The Intelligent Presence server collects and integrates presence information from multiple sources for a richer view of a worker's status. More specifically, the Presence Server will aggregate presence information from Avaya and third party sources, such as those from Microsoft and IBM, using standard protocols such as, SIP/SIMPLE and XMPP.
Being able to tie together all presence sources is becoming increasingly critical. To date, the choice of a presence server is somewhat binary for most enterprises as its largely being driven the gravity of their UC investments. Outside of the call center this means the desktop and that implies Microsoft’s OCS or IBM Lotus Sametime. (Incidentally, the same could be said of Cisco, but its market position and broad reach within the IT community changes the equation.. Nortel will run with Microsoft OCS as part of its Innovative Communications Alliance.) The rest of the market must find a way to work these two servers.
Avaya knows this well and this competitiveness underscores the public face of the Microsoft and Avaya relationship. Two years ago the tension broke at a roundtable I hosted at Voicecon between Karyn Mashima, senior vice president of strategy and technology at Avaya, and Dennis Karlinsky of Microsoft’s united communications group:
So when Avaya briefed me about its Intelligent Presence server two weeks ago, I thought it was making the right move. Avaya has continued to focus on enriching the enterprise infrastructure through its CEBP offering that blends SOA and telephony. The Presence Server aligns with that strategy and in so doing will even go beyond those core capabilities offered by IBM and Microsoft.
Presence sources are proliferating and a user’s online status will be indicated my more than just their activity at the deskto.p. Mobile presence will drive their status while on the road and increasingly in the office. Consumer presence engines, such as AIM, Yahoo, and Gmail, are more prevalent in the enterprise than enterprise-specific engines. Other presence sources for specific devices, such as RFID tags, sensors and other will increasingly emerge.
Aggregating those other presence sources together could give Avaya the competitive edge that it lacks in the enterprise by not owning the desktop. Already Avaya’s Jorge Blanco told me that the company plans on using XMPP to integrate with the broader Jabber community as well as presence status from consumer services, such as Gmail. Let’s hope they don’t stop there.