It’s four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. Someone – we won’t mention names – actually scheduled a meeting for this time. People shuffle in, sit, grumble, open their laptops, and try to remember what this meeting is about. Someone says, “Hey, did everyone see that message from the client that came last week?” And for the next five minutes, five or six people dig through their inboxes for the same email. Judy wasn’t at the last meeting, so a few minutes are spent catching her up, then Sandeep comes in late, and more time is wasted as someone explains where you are on the agenda. Suddenly it’s 4:15, and you haven’t accomplished anything yet.
Sound familiar? We all know meetings are necessary, and a productive meeting can help us make enormous progress in a very short time. But so many meetings just aren’t productive. Like you, I suffered through the frustration of bad meetings until I realized I could create a tool that would make meetings better. With a little seed capital and a few fellow meeting-weary developers, Do was born.
Do is cross-platform technology that integrates with Office 365 or Google Apps to prevent terrible meetings. It connects to your calendar to provide unique collaboration spaces for each meeting you have. Because a lot of information can be shared as part of the meeting invite and accessed before the meeting begins, attendees arrive far more prepared to tackle the tasks at hand.
Do provides a shared canvas that brings together notes, presentations, documents, previous meeting history, and relevant emails; it tracks the time spent in the meeting, allows participants to assign tasks, and provides space for measuring outcomes as they happen, during and after the meeting. It’s even got a timer to help talkative meeting goers stay on schedule. Once the meeting’s over, the organizer can send out the notes and any relevant attachments to everyone on the invite.
One of our customers is a San Francisco-based software company called Cotap. As a startup, Cotap has to be especially aware how its resources are spent, including employee hours, and execs there were hearing a lot of complaints about time lost when people came to meetings unprepared. Attendees argued the meeting invites just didn’t provide enough information, especially for recurring meetings where descriptions weren’t updated for each occurrence. With Do, their meetings have become much more collaborative. Do aggregates meeting history, so attendees can remind themselves what’s gone on before, especially at meetings they weren’t able to attend. Emails, agendas, notes, tasks, timelines – all of it was collected and accessible in Do. In just five months of using Do, the company has run more than 900 meetings, and co-founder Zack Parker describes himself as a “convert.”
When we first launched Do, we only had integration with Google; however, we realized pretty quickly that customers really wanted integration with Microsoft’s Office 365, to connect with Outlook email and calendars and be able to use productivity tools like Microsoft Word and OneNote. Our integration caught the attention of the Office 365 team, and since then we’ve been working closely with them on features we’re planning for the future, like integrating with Skype for Business.
“We came across Do when they launched their Office 365 integration. Our APIs they were using were quite new, but they were doing a terrific job of deeply integrating with them, and we were excited to see what they could do. Do really shows the extensibility of Office and Office 365 and how great apps can be developed on that platform. We asked them to join our Developer Preview Program so they get advance notice on new additions to Office 365, and we can get the great feedback they have to offer.” –Chris Johnson, Group Product Manager, Office Apps
Not only did we appreciate the exponential business growth that came from integrating with Office 365, our team really enjoyed developing on the Microsoft platform. This is what my Lead Engineer, Pascal Carole, had to say about it: “Developing for Office 365 was a seamless experience. Thanks to a set of well-documented and comprehensive APIs, we were able to integrate 9 months of existing functionality in only 3 weeks. The folks on the Office 365 team were very helpful and open to feedback about the API. It really set the tone for a positive working relationship as we add more support for Office 365 products.”
Microsoft’s big vision is to help individuals and companies be more productive, and that’s exactly what we do. More than 7,000 companies are currently using our product, whether they’re small organizations using us for board meetings or enterprise-level giants running essential project meetings every day. And we continue to make improvements and look for more opportunities to add features and functionality.
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