Friday, September 5, 2008

Cool Technology of the Week

Today, I received several requests from customers and other stakeholders to meet with me. Some send Outlook invitations, some call my assistant, some send email, and some propose times without checking with anyone. I'll be honest that Outlook invitations just do not work with my schedule, since I'm usually in five or more different locations each day and Outlook invitations can schedule me in Boston from 1pm-2pm and Washington DC from 2pm-3pm.

Since Outlook invitations, random proposed times, and constant back and forth among assistants can be problematic, is there a create IT solution to help with scheduling a meeting?

Dave deBronkart, the famous e-Patient Dave, works for TimeTrade, which makes enterprise-scale appointment systems for scheduling driving tests with the Department of Motor Vehicles, counseling with financial advisors and even sessions with PetCo pet groomers.

Dave has used their TimeDriver product (free for 90 days, then minimal advertising is included or you can buy a license) for people to pick an open time slot in his Outlook calendar without the usual back-and-forth i.e. Dave ends every email with

To schedule time with me, click here: 15 min 30 min 60 min

showing the timeslots that folks could simply self schedule into his day for conversations, customer service, or followups. Admittedly, Dave's use of the application is novel and not precisely the original design idea of TimeDriver, which was to support eMarketing appointment timeslot scheduling.

It's a cool idea that is a kind of self service social networking application for appointment scheduling.

I like this concept a great deal, since I'm a real fan of web-based self service applications. It will be interesting to see if large enterprises which want to improve their workflow can integrate this kind of technology into their personnel "appointmenting" processes.
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