Skype for Business presence in the real world

The colours that Skype for Business (formerly Lync) uses to denote presence are fairly common amongst most instant messaging platforms and applications.

This particular blog post covers what those presence colours mean in the real world, not what they actually represent. J

What users see next to your presence depends on whether they are internal or external. For example in Skype for Business when a user is busy, other internal users will see one of 4 options:

Status Description
Busy Based on the Outlook calendar status – if it has an appointment then the Skype presence automatically changes to match.
In a call When the user is in a Skype for Business call, either to another Skype for Business user or via PSTN.
In a meeting When the user is scheduled to be in a Skype for Business meeting (but actually isn’t), or if scheduled for a meeting with multiple people (that isn’t using Skype for Business).
In a conference call When actually participating in a Skype for Business meeting.

These are relatively straight forward. External users however will see just your status as Busy.

Here’s my breakdown of the general Skype for Business presence status, and what it means to people seeing that status:

Status External user interpretation
Available “Clearly you’re not doing anything, so let’s talk.”
Busy “I can see you’re busy, but I’m going to contact you anyway.”

Usually this is broached by the person asking the person with the busy presence “Hey, can you IM?”

Do not disturb This is like standing at a window waving for attention, the equivalent of “hey, hey, hey, do you see me? Can you talk?”

Or alternatively “I’ll just call their mobile phone.”

Away “How are they not in front of their computer right now? It’s business hours”?

Or “Geez that’s a long lunch break!”

Offline This one comes down to how important you think you are. When a user is offline you have the choice to:

  • Send them an email and they will respond when they get to it
  • Tag them for status change so you can get right up in their face the moment they come online
  • Call them now, this cannot wait!

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