Don't get me wrong, e-mail, instant messaging, and some collaboration tools, have become important, even critical, carriers of business communications. They speed the flow of business and reduce its cost in ways that only telephony could achieve before. But presence information will put an end to whatever inefficiencies remain in the communications networks that carry out business messaging by eliminating the wasted messages and wasted telephone calls that result from communicating with people that aren't there or that aren't where they can receive the messages sent to them.
By pinpointing where people are and how they can be communicated with, presence information enables all messages to be carried successfully from initiator to recipient, without delay. The lack of delay means that no one has to wonder if their message was received, and no one has to wonder when they might get a response. That's because the same presence technology will give the recipient information about where the initiator is, even if he or she moves around after sending the first message. After all, people do still go home at night and leave their digital devices behind.
Presence technology does involve telephony systems, but I'm not sure that it will have the same impact there that it does in digital messaging systems. If it does, that's great because wasted phone calls are as frustrating as wasted e-mail messages, and voice mail is a less-than-satisfactory answer to that problem, especially in cellular systems.
However it plays out, presence technology and presence information will grow in importance, and news about it will be front-and-center at Messaging Pipeline. Bet on it.
John Dickinson is editor of www.messagingpipeline.com.