4 min read
December 22, 2011
We are often asked by prospects and users of other scheduling applications why ScheduleOnce is a better solution. In this post we would like to provide a summary of the key differentiation points.
Quick process for the invitee: Our invitee interface is designed to support the minimum possible number of clicks, allowing invitees to schedule meetings and appointments in a matter of seconds.
No exposure of free/busy view: Our invitee interface does not expose your free/busy view. Do you actually want people to know how busy you are? Or guess that you are on vacation when you have a number of days blocked out? This cannot happen in ScheduleOnce. Our invitee interface only exposes time slots over which you have complete control. There is a saying that no one wants to eat in an empty restaurant and on the same token, if you are selling a service, no one wants to see that you have no bookings.
Full control over time slots: ScheduleOnce has a number of settings that allow you to fully control how many time slots you present each day, when they start and how much lead time you should have before a time slot is presented.
Most flexible availability framework: ScheduleOnce allows you to define your availability for any possible scenario. You can use recurring availability only, date-specific availability only, or use recurring availability and add date-specific exceptions.
Inbound and outbound scheduling: ScheduleOnce supports both inbound and outbound scheduling in one integrated application that covers all scheduling needs. Inbound scheduling allows you to publish your MeetMe link and accept appointments online, and outbound scheduling lets you to initiate the meeting invitation, propose a few times and select the ones that works best. Inbound scheduling is used for one on one meetings and outbound scheduling is typically used for group meetings.
Schedule automatically or with approval: ScheduleOnce allows you to select the mode in which you would like to use your inbound MeetMe page. In appointment mode people select a single time on your page and the appointment is scheduled without any action on your part. In Meeting mode you ask people to select a few times, you then review the times and schedule the one that works best for you.
Time zone and Daylight Saving Time: ScheduleOnce has robust support for time zones and Daylight Saving Time. We detect the time zone of the user based on their IP address and not their PC clock which may be wrong or not adjusted to the time zone they are in. In addition, ScheduleOnce maintains its own database of Daylight Saving Time changes in more than 300 locations worldwide. This allows us to be 100% accurate in our scheduling even in periods when Daylight Saving Time starts and ends. Furthermore, it is possible to turn off time zones completely and use ScheduleOnce with or without time zones.
Deepest Google integration: ScheduleOnce made a strategic decision to focus on integration with Google Calendar and to do it in the best possible way. We have been a Google Launch partner for the Google Apps Marketplace and are ranked at the top of the Calendar & scheduling category. Our integration with Google allows us to connect to any Google Calendar, view busy time and schedule the meeting directly in the calendar. Another important point about our integration with Google – We never store any Google Calendar information on our servers. We simply access Google Calendar in real time with a secure token that is generated by Google and we have no access to any Google customer data.
Most secure Outlook integration: Outlook is a desktop application and as such it must be synchronized with a cloud database that will store its meetings and appointments. Some vendors have developed proprietary connectors that sync between Outlook and their own database, storing all Outlook meetings and appointments on their server. In our opinion this solution is not secure enough, definitely not for the enterprise. Our approach is to use the free Google Outlook sync program – An excellent, lightweight program that always works and instantly syncs Outlook with Google Calendar. This turns Google Calendar into the cloud storage for Outlook meetings and ScheduleOnce can connect to Google Calendar and retrieve the data securely in real time so that it is never stored on our servers.
Most secure iCal integration: iCal is a desktop application and as such it must be synchronized with a cloud database that will store its meetings and appointments. Some vendors have developed proprietary connectors that sync between iCal and their own database, storing all iCal meetings and appointments on their server. In our opinion this solution is not secure enough, definitely not for the enterprise. Our approach is to use the ability of iCal and Google Calendar to sync via CalDAV, an open protocol that allows syncing calendars without installing any software. This turns Google Calendar into the cloud storage for iCal meetings and ScheduleOnce can connect to Google Calendar and retrieve the data securely in real time so that it is never stored on our servers.
Designed and built as an enterprise system: SchduleOnce was designed and built as an enterprise system with enterprise grade features. We were never targeting the social type of scheduling or helping friends organize meetings. Our users have been and always will be individuals, small businesses and enterprises that use ScheduleOnce to schedule time in their core business and revenue generating processes.
Modern and highly usable: ScheduleOnce is developed with the latest internet technologies and has a rich client interface that runs on any modern browser. We keep hearing from our clients that our usability and user interface is better than others.
High-performance application: ScheduleOnce was designed with performance and scalability in mind. We are deployed in a first grade data center and use a first class CDN so that users all over the world can have a great experience.