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AgendaX makes Paris happy

Paris, February 2, 2015, my name is Anne, and I'm an executive secretary. On that date I did not know that a single tool named "AgendaX" would change and facilitate the organization of the whole company, for which I've worked for 12 years. This beautiful morning the head of the IT department came to see me to ask me to do a planning on Excel for the management of meetings and resources for employees.

Three weeks later, despite the effort and the good presentation of my schedule, it was impossible for me to know who was where and especially to inform the colleagues where their colleagues were, so I said to myself that I needed a more efficient and sophisticated tool for good time and ressource management.

So I searched on Google for "group calendar" and bingo, I came across a company named Drollinger Technologies LLC, specializing in group calendars with Exchange. I felt happiness and relief that day.

Once on their website, I realized that this is exactly what our company needed, the AgendaX software, a calendar that shows you at a glance who is where and who will soon be available. Moreover, the software allows the synchronization of the Outlook calendar data of the co-workers, so there is no need to manage two calendars separately, which makes this software particularly useful and indispensable to our good organization management.

A few minutes later, I went to see the head of the IT department to tell him about this popular and fabulous software that I made my day.

After having discussed at length with the head of the IT department, convinced himself that this software could facilitate the organisation and management of the whole company, he offered me to contact Drollinger Technologies LLC to ask them for a quote for their AgendaX software.

Now, since our company uses AgendaX, we have never had such an easy, simple and precise organization, I can at any time inform employees within seconds, where their colleagues are, I can book meeting rooms, the resources they need, etc. Everybody in our company can now at any time consult a set of daily, weekly, monthly and even annual overviews.


AgendaX has made resource management in our clinic much easier

The planning of the laboratories, X-ray rooms and various medical equipment in our clinic used to be managed using Excel tables. Before you could reserve the desired room, you first had to make a request to the administrator. The same was true for the reservation of medical equipment. The planning tables were only visible to the administrator.

With AgendaX a targeted allocation of resources in groups (departments / teams / devices) according to freely selectable criteria is possible. Each user has up to 9 personal groups at his disposal to map his teams. This was an enormous relief for all departments: The Exchange administrator no longer had to be called in to form teams / groups.

The rich selection of overviews and the simple navigation with simple group views up to detailed annual, monthly, weekly or daily views now offer all employees the information they need at a glance:

When is which employee, room or device available?


A Group Calendar that Boosts Efficiency

The Service is a UK government funded service for all young people aged 13 to 19 (up to 25 for those with a learning difficulty or disability). It provides information, advice and guidance as young people make the transition from full-time education to further education, training and employment.

The Personal Advisers at the service are a vital resource, offering help and Support on the many issues young people may be faced with such as health, housing, money, education, training and employment.

The diversity of issues handled, combined with the degree of accessibility on offer (including telephone conversations and personal meetings at a wide range of locations) meant that the Service needed an efficient way to ensure comprehensive coverage of the availability and whereabouts of staff.

Although staff at the Service make extensive use of Outlook calendaring to manage their diaries, it was difficult to see who was free to take a particular call, identify when or where it might be best to contact a colleague, or establish when someone next had a gap in their diary in order to arrange meetings.

The ICT Manager at the Service explained, “Reception staff, co-workers and Team Managers would need to look at each individual’s Outlook calendars in turn, which was really time consuming. We needed a better way.”

A recommendation from a colleague pointed the ICT Manager in the direction of AgendaX.

 

Enhancing Outlook Calendar

AgendaX extracts Outlook calendar information stored by Microsoft Exchange Server and makes it available on the company intranet as a series of web pages that can be tailored to reflect corporate style templates.

Users benefit from a consolidated update of their co-workers whereabouts via daily, weekly and monthly ‘planner-style’ views.
All 250 members of staff at the Service now use AgendaX. According to  the ICT Manager “Now anyone, not just reception staff, can see immediately who is at any of the many remote sites from which our service is delivered, who is attending meetings, and who is on leave or sick. This has been real boon to our efficiency and has improved our level of service to clients. A particular benefit has been that AgendaX provides a very useful guide as to which staff is simply in the office, for Health and Safety purposes.”

How It Works

AgendaX works in conjunction with Outlook, automatically publishing the free/busy times from all users’ calendars as a series of customizable web pages that can be accessed via the corporate intranet. A ‘Who is where?’ view gives an instant snapshot of where everyone is together with their contact details. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and even yearly views show a consolidated ‘wall planner’ style overview of meetings, holidays, days off sick etc. Users can drill down on detail as required, and create their own groups of co-workers to view at once.

Managing Non-Human Resources!

As well as showing the availability of people, AgendaX can be used to depict the availability of other corporate resources such as conference rooms and presentation equipment. At one site of the Service, it is used to control allocation of the limited number of available parking spaces!

Many organizations use AgendaX to support their business operations and maximize their investment in both their Exchange environment and their human resources.

