Friday, July 21, 2006

Federated Free/Busy

I just got back from the Open Group Conference in Miami, where I demo’d some of the things we’re working on here at TimeBridge. The demo was in response to the Open Group’s Federated Free/Busy Challenge, which was initiated by Boeing.

Boeing, like many companies, has a network of external partners which work closely with the Boeing employees. Each partner is on a different calendaring system, which makes scheduling a big pain since there is currently no easy way to see each others’ free/busy time. Not only is this a frustrating experience for employees, but it adds up to lots of wasted time.

For our part, TimeBridge put together a public free/busy server that allows users to publish their free/busy data, making accessible to other systems. In our demo, we used the TimeBridge Toolbar for Outlook to pull the free/busy time of users across organizations while scheduling a meeting. Using our service, it will be super easy to publish your free/busy data to a public server, where it will be available to the people you trust.

At TimeBridge, we believe that federated free/busy information is an important first step. It provides an initial rough cut at a possible meeting times. On its own, it is incomplete, but it becomes really powerful when combined with a system that allows organizers to propose multiple times, quickly collect preferences from attendees, and close on a time that works for everyone.

These are the kinds of things we’re working on at TimeBridge. If you’d like to see this in action, we’re currently looking for select beta testers to try out the latest version of our service. If you are interested, just email us at beta@timebridge.com.

Update: The press release is now live.

Director of Product Management