Something we almost take for granted within IBM is Sametime’s location awareness (also plugged into Notes 8.x of course). In IBM we have access to the extended functionality which ships with IBM Lotus Sametime Advanced (adhering to brand guidelines there, thankyou) – this not only keeps a record of locations you’ve been to yourself but will also present those locations to other users who arrive there.

Location awareness is tremendously useful for a number of reasons, especially in a highly-mobile organisation such as our own. Being aware of where someone is provides some simple benefits like knowing the best phone number to contact them on, or knowing whether it’s worth getting up from your office chair to walk round to where they normally sit. If someone is travelling, they may be in a different time zone and therefore may not be in ‘work mode’ when you are. They may even be in bed when they wouldn’t normally be. In short it gives you important information about how you can collaborate with them.

In the last thirty or so hours I’ve switched location several times and Sametime has got them all right. Yesterday I arrived at our Portsmouth office and the location switched to ‘North Harbour’. Back home, it switched to ‘Camberley’. When I arrived in Staines this morning it switched to ‘Lotus Park’. I then headed for the airport, and once seated in the bmi business lounge I connected to BT Openzone… the location automatically (no intervention from me) switched to ‘Heathrow T1’.

This evening I arrived at the rather nice Park Plaza Tyrrelstown hotel in Dublin. Clearly someone from IBM has already been here (no big surprise, it’s very near our Ballycoolin and Mulhuddart offices) because the location automatically switched to ‘Tyrrelstown’ when I plugged into the free broadband. Take note, English hotels… “free broadband”.

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