Provider is in a Hosted model to increase TCO (total cost of ownership) and ROI (return on investment) gains. Also, if you are providing desktop or server support for a client, Presence may be a way to strengthen ties with the client while providing seemingly better support.
As Dale pointed out this monring, how do you get around being blamed for the SIP / Voice functionality if you are not providing that? Good question. Either you need to very clearly define your service or you need to partner with the SIP Provider. (PBX-Change is waiting for your call at 888.482.6723.
I can see how a campus environment can use Presence. UNC at Charlotte just went Cisco (read PR here). The college controls the IT environ for all its employees and students, so it can dictate what platform.
UNC Charlotte has selected a broad set of Cisco Unified Communications applications to unify workspaces across the campus. Cisco Unified Communications Manager provides protocol interworking between the originating and the terminating sides of a call. Cisco Unified Mobility Manager helps to enable single-number reach to people with mobile phones or multiple offices. Cisco Unified Presence Software delivers real-time presence information so that a caller can determine when others are available as well as what their preferred communications media are. Cisco Unified Personal Communicator helps to enable instant messaging, video, voice and presence information in a single interface for Windows and Macintosh desktops.... The university also intends to deploy Cisco's 7921 wireless phone.
What was th etrigger for UNC@C? "The workspace strategy for UNC Charlotte was enhanced by our ability to support and implement Session Initiation Protocol and integration with third-party endpoints and applications." SIP and the 3rd party system --- and possibly because they didn't want to deal with Nortel.
Jabber blogs about inter-operability in Presence. (We have to use 3rd party vendors to get IM inter-play).