How to Contact Others

Each contact in your Contact List has a Presence status button that reflects his or her current state of availability. You can use a contact’s presence status to decide which mode of communication is best suited for successful communication with the contact. For example, if a contact is available, you can send her an instant message or make an audio call to her. If a contact is busy, you might want to send her an e-mail message or check her Contact Card to determine when she is free for a conversation.

What do you want to do?

Determine a contact's status

View a person's Contact Card

View calling options

Tag a contact so you are notified when they are available

Determine a contact's status

The presence information that is displayed for each contact in your Contact List reflects the availability of the contact. Presence status is indicated graphically by an indicator to the left of the contact’s name, and by a text string to the right of the contact’s name. Some presence states, such as Available, can be set by the user or by Communicator. Other presence states, such as Inactive, can only be set by Communicator.

Presence Button

Status Text

Description

Available

Available

The contact is online and can participate in conversations. This status can be set manually by the user.

Busy

Busy
In a Call
In a Conference
In a Meeting

The contact is available but engaged in another activity. Activities include:

  • In a call    The contact is in a phone, voice, or video conversation.

  • In a Conference     The contact is in a multiparty conversation using phone, voice, video, or application sharing.

  • In a Meeting     The Office Outlook calendar shows that the contact has a scheduled meeting.


This presence level can be set manually by the user.

Do not disturb

Do Not Disturb

You see this status for a contact if the contact has assigned you to an access level other than the Team level and one of the following conditions exist:

  • The contact has manually set his or her presence status to Do Not Disturb

  • The contact is displaying a PowerPoint presentation or is running another program in full-screen mode.

Busy

Urgent interruptions only

You see this status for a contact if the contact has assigned you to the Team access level and one of the following conditions exist:

  • The contact has manually set his or her presence status to Do Not Disturb.

  • The contact is displaying a PowerPoint presentation or is running another program in full-screen mode.

Away

Away

The contact is probably not available. This status is displayed for the following reasons:

  • The contact’s computer has been idle for more than the idle time period setting—15 minutes by default.

  • The contact’s Office Outlook calendar or Out of Office Assistant indicates that he or she is out of the office.

  • The contact is temporarily unavailable. As soon as activity is detected on the contact’s computer, Communicator 2007 automatically resets the presence status to the appropriate state.

  • The contact has manually set his or her presence status to Away.

Inactive

Inactive

This contact may be available, but his or her computer has been idle for more than the idle time period setting—five minutes by default. In this state, the contact is online and transitioning from an Available state, as indicated by the half-green/half-yellow button. This status is set by Communicator.

Busy Inactive

Busy (Inactive)

This contact is engaged in a meeting or is scheduled to be in a meeting (as indicated in the Outlook calender), but his or her computer has been inactive for the idle time period setting—5 minutes by default. In this state, the contact is online, typically in a meeting and his or her computer is idle. This status is set by Communicator.

Offline

Offline

Communicator cannot determine the status of the contact. This status is usually displayed because the contact’s presence status is stored in another computer system, such as that of an organization that is not a federated partner.

Presence unknown

Presence unknown

Communicator cannot determine the status of the contact. This status is usually displayed because the contact’s presence status is stored in another computer system, such as that of an organization that is not a federated partner.

Blocked

Blocked

This button is displayed in your Contact List next to the contact name you have blocked. To the person you have blocked, you appear to be offline.

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View a person's Contact Card

If a contact’s status is not available, you can open their Contact Card to get additional details to determine when they are free.

To view a contact’s schedule information

  • In the Contact List, click the contact’s Presence button. If a contact has granted you the Company access level or higher, you can click their Presence button to view their schedule and determine when they are available.

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View calling options

Sometimes you need to contact a person on their cell phone or at an alternate number. In Communicator, you can view a contact’s alternate phone numbers by clicking the View More Options for Calling This Contact arrow.

To view a contact's optional phone numbers

  1. In the Contact List, click the arrow to the right of the Call button associated with the contact.

  2. The phone numbers that you see for a contact are determined by the access level the contact has granted you. For example, if the contact has granted you Team or Personal access, you see his or her mobile phone number. If a contact’s mobile number is not available to you, you can contact that person and ask them to raise your access level to Team or Personal. The contact must publish his mobile phone number before it can be available.

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Tag a contact so you are notified when they are available

Communicator can notify you of changes in a contact’s availability by displaying an alert whenever their presence status changes to Available or Offline. The alert shows the contact’s name, title, instant messaging address, and new presence status. You can click the alert to start an instant messaging session with the contact. Configuring Communicator to display this alert for a given contact is called tagging.

To tag a contact

  • In the Contact List, right-click a contact, and then click Tag for Status Change Alerts.

To view tagged contacts in the contact list

  • In the Communicator window, click the Change the way you view your contacts button, and then click Tagged Contacts. This view shows all your currently tagged contacts.

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