Who doesn’t hate conference calls, with its laundry list of problems? First, the sound quality is terrible. Second, scheduling everyone to call-in at the same time is a pain, unless it is a regularly scheduled event. All of that is to say, it seems a bit ridiculous that we’re jumping through hurdles despite being in the age of smartphones.
Solving one small set problems is a Boulder-based startup called MobileDay, which gives users one-touch access to conference calls. Forget the “enter a phone number, enter an access code, press pound, press one, please announce yourself” and then finding yourself on the wrong call. MobileDay does away with all of that.
The way it works is fairly straightforward. The mobile app, available for iOS and Android, hooks into whatever conference call service you use. The user saves all of the conference call information ahead of time and sets up a reminder. Then, when the call comes around, MobileDay sends a notification, and the user can jump straight into the call, no digits entered.
I have a front-row seat to how useful this is. You’re likely unaware, but PandoDaily has a weekly editorial meeting to discuss the week ahead. Like clockwork, ten minutes before the meeting is supposed to start, everyone is on Yammer asking, “what’s the dial-in for the call again?” With MobileDay, that problem disappears.
Now, besides the utility of the one-touch feature, the company is also looking to expand beyond just conference calls. After all, Apple or Google could bake this feature into iOS or Android, which would nullify MobileDay’s business opportunity. As MobileDay co-founder Brad Dupee put it, “This should be at the OS-level.”
Dupee gave me a few examples that would make sense for the company moving forward, in addition to conference calls. For example, a salesperson could end a sales call and be shown a MobileDay prompt, which would take the details of the call and sync them to Salesforce. This would cut down on the amount of time salespeople spend writing reports every week, according to Dupee.
Another feature along these lines is the ability to tell people that you’re running late for a meeting. MobileDay alerts users when they have an upcoming meeting, based off of your synced calendar, and when the alert goes off, the user can quickly send an email to the attendee stating, “I’ll be running a little bit late.” It’s quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s a problem a lot of people have.
All of these features may seem small when viewed individually, but when grouped together they can become very powerful. After all, the market for people who run late for meetings may not warrant a stand-alone application. But the same people that have one hundred meetings per week is likely the same market for people who are commonly on conference calls, and not coincidentally, the same market for people that file weekly reports.
All of that is to say: it’s a big market, with pockets full of cash, which explains why the company got funding from Foundry Group, Google Ventures, Softbank, and a few other firms. There’s money to be made here.
[Image courtesy Robert Couse-Baker]