Working With AgendaX

“We selected AgendaX following a short evaluation period. Installing it was relatively easy but we did need to pay careful attention to the manual, especially as we wanted to maximize our understanding of the various enhancements available beyond basic sharing of calendars, such as changing default layouts and color schemes. We genuinely have found the support very helpful and we look forward to tailoring AgendaX further for our organization” concludes the ICT Manager.

 

Key Benefits

AgendaX provides a simple, concise way of seeing the whole company’s whereabouts in a single view.

This brings many benefits to organizations, including:

  • Save time by booking and scheduling meetings in a group calendar with an overview of availability.
  • You can create and maintain calendar groups.
  • Manage and create a set of calendars that you want to display together.
  • You can create a calendar group to see the combined schedules at a glance
  • Allows employees to be quickly located at any point in time.
  • Helps use expensive resources, such as meeting rooms, more efficiently.
  • Leverages the organization’s investment in Outlook.
  • Aids team working and resource allocation to improve customer service.

AgendaX Services

AgendaX offers organizations a highly customizable service that works seamlessly with Exchange Outlook Calendar to provide an advanced, web based team calendaring service.

Features include:

  • Multiple views, including point in time, weekly, monthly, bimonthly and the entire year.
  • Customizable to reflect corporate identity & business needs.
  • User-defined groups - no need for administrators to define ad-hoc groups.
  • Ability to text-search all calendar entries.
  • Displays required Outlook properties (Mileage, Billing etc.) including user-defined Outlook fields.
  • Optionally displays phone, fax, mobile, department, picture, photo etc. for each user.
  • Ability to suppress meetings marked as ‘private’.
  • Allows meetings to be requested via the web without Outlook, with the option to restrict bookings to free time only, make location a required field, etc.
  • Provides a consolidated view across several Exchange servers and locations.

receptionists telephone operators

A huge benefit for receptionists / telephone operators to see staff availability on Exchange

Monday, 9a.m., New York City, in a publishing house, the phone lines are going crazy. Cindy, a phone operator at the publishing house is stressed. The just released novel of one of their top selling authors keeps book sellers around the world calling in and ordering more.

It’s winter time, 15% of staff in Sales is sick, others busy in meetings. Cindy keeps checking her printed Excel list she prepared last night before leaving home. A list that shows who is attending meetings at what time today, who is sick, etc. Preparing the list took her more than 45 minutes last night, going through every calendar in Outlook.

Monica is calling her on line 4: “Hey Cindy, sorry, but I can’t come to work today, I’ve had high fever all night long and can hardly talk.” “Ok, I’ll let your manager know”, says Cindy, “get better soon, sorry all my lines are ringing”. She hangs up and crosses out Monica for the day on her list.

Having to talk to customers on the phone and at the same time keep checking the clock, her Excel list, to see who is available to transfer calls to is very stressful and inefficient. Plus, ad-hoc meetings that staff didn’t plan yesterday are not showing on her printed Excel list, which makes transferring calls a nightmare, as people who should be available according to her list are not answering the phone.

Exhausted, she asks Paul, the IT guy, at lunch-break if there really isn’t an easier way to see where people are and who is available. He tells her “Not that I know of, but I’ll check if there is a third party tool that would do the job”.

Paul googles and finds AgendaX, the “web-based group calendaring solution for Microsoft Exchange and Outlook”. He launches the Online Demo and finds the “who is where?” view, a view that shows only meetings currently in place. “Wow, that’s exactly what Cindy needs” he thinks. A menu drop down lets him also select departments, to show only people in Sales for example, and a wealth of other views like weekly and monthly views is available as well. Paul thinks that the whole company could benefit from a tool like AgendaX, because it makes it real simple to see who is available at what time to schedule meetings. He clicks on the ‘Holiday’ category filter in the yearly view and immediately sees a holiday calendar of a department.

Two weeks later, AgendaX is in place at the publishing house. It automatically reads the Outlook calendars of company staff and publishes easy to read overviews of when people are busy or out of the office.
Cindy has trashed her Excel availability sheets and now relies on the “Who is Where?” view of AgendaX. She sees at a glance who is in a meeting, sick, out of office, or otherwise unavailable and can transfer calls immediately to people that are available.
When people call in sick, she simply clicks on the users calendar in AgendaX and books him an all-day event, categorized as “Sick”, so that everyone in the whole company knows that person is not in the office for the day. She can even do this without having write- permission to all of the calendars in the company. Thanks to AgendaX, the all-day event is synchronized with Outlook and also people not using AgendaX can see the changed free/busy information when they schedule a meeting in Outlook.

AgendaX brings many benefits to organizations, including:

  • Saves time booking meetings.
  • Allows employees to be quickly located at any point in time.
  • Helps use expensive resources, such as meeting rooms, more efficiently.
  • Leverages the organization’s investment in Outlook.
  • Aids team working and resource allocation to improve customer service.

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