Google targets admins with meeting rescheduler for calendar

A new tool in Google Labs applies search-like queries to easily reschedule meetings.

Nothing will ruin an admin's afternoon faster than suddenly needing to reschedule the boss' afternoon meetings. Putting that calendar together was hard enough to begin with, given that meetings had to be scheduled around the appointments of others.

Rescheduling can be a nightmare. But Google - in its effort to again focus its online software around the real-life needs and wants of business customers - is playing with a new feature called Smart Rescheduler. Released in the lab today for all calendar customers - not just those who subscribe to the Google Apps business suite - the new feature approaches rescheduling from a search perspective.

Because workplace calendars are usually shared, an admin can now run what is essentially a query of everyone's schedules and wait for Google to respond with suggestions of dates and times that would accommodate the most participants. Those using the tool could make adjustments, such as sticking to a specific time frame or marking some participants as optional, to reduce the schedule conflicts.

The feature is in its earliest stages and more improvements will be coming as the company gets feedback on what works. Eventually, for example, we can expect the feature to be smart enough to consider what's happening on a person's other calendars, as well. Perhaps the boss has a dentist appointment on his personal calendar at a time when the meeting could be rescheduled - but didn't have it on his work calendar.

The new feature is an example of the small things that Google is doing within its online software to make the switch to Google that much more enticing for business customers. Is a rescheduling tool compelling enough to make a company to switch? Hardly. But it is a nice little add-on feature when a company is already thinking about testing the waters of Google's cloud offering.

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