Awareness- it’s not just for New Age Boomers anymore!

In the old, old days of business communications you would call someone on the phone and hope to reach them. Statistically, your chances of connecting to someone on the first try were quite low and you often ended up leaving a message with an assistant and waiting for a callback.

Then along came voicemail—now you could leave a message.  No assistant was needed, but your chances of reaching that person live probably worsened and you ended up playing “phone tag” and getting stuck in “voicemail jail.” The mobile phone helped, but also added a new problem: what number do you use to reach someone? When texting and Instant Messaging began to become popular, “presence” began to make an impact.  No one wanted to undergo the labor of typing out a message and hoping for the best. Instead, a little status indicator light next to a name or avatar indicates whether someone is available to receive your message. Now you can also get geo-presence—you can see exactly where a person is located.

According to Avaya, the next step beyond presence is “awareness.” A communications solution equipped with awareness will pay attention to not just where people are located and whether they are online, but also to their “real connection” to the matter at hand and what content needs to be shared.
Brett Shockley, Avaya’s senior VP and general manager for applications and emerging technologies, likens a communications-aware system to an executive assistant who parses and analyzes your email and other communications to arrange a meeting on your calendar, finds and delivers the documents you will need and then, when it’s time to connect, dials the number for you.

At a recent industry conference, Shockley showed a demonstration of awareness in action, using a smart filter in the Avaya Flare® Experience to set up a conference call. Starting with a display of his most recent and frequent contacts, he dragged and dropped contact cards for each potential participant.  As he made selections, the Avaya Flare software analyzed the connections between those people to identify the common project they were all working on and then pulled in documents related to that project.

Shockley said this kind of solution is designed to help “save the first 10 minutes out of every hour,” meaning the time you might waste pulling together the people and information required for the meeting to actually get started.

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About Vic Levinson
Telecommunications and IT professional with over 20 years experience in Business Telecommunications. Specializing in voice over IP (VoIP) for business: hosted VoIP, business VoIP phone systems, SIP providers, carriers, T1's - the works. Founded Prime Telecommunications in 1993 and providing business communications solutions. Cloud Applications- everything from hosted network security, hosted Disaster Recovery, hosted printer management, data centers and colocation solutions for businesses.

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