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3/10/2011
07:53 AM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
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YaM Uses Virtual Tools To Improve Meetings

Say hello to yaM, yet another company that's putting in its two cents about how to improve business meetings. This week yaM (for "yet another meeting") unveiled the public beta of its self-named application, which provides tools for improving brainstorming, analyzing priorities, and enhancing collaboration.

Say hello to yaM, yet another company that's putting in its two cents about how to improve business meetings. This week yaM (for "yet another meeting") unveiled the public beta of its self-named application, which provides tools for improving brainstorming, analyzing priorities, and enhancing collaboration.For small businesses, making meetings productive is a top priority. Time is money, and wasting it can cut into already-eroding bottom lines.

Anatoly Gaverdoskiy, founder and CEO of yaM, says his frustration with low meeting productivity fueled his drive to develop the product. At a previous job, meetings filled almost each and every day, Gaverdoskiy says, adding that these get-togethers were rarely as productive as they could've been, mainly because there were inefficiencies in capturing and tracking information.

"The final straw was when I came to a meeting with a very large client and had forgotten what I promised their CIO the week before," he says. "After searching for and attempting to use different IT products, I decided to develop yaM to help people get more out of their seemingly endless meetings."

Unlike products such as iMeet and WebEx that address the "how" of meetings--the audio, video, and web conferencing--yaM focuses on the meeting lifecycle, Gaverdoskiy says. That means the emphasis is on planning, running, and wrapping up the meeting, and on follow-up execution.

Tools include a shared agenda and realtime, collaborative note-taking; prioritization of topics that's represented graphically; SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of agenda items; and an accessible record of meeting activities (Meeting Minutes).

The yaM application is designed for meetings of all kinds--face-to-face, online, or a combination of the two.

Though yaM is currently Web-based, the company plans to roll out integrations with the iPad, Yammer, Jive Networks, and Google Apps within the next few months.

Also, yaM plans to increase its user base quickly: Gaverdoskiy says the goal is to have 20,000 registered users by July 1 and 50,000 by year's end. "We're focusing now on the value of users and finding the right balance between simplicity and functionality," he says.

Those who sign up for the beta before June 1 get free unlimited access to yaM for the first year.

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