Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tungle: The Answer to Cross Platform, Cross-Company Meeting Scheduling?

Web Worker Daily posted a blog yesterday about Tungle.

What is Tungle?

Tungle is a "calendar accelerator" that allows you to:
  • easily schedule meetings with anyone
  • share calendars inside or outside your company
  • allow others to schedule meetings with you
Our holding company has 4 internal companies (each with their own calendars), portfolio companies with their own calendars and of course clients, vendors, etc... We have debated on whether or not we should switch our own companies to Google Calendar, but even so, we would have portfolio companies on different systems. It seems like Tungle might be a solution to this problem.

Tungle currently supports Outlook, MS Exchange, Google Calendar, LotusLive (notes), iCal & Entourage and multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, and various Smartphones.

Some other highlights from the article:
1. User interface issues that Tungle addresses:
  • users want to be able to use their favorite calendar, productivity or social networking tool, not just Outlook
  • invitees should not be required to register with the service in order to respond to a meeting request
  • invitees require context-related help to guide them through the scheduling process
  • users wanted privacy options for calendar sharing: full details, busy/away status or no sharing
2. Features:
  • “Expert” and “Wizard” modes for meeting scheduling
  • context-sensitive “bubbles” that provide additional guidance to new users responding to a meeting invitation
  • time-zone adjustment for each participant’s geographical location
  • use of Google Maps to find meeting locations (for example, a convenient Starbucks) from within the “Location” field
  • BlackBerry, iPhone and other smartphone compatibility
  • a “Meet With Me” mode, where clicking on a button embedded in a web site or email link immediately takes the visitor into Tungle to schedule a meeting

3. One of the most interesting things Tungle learned through the beta testing period was that the tool actually makes meetings happen earlier, especially when three or more participants are involved. Using Tungle, the decision on a meeting time is accelerated, because a meeting that may have taken two or three days to schedule with multiple email exchanges can now be set up within a few hours.

4. Going forward, Tungle plans to incorporate the service into social networking platforms as well as collaboration and conferencing tools such as Webex and GoToMeeting.
After watching the online demo, the feature that caught my attention is the one that will allow me to drag my calendar openings to select my avails, then when I send the invite to say 3 other people, they will see those avails and pick which of them work best for them. Each time someone updates their avails the next person has fewer options (avails update concurrently as this process is taking place). The last person to respond basically sets the meeting by the avail they choose, then the meeting is booked... without the endless back and forth. This feature alone is worth giving it a try.

If we end up using Tungle, I will let you know how it works for us so you can decide if it might work for you.

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