Jeff Pulver writes in his blog that Skype's recent announcements that it is opening up its APIs to developers will help bring the concept of "Presence" to the consumer and enterprise market. Jeff notes that few understand what Presence really means.
In my conversations with enterprises, this is rapidly changing. Spurred by the introduction of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and its ability to deliver presence-based voice, video, IM, and collaboration, enterprises are rapidly coming to the realization that the future isn't just about VoIP, it's about enterprise-wide unified, presence-based IP communications.
We covered this trend in our "End of Telephony" session at Catalyst in July, and I'm moderating a repeat panel at our European event this November. The more I talk with our enterprise clients the more I see that they "get it" when it comes to IP communications. Less frequently do I see enterprises buying phone systems in a vacuum, rather increasingly the question that they ask is "how will that integrate with my collaboration strategy"? The future is about enabling a whole suite of unified enterprise communications, of which VoIP is just one of many real-time communications applications, all with presence capabilities, and all accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device.