TimeBridge Sept. 10 unveiled several new features to its online meeting application and launched a version of it for Apple's popular iPhone.
TimeBridge launched its free personal meeting scheduler application in 2007 and now has more than 400,000 business customers using it to get together. Users create a meeting invitation with a few proposed times, and TimeBridge automatically collects attendee responses, selects the best meeting time and notifies all participants. No downloads are required to use the Web app, which integrates with most calendar applications, including Google, Outlook and Apple iCal.
The startup Sept. 10 enhanced scheduling for one-to-one meetings; added a Web page for each meeting to let attendees collaborate on a specific agenda; and created a tool that reminds attendees via SMS of a meeting 5 minutes before it's scheduled to start.
Realizing that 40 percent of the meetings customers scheduled through TimeBridge were one-on-one meetings or appointments, TimeBridge CEO Yori Nelken said TimeBridge added a feature called Let's Meet that lets users sign up for time on a TimeBridge user's calendar.
Users can keep this page private or put the Let's Meet widget on their Facebook LinkedIn page to let others access it to schedule a meeting time. TimeBridge does not yet have a widget to let users jump to meetings from Twitter.
The new Meeting Room lets users create one Web page for each meeting, which is accessible by all attendees for the purpose of relaying meeting logistics and creating an agenda.
Designed to help meeting attendees join their meetings on time, TimeBridge's new Meeting Time Messenger is an SMS messaging service that pings users 5 minutes prior to the start of a meeting to remind them. Users can also click a button to let attendees know if they are running late.
TimeBridge also released a version of its scheduling application for the iPhone, which includes availability sharing, the ability to view the meeting agenda, one-touch access to conference calls and the new Meeting Time Messenger SMS notification tool.
All of the above services are free. What isn't free is TimeBridge Plus, the company's Web conferencing service, which allows users to share their computer screens and presentations and access free phone conferencing. This is $8.95 a month with a 30-day free trial.
e WEEK used Plus for the TimeBridge demonstration, and it appeared very capable compared with Web conferencing services such as Cisco WebEx and Citrix GotoMeeting. However, TimeBridge required no software downloads to enable the meeting.
TimeBridge's new features are available now. Nelken said the iPhone app will not be available until October because it is still going through the approval process at Apple's App Store. Like many others before him, Nelken called the approval process "opaque."
TimeBridge is a small fish swimming in a sea of collaboration whales such as Microsoft, IBM and Cisco Systems. However, the startup does provide a granular richness in meeting scheduling that no other Web conferencing and collaboration applications provide.
For that reason, the company has a chance of expanding, particularly with these new capabilities; the iPhone app should make a fine window into the mobile enterprise for the company.
TimeBridge is also just as likely to get acquired by one of the larger vendors, where it will be used to enrich a Web conferencing feature set. eWEEK sees Cisco as the most likely suitor, embedding TimeBridge in WebEx Connect.