Ronald M Jennings is a busy man. In addition to his role as President of the Jennings Business Group, where he advises individuals and small business owners in the planning and implementation of a financial roadmap and strategy for retirement planning, he is also the chair of a non-profit that looks to help improve the financial literacy of immigrants coming into the US.
The Financial Education team at the Maryland Skilled Immigrants Taskforce involves a wide array of government and state agencies, all collaborating to provide assistance to immigrants that may not have used a bank before. This requires a number of meetings to get things done, sometimes in person and at other times over the telephone.
“The work we do is really important and makes a huge difference to immigrants arriving in Maryland,” said Ron Jennings. “But coordinating the meetings is almost a job in itself. People work in different organizations and different departments, they are not all desk-based and all use different types of mobile device and operating system. We were all spending too much time organizing our operational meetings and I knew there had to be a better solution out there.
Ron was an Office 365 user and decided to begin his search for a meeting management tool in the Office 365 app store. The tool that immediately stood out was eShare’s MeetingSquared, a product that was developed in collaboration with Microsoft itself, and looks to bring an end to the inefficient preparation, scheduling and management of meetings, as well as provide an effective audit trail from meetings.
Accessed via SharePoint or Office 365, MeetingSquared looked to have all the features and functionality that Ron was looking for:
“There was nothing in the app store with a feature-set as comprehensive as MeetingSquared. I have spent many years working in technology and know a good product when I see one. MeetingSquared makes for a much smoother meeting process across the different people involved in Maryland Skilled Immigrants Taskforce meetings.”
Ron was particularly impressed with MeetingSquared’s ability to work with users that were both mobile, and worked at different organizations.
“A good number of the taskforce are on the road and don’t always see emails when they come in, so it is easy to miss emails relating to an upcoming meeting. But MeetingSquared means those important emails can be highlighted, meaning people stay on top of everything they need to. It also works across organizations and different email addresses, a quality that many apps do not have.
Although it is still early days for MeetingSquared at the Maryland Skilled Immigrants Taskforce, the first impression has been uniformly positive.
“Users in a non-profit have differing experiences, abilities and expectations with technology, which means you have to tread carefully when you introduce a new tool or platform,” continued Ron Jennings. “But MeetingSquared’s ease of use and ability to make the meeting process much smarter, has meant that all our users have stated how much they value it.”
Features that include being able to load up meeting materials, contact attendees and assign activities mean that MeetingSquared provides the taskforce with the peace of mind that tasks will be completed and follow-ups carried out where appropriate.
“We are planning to start using more of MeetingSquared’s functionality over the coming months, using it for tasks that we currently use Dropbox for,” concluded Ron Jennings. “Meetings are critical to the smooth running of the taskforce and MeetingSquared has greatly helped us. I would recommend it to anyone that conducts meetings on a regular basis.