A strange thing has been happening to business telephony over the past decade: All the people you need or want to speak to have turned into voice mail.
Sometimes when they get your message and call you back, youve turned into voice mail as well.
This wastes a huge amount of time—and is, I believe, one of the main drivers of the “presence” capability that started in IM (instant messaging) and will soon be spreading to a unified communications platform near you.
Here are a few data points and thoughts, then well get to the lessons:
Because circuit-switched telephony is thoroughly instrumented and standardized, you can pull a lot of data off of a Class 5 switch (the engine at the center of most large business phone—PABX or PBX—systems).
When I was looking at the viability of changing over to VOIP (voice over IP) a couple of years ago, I had the team that supported our telephone system in the United States pull a years worth of CDR (call detail records) from the switches and analyze them for various patterns of use.
We had about 9,000 people and 6,000 physical extensions on the system, spread over a dozen switches—plenty of data to work with.