Profiles add an interesting dimension to dot TEL for both businesses and individual users. They can be used to set, and then easily switch between different conditions at the touch of a button – or potentially at different times of the day.
Profiles are similar to user status in an online application such as instant messaging or Skype – eg Busy, Away or Not Available, or like an email vacation message. But they’re a bit more subtle and a lot more powerful.
Dot TEL doesn’t just store and exchange contact information. It allows users to communicate preferred methods of contact by prioritizing them from high to low. It’s a degree of sensitivity that few of us acknowledge or respect, but one that’s likely to be more and more vital to all of us, as we strive to balance our business and personal lives.
As a business owner with a long commute, I need to be easily available for key customers, but I also want to balance this with home time. Dot TEL would allow me to have three profiles for business that I can switch between when I’m:
• At home
• Commuting or on the road
• At work
While my contact information will be largely the same, with Profiles I can state the preferred method of contacting me by ordering the information differently.
For a business, Profiles could be used to distinguish between contact preferences during outside office hours and outside office hours.
In the short term, Profiles may seem to many, to be an unnecessary level of user customization and TelHosting keeps things simple by allowing you to turn them off if you don’t want to use them.
It’s good to see this level of thought going into the underlying architecture and it provides a layer of future proofing for our increasingly sophisticated communications needs.
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