Sunday, January 09, 2011

MEE-ROI (Meeting ROI)

One of my “tangential” ideas- I hope I can patent this. If anyone has directions on how to patent an idea, please it to me over email. Okay here is the idea for the product!

In the IT services industry, there is a term called, “Global Delivery Model” which is basically doing the IT services in delivery locations which are cost optimal (leveraging the labor arbitrage) and giving a seamless support services for the customer in a 24x7 model. This is also called, “follow the sun” approach. So in a global delivery model, IT service firms will have teams located at multiple locations across the globe servicing the customer. In this context, communication and collaboration are of paramount importance. So how do we communicate? There is a conference bridge number and there is a calendar- We send the invite based on everyone’s convenient time, join the call, discuss things (it can be anything related to customer services or the firm), jot down MOM (minutes of the meeting) and associate action items with respective owners. Every day, millions of conference calls happen across the globe between customers, vendors and suppliers.

Given this backdrop, here comes my idea- It is actually a product. I have named it as MEEROI in short for Meeting-ROI. This product features are as follows:
• Speech to Text conversion
• Jot down Action items and owners
• Automated email to the group based on the bridge id or passcode
• Calculate the number of people who have joined the call based on the beep and their names
• Populate their base compensation rate by the hour and calculate the burn rate in $$ for that particular meeting/conference call
• Finally give the figure for the “$$” value of the meetings/conference calls

Of course this is the tangible part and there are intangible aspects for a conference call for a meeting. Purists will argue that this will defy the purpose of a meeting or a conference call. That is beyond the scope of this product on how and where to use it. I think, it is important to understand how much we “spend” on meetings. I am not advocating actions or decisions based on this data- I am just talking purely from a base-lining perspective as today we spend insane amount of time on “meetings”.

This product can also capture “value added” time and “non value added” time based on how we define value and an associated cost. The cool thing is the fact that we know before-hand how much we are going to burn and that’s a great part!

The target market for this product to begin with would be the IT services firm which engage in servicing off-shoring and outsourcing work. Over time, it can be combined with big telecommunication majors as one of the freebie. This product is also good for all firms that are looking at cutting costs on just meetings!

I don’t know whether this product exists today but this idea occurred to me and I am blogging it. If it does not exist, this blog post is my copy right!  If it does exist, please ignore this post.


hezedgodson said...

A very nice idea.. Are you planning to develop this product? :)


Ashish said...

Hi Prakash, I do not think there such product available. But anyway it is an interesting idea. All of us want to shave a quality meeting and want optimize the time spent. Time is money, right?!

Six Sigma for all said...

Very thoughtful Prakash and very true.... As we grow the ladder of sucess, the amount of Time spent in meetings is huge and the ROI of these meeting is actually never seen.

Patenting is a very huge process and troublesome. You have to apply to the patenting institute and showcase that the idea is tangible and implementable and then search around the globe if this has been done anywhere else. If not then your application is eligible. A website which provides some more clarity is

Varun said...

This definitely sounds like a killer app for sure. I think the biggest highlight would be the the last two pints, i.e calculation of the cost expended - inclusive even of the VOIP service cost:) - for the meeting.

What an idea, Sirji!

Prem said...

Gud 1..instead of speech to text we could also record the meeting and send a link to the audio file at the end of meeting(works pretty well as we use it now)..btw as we speak there might be a app developed in the apple/android world!!..u may never know...

Jebarson007 said...

I could see a possibility of good usage of MS Project Server and MS Live Meeting (Lync) to get the best advantage. Since Live Meeting has already all the features you talk,it might be the cost factor calculation that has to be fed to the Project Server which would come out as a project plan

Narendran Thillaisthanam said...

Interesting Idea!! I think it would make sense to position this product as a Value Added Service offered by Teleconf Systems vendor like Cisco or Polycomm.

I think there is scope for extending this idea like - follow on appointments - working on phrases like " How does everyone's calendar look like for Jan 17th" :-)

Need to investigate speech recognition services like TellUs, Text2Go etc.

And did we say that this totally can fit iPhones and Androids of the world apart from the conf. bridge systems like Cisco/Polycomm??

Good one Prakki!!