Presence and a snow day

January 23, 2012  |  No Comments  |  by   |  Blog, News

In discussions with clients, presence is one of those features that often gets shoved off as “unnecessary”. For the traditional business model (where workers are at work and don’t move around unless they are off shift), presence is hard to see the value in. It is only when clients have technical installers that I really get a chance to discuss the value of presence Lync Online (Note that we use it daily to track movement of our on-site engineers or sales staff, so its one of our favorite features).

Yet last week, many businesses had 80-90% of their staff working remotely 3-4 days in a row. For even the traditional business model, presence would have been insanely useful…

As I wake up in the morning, I can glance at the Lync Online dashboard and tell who has signed into work, who made it to the office, who made it to client install sites, and who isn’t on at all. Why is this important?

First and foremost, lets as business owners take a moment to note how much harder it is for employees to “pad hours” with fake remote work logs. As soon an employee steps away from their computer for 5 minutes, they are shown as ‘away’. I can ping them at any moment on IM, and in theory if they are working, they should be able to instantly respond.

For our firm it went much further as we were able easily see what is going on during the “snowmageddon” chaos (not a word I coined… Washington news stations kinda went overboard…).

  • Several staff members are on-and-off without power. In a glance I can see who is able to respond to client issues, how many people we have staffing our customer service line (helpdesk), and who is able to answer the physical line vs the remote access to our helpdesk voicemail.
  • For meetings we had scheduled it is easy to see if the key players are even available. We then either spin up a quick video/collaboration session or cancel the meeting if needed.

The image below shows what we might see when logging into Lync Online at a given moment. Unfortunately, we do have to censor our client site info for privacy reasons (hence the blue lines), but I think you get the point how handy this can get when tracking 20+ employees.


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