"The other side of presence is not just telling people you're there, but informing some sort of central control system about your status. Providing intelligence as to what's happening (to you) to your server so it can use that to organize information," said Jeremie Miller, founder of Jabber.org, an open-source IM group.
But while those tools may be cool, what the industry needs is to get businesses interested, he said. And IM can work there as well.
A major example would be the ability to help telcos improve call completion -- they only get paid when someone reaches their calling party. Having the ability to know whether someone is ready to answer a call, information an IM application could deliver, could drastically improve completion rates, he said.
But improved applications are needed to get the corporate world interested. Interoperability -- the ability to share data and information between applications -- is key, and something almost every company here stressed.
Of course, the company that almost everyone here wants to interoperate with -- America Online Inc., which dominates the messaging market -- has decided not to attend this show. But the mood of developer's seemed to be, 'no problem, we'll do this without them.