How many meetings are worth the time that we invest? What if the content of a meeting could be useful, usable and immediate?

Harqen (news, site) recognizes that we all spend a lot of time in meetings -- status meetings, collaboration sessions, sales calls, etc. Harqen also recognizes that much of what is discussed and decided in a meeting is lost in transcription.

With all that in mind, Harqen announces a new solution called Symposia at this week's eComm 2011 conference.

What is Symposia?

Symposia is a cloud-based application that transforms the conversation that occurs during a meeting or webinar or presentation into an "interactive synopsis." These conversations go from being memories to being searchable and referenceable via the web.

Symposia captures conversations as they occur -- both visually and aurally -- and then allows users to collaboratively annotate said conversations with notes, tags or imagery from smartphones.

How Would I Use It?

The initial use cases that Symposia is targeting are all CRM-related: Sales calls, customer service interactions and account management. When HarQen CEO, E. Kelly Fitzsimmons, demonstrated the new product at the eComm 2011 conference, an integration with Salesforce.com was displayed.

However, if this tool does what it says it can do, then I would expect its usage to proliferate quickly throughout an organization. Productivity junkies would love to get access to something like this to make the time spent in meetings more meaningful.

What Does It Look Like?

Unfortunately, this journalist hasn't been privy to a demo. But once again, social media comes to the rescue. As mentioned above, the product was shown off at the eComm 2011 conference and the reviews hit Twitter almost immediately:

  • @MosheYudkowsky HarQen will apparently announce a version/clone of Google Wave that permits social notetaking on conf calls. If done right, exciting #eComm
  • @MosheYudkowsky Symposia frm #HarQen similar to Google Wave, UI not to my taste. Wondering how this will fly - will users get sufficient payback? #eComm
  • @LarryLisser Like @harQen Symposia b/c it's not a 'point solution'. Others offer searchable voice; this has file sharing, CRM integration, chat, etc...
  • @danyork At #eComm, HarQen's Symposia app provides a collaboration experience inside SalesForce.com with annotation, notes... interesting.

Honestly, the comparisons to Google Wave are more than a little frightening. But maybe Google Wave would have survived if it had been focused at a certain industry -- like CRM -- rather than the entire Internet.

Looks Cool; When Can I Try It?

Here's the bad news. According to Harqen, Symposia will be available "later this year." The best I can offer you is the signup for the beta and the advice to cross your fingers and hope you get an invite.

If you do get access, do me a favor and leave a comment describing your experience. I am interested to hear what you think.