Presence and the Enterprise

As I prepare for the Exploding the Enterprise panel at Supernova in two weeks, my reading is colored by the topic. Thus, this article on presence from Business Communications Review caught my attention. We're inclined to associate presence with IM since that's where its used most pervasively, but presence messages could be separated from the IM application and deployed as a general-purpose infrastructure that's usable by many apps, including IM. In this scenario, presence messages would flow between machines over an enterprise messaging infrastructure.

What generates these presence messages? Applications such as your calendar or word processing program. I'd like people to be able to tell I'm on the phone, in a meeting (although not necessarily with who), or even that I'm very focused on a task so that they can more effectively time their interruptions. That means these applications have to be able to send presence messages about what I'm doing. Some worry about the privacy concerns, but that's only a problem if you don't let the user control what's visible and what's not.

This doesn't get us to an answer to the question of the Exploding the Enterprise panel, however which is "does any of this make any difference?" I've got an open topic in the Ask Phil Forum for you to leave your questions and comments for the panel before the show.