Alec Saunders showed me iotum, his company’s “relevance engine” here at ETel, and I was pretty impressed. An attempt to reverse the trend of growing complexity in our communications environments, iotum queries apps like your calendar and IM client to help determine how specific calls should be handled, and makes filtering decisions based on who’s calling, time of day, what’s on your calendar, etc. It does most of its decision making automatically in the background, with only a minimal amount of initial set-up required. By paying attention to your calling habits, IM presence, schedule, and location information if available, iotum can go a long way towards smoothing out the flow of your daily communications. It can do things like notice on your calendar when you’re out of the office, and route important calls that come in there to your cell phone. Or if it sees a series of back and forth calls with an important client that may mean a negotiation is taking place, decide that if another call comes in from that client after your work hours you probably still want to get it.
I was particularly impressed with the part of the demo where the user placed himself in busy mode on his IM client, which normally conveys to iotum not to let calls directly through, but when it noticed a call coming in from a client who the user had a scheduled meeting with later that afternoon, it decided that call was important enough to put through (with the idea being the client is most likely calling to postpone, change, or reschedule the upcoming appointment and it’s probably a call you’ll want to take).