The Great Presence Challenge

We’ve all done this. You are sitting in front of your PC working on a project and realize that you need some important information from a coworker. Let’s call that coworker Deborah Olson. You click over to Microsoft Lync, find Deborah in your contacts list, and see that her presence jellybean shows her to be available.

What do you do next? Do you pick up the phone and call Deborah? No, you send her an instant message that looks similar to the following:

“Hi, Deborah. Are you busy? May I call you?”

So, what exactly did Deborah’s jellybean tell you? Clearly, not enough. Even though it indicated that she was available, her presence icon isn’t the green light (pardon the pun) that it should be. It didn’t say, “I am here and waiting to take your call.” Alas, available is nearly always second guessed as “I need to ask just to make sure available really means available.”

In my latest article for No Jitter, I ask the question, “Is presence stupid.”  I also challenge my readers to come up with ideas on how to make it smarter and more relevant to the way we actually do business.

The Great Presence Jellybean Challenge


  1. I like the idea of varying degrees of the “Available” status itself. For an example; solid green could obviously mean you are free and available to talk. Then green with a yellow band through it, maybe indicating you are free to chat but you are also working on something. And then maybe a green status with a red band meaning you will be available momentarily.

    1. Thanks, Jim. I know that some people do something similar with manual settings and status messages (e.g. “On the phone, but open to IM”). However, that doesn’t change the presence icon coloring. I like your idea!

  2. HI Andrew,
    First of all, i am really sorry for write this in reply…. But i dont have a choice bcz for me all mails are blocked.. but i could not resolve this issue.
    the issue is , we are using Minisip server for testing purpose… our set up is

    MSS (Stun)==> Vuatta Router(NAT)==> MSS

    we need to make a call from one SIP ac from MSS to another SIP account in the same MSS via Vyatta Router… we have tried the same got succeed little bit, like calls are connecting internally (MSS to MSS), when we are making calls from MSS to MSS via Vyatta router calls are not connecting.

    Vyatta Router configuration:-
    set interfaces ethernet eth0 address
    set service ssh
    set nat source rule 10 source address ‘’
    set nat source rule 10 outbound-interface ‘eth0’
    set nat source rule 10 protocol ‘all’
    set nat source rule 10 translation address ‘masquerade’
    set protocols static route next-hop distance ‘1’

    pls help me out…
    PS I dont know who else to ask this …

    Thanks in advance.

    1. I wish I could help, but nothing in what you said jumps out at me as your problem. This is the kind of problem that needs to be debugged in person. Sorry. 😦

      1. ok… No problem….🙂

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