Depending on what research you subscribe to you will hear that 40-60% of all calls either end up in or are checking voicemail. Now I am no expert on productivity and how it correlates to GDP and work output but it seems to me that even shaving a percent off the above numbers is a major improvement.

Certainly I am a big believer in a world of presence enabled applications and technologies and devices. This is one of the reasons my company launched SIP magazine in fact. I know in the future we will have intelligent networks that will know where we are and what we are doing and these agents will be able to forward our calls to the correct phone depending on where we are, what our presence information is and who is calling.

So I am happy that IBM has teamed up with Telenor to develop Presence Advanced Services for Telco Applications or "PASATA."

The technology holds great promise not only because of its applications in the enterprise, but also because it can streamline call routing efficiency for wireless networks, thus easing network congestion. Through the smart routing of calls, network operators stand to benefit because calls won’t terminate in places where they’re not supposed to. For example, if a user sets his phone to forward calls to voicemail from 2 to 4 p.m., any calls which come in during that time are automatically forwarded to voicemail, thus they don’t have to travel over the rest of the outbound network. The same result is achieved when a user sets the phone to forward calls based on his or her location.

Both companies claim that PASATA’s ability to enable a device to "learn" about its user’s habits is what sets it apart from other presence tools currently in use by mobile telecom providers. Similar to SOA, the standards-based infrastructure works with a variety of wireless networks including GSM, GPS, RFID and WiFi (NewsAlert). The one surprise here is that bluetooth isn’t a main technology being used and there is no mention of it at all in this article.

The only downside is this technology works today with WebSphere Presence Server (WPrS), and WebSphere has such small market share that it is possible no one cares about this news. Hopefully I am wrong and this technology will take off or perhaps it will be ported to completing platforms and if it does we can expend big productivity gains as presence detection becomes ubiquitous.

More likely, Microsoft will respond with competing but identical technology and get the credit for inventing the concept – except from a handful of nerdy historians.

  • Mariano Malisani
    September 19, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Isn’t that PASTA? lol, I guess it didn’t sound so good saying IBM and Telenor team up for PASTA. Anyway, very truthful about Microsoft, and I hope this contributes to that ultimate goal of intelligent call routing.
    Will link from my blog, very interesting, keep it up Rich and great work on the IT Expo! Didn’t make it this year but i’m looking forward to the next.

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