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Spark/Webex Teams Presence and Status. Please.

Firstly, I want to fully adopt Spark/Teams, I really do.  I will be asked to become an evangelist and I wanna be that guy.  But this is what I need to get there.

Lack of ability to see and set presence (similar to Jabber, MSTeams, S4B, Slack, every other UCaaS tool), as well as set a custom Status message is a severe limitation in the platform.  It renders Spark/Teams virtually unusable for my distributed team.

There is a notion that this is a design choice and that users should "change their mindset" around this because Slack is offered in mobile format.  This is not really valid and here's why:

1. We use status messages every day to inform our teammates (Unified Communications, right?).  "Working from home" or "Dr. Appt - be online in an hour" are two of the many everyday use cases that help teams stay connected and avoid frustration.  Neither is solved by "change your mindset".

2. Every other platform has a mobile version offering the same "always on" feature as Spark/Teams yet they haven't chosen to arbitrarily eliminate core functionality in favor of a hopeful paradigm shift.  This puts Spark/Teams behind all the competition in the very basics of UCaaS, which starts with "where is my teammate?".

3. Many users will choose not to install the mobile app, for many reasons.  My company enforces draconian security policies, for instance, that make using my phone for work matters very unappealing.  Many folks, including techies, are reverting back to dumb phones.  Many will not keep an app running in the background for resource or battery concerns. 

4. I intentionally don't want my coworkers following me down to the coffee shop or the restroom or into a lunch with my spouse. But I would like the ability to let them know when I might return.

5. A lot of other use cases.  I can go on all day, but see #2 again.

This one single limitation is a showstopper for my team.  In reality, Spark/Teams is behind in functionality but slowly adding features and making a play.  I believe the platform has great potential. But even as our company adopts this as its solution going forward, many employees will continue to use competing products that are much more integrated and fully-featured and have no additional cost associated with them, even if we need to switch over to Spark/Teams to make a phone call outside our walls. 

If there is a mindset change to be had, it really needs to happen on the Cisco product team, and very quickly.


Re: Spark/Webex Teams Presence and Status. Please.

Hi Justyn,

Right with you on this one. We are migrating our users from Jabber to Spark (or perhaps I should now say WebEx Teams) and although we love the Collaboration stuff that WT brings, it is being let down by these little things.

We find that where Jabber would announce your availability to the world if you were doing anything on your laptop, for example, WT will only announce your availability if you are doing something in the WT app. I have been doing stuff on my laptop for a while now today but WT is showing me as "Active 1 hour ago", which is the last time I did anything in WT. Jabber would be showing me as available as it knows that I am doing something.

As you say you cannot set any custom status messages, only DND for a preset period of time.

We have Hybrid calling set up with our on-prem CUCM and where Jabber would tell people that you are on a call, WT doesn't. So I will get calls from internal users even though I am on a call because they are no longer being informed of that. I find this odd as the WT app is aware that I am on a call but just not reflected on my status.

There are a bunch of other niggles that we have found (no Outlook Contact integration being one of them) and I have a bunch of cases open with Cisco on this but their stance is pretty well that Jabber and WT are different apps and that is that. If they could merge some of the Jabber features into WT then I think it would make it a whole lot better.


Re: Spark/Webex Teams Presence and Status. Please.

I agree with the above two posts on all points.  As a mobile worker that is at a different location from the rest of my teams on a daily basis, presence is a big deal and Teams just doesn't measure up. 


Re: Spark/Webex Teams Presence and Status. Please.

I concur, this is a major stumbling block for us moving forward with a full implementation of WT.


Re: Spark/Webex Teams Presence and Status. Please.

Has anyone received feedback from Cisco in regards to feature requests for Teams that they have posted in 

In my lengthy call with technical support for teams, they stated that the only way to submit a feature request is through them, and then there is no tracking of that request or any ability to see upcoming revisions to the application.

All of this seems very antiquated for something that is considered an enterprise application.

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