A Case of Meeting Sensibly

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Company: CoreObjects

Los Angeles-based CoreObjects Software, Inc. strives to bridge the gap between innovation and lack of infrastructure, building from scratch and bringing to market the commercially deployable "software that builds companies." Since its 1997 founding, the Distributed Cooperative Software Development provider has offered strategy/blueprinting, engineering, and research/prototyping services to dozens of startup and established companies introducing new products. In 2007, CoreObjects brought 12 new products to market. Its first client, Stamps.com, now boasts more than 350,000 monthly subscribers and reported revenues of $85.8 million in 2007. Another customer innovation, Preventsys, was acquired by McAfee in 2006.

Business Challenge

Central to CoreObjects’ business model is its Core Unified Process, a formalized, repeatable road map for the design, prototyping, development, quality assurance, and deployment of robust, scalable technologies. Making the process transparent to each client can’t be accomplished without meetings—lots of them, in fact.

"We build products on behalf of entrepreneurs, who are very busy and want to know that expectations are being met," says Patrick Ravenel, CoreObjects’ SVP of delivery. "Much of the information gathering we do" comes from these brainstorming sessions, progress reports, and product demos, "so it’s important that we keep meticulous, detailed notes" that properly document outcomes and next steps.

"If a meeting’s agenda isn’t clear, it’s difficult for people to prepare for it, leading to follow-up conversations that are difficult to track," Ravenel continues. What they needed, he says, was a tool that would increase meeting efficiency by forcing organizers to set agendas and participants to come armed with the right information.

Vendor of Choice: Meetingsense

MeetingSense Software Corp. (nee Yon Software Corp.) was established in 2004 by former Macromedia and IBM managers who had, in the words of co-founder (and president) Hannon Brett, "viscerally felt the pain of inefficient, unproductive meetings." The San Diego company’s flagship product, MeetingSense, optimizes meeting productivity by capturing, distributing, and managing information and action items in real time via a centralized, hosted repository. More than 250 organizations deploy MeetingSense, including Dell, NIH, and Texas Instruments. The software’s third iteration hit the streets in mid-April.

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