What Is Presence?


The term “presence” refers to the collective body of information a communication network possesses on team members’ availability to communicate — both via phone and via text chat. A simple example of presence is a status indicator.

The indicator would tell the staff within an organization that a particular team member is off the phone by displaying a green icon. If the person in question is currently engaged in a phone conversation, the icon would appear red. A few more sophisticated examples of presence include:

  • An automatically triggered “unavailable” status when a team worker enters a meeting room.
  • Location and availability status that is updated when a team member logs into an office computer or mobile device.


How Does Presence Work?


Presence works by using device location data, company-wide login information, and voluntary status updates to maintain a real-time snapshot of availability. This data includes who is available within a team, where they’re located, and their current willingness to interact by phone or chat session.


Benefits of Presence


  • More efficient communication: Seeing availability in real-time eliminates the need to play phone tag or the time burden of sending out emails merely to learn when a team member is available.
  • Easier remote worker management: It can be a challenge for managers to keep track of telecommuting workers. Presence data can alleviate this uncertainty by providing managers real-time insight into remote worker availability.
  • Greater flexibility in communication: Data on availability helps bridge the gap between your in-office staff and mobile workers. Presence data makes it easier for your whole team to communicate flexibly.


Who Should Use Presence?


Any business whose team is geographically spread out can benefit from presence data. The technology is also efficacious for groups engaged in a wide range of activities and whose success relies on a dynamic flow of company-wide conversations.

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