Presence is the ability to detect another user’s availability. Using Skype for Business, users can display their presence status—for example, Available, Away, Do Not Disturb, or Offline—to let others know their availability. Skype for Business presence information is presented throughout the Office 365 suite, such as in OneDrive for Business, which shows the status of the person who last edited a document. Users can instantly find and communicate with people from within Microsoft Outlook. This connection occurs wherever the user sees a coloured presence indicator that represents a person’s presence status. The user can then click the presence icon and initiate a communication by using Skype for Business and the interactive Office contact card. This feature is called “click-to-communicate.”
When Outlook calendar integration is enabled, a user can check another user’s schedule and get up-to-date availability information directly from that person’s calendar. This makes it easy to determine when someone will be available.
Instant messaging (IM) is the ability to transfer text messages in real time over an Internet Protocol (IP) network such as the Internet or an organization's corporate network. Instant messaging is available for both Skype-to-Skype and multiparty communication. IM text is encrypted for enhanced security.
Customers can configure how their own Skype for Business contact card appears to other people.
If picture display is enabled, users can also change their picture from the default picture that is stored in the directory service. With Skype for Business for Office 365 client users’ replacement pictures can be of any fidelity, including high-definition (HD), and of any size. Exchange will adjust the file size and image dimensions to make it suitable for the contact picture.
You can create a persistent list of contacts for all Skype for Business users, ensuring that the contact information a user requires is immediately available. You can add other users to your Contacts list, organise, and group these contacts in different ways (by department, for example). You can also search those user's company address books to find other users—which means it is not necessary to add someone to the Contacts list to detect presence or send an instant message.
Using Skype for Business, service users can search the address book for other users in their organization. They can also add email addresses and distribution lists to their Contacts lists. Instant messages can be sent to individual members of a distribution list or the entire distribution list. Distribution lists can be expanded to see the individual members.
Within the Skype for Business IM window, photos of the sender/receiver appear inline with the conversation. This adds visual context to IM conversations, particularly in meeting scenarios where multiple people may be chatting at the same time.
With enhanced presence privacy mode, users can restrict their presence information so that it is visible only to the contacts listed in their Skype for Business Contacts list. When enabled, the option to restrict presence information to contacts becomes available in the Skype for Business status options. When disabled, users can choose either to always let everyone see their presence information, or to adhere to any future changes the administrator makes to the privacy mode.