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.