Startup of the day: Perfony, to manage meetings more efficiently
Frenchweb invites you today to discover Perfony, a startup, based in Paris, which publishes a solution, marketed in SaaS, for managing meetings and action plans in the cloud. More details with Lionel Pasco, co-founder of Perfony.
Frenchweb: How did you get the idea for your company?
Lionel pasco : After 15 years of consulting in organization and management, we noticed that the good practices for effective meetings provided by consultants during missions only remained in place a few months after their departure. Why ? How to perpetuate the implementation of these best practices in a company?
We also used to make executives aware of the costs incurred by meetings in their organizations. These costs are often ignored even though in a company of 200 people, if each person spends two hours a week in meetings, that represents a budget of one million euros. Do you know a single leader who would set up a project of such financial magnitude without having any performance indicator? So we decided to create this indicator.
What need are you responding to?
IPerfony’s goal is to provide a simple answer to what is arguably the most common problem for organizations. Basically, we say that during a meeting, we make decisions and to carry them out, we assign actions to people. This is the theory. But how to follow the evolution of these actions over time? How can you be sure that the meetings that mark the life of a company follow these rules and that they are not simply a waste of time for all or some of the participants?
iPerfony therefore makes it possible to follow the decision-making process during meetings, also to follow the realization of action plans, and above all, it allows you to identify meetings that pose problems, while offering a range of solutions for managers .
Very simply, how do you make money?
We have two sources of income. The first is of course the subscriptions to our solution since we are distributed in SaaS mode. The managers who use us must take a paid subscription. However, for all the participants they add, it will be completely free. Thus, no problem to add an external service provider, a supplier, a consultant… it does not cost a euro more and it is the guarantee of having traceability on the decisions taken.
Our second source of income comes from training. Our expertise in managerial performance allows us to offer a range of training courses and for this we benefit from a training accreditation.
Who are your competitors?
To date, we do not have a competitor who covers this very specific service of meeting performance. Of course, our calendar and action plan management tools can be found in other solutions, but they are far from covering all the services we offer. And in order not to disrupt the work habits of our users, we have chosen to play the interoperability card: your iPerfony calendar can be perfectly synchronized with your Outlook, iCal or Google Calendar, as well as all task managers and most popular calendars.
What or which companies are you being compared to in error?
When we talk about “software for effective meetings”, we are sometimes told “ok, I get it, you are doing teleconferencing”. Conversely, iPerfony can be used for in-situ or remote meetings, or even hybrid meetings (the tool is particularly suited to multi-site management), but we do not currently wish to embed conference technology at distance because it is another market and we have not formed a privileged partnership with one or the other of the existing operators because we do not want to close our doors by choosing a solution rather than a other.
What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
The most complex issue was creating our algorithm to detect the causes of meeting dysfunction. There was nothing like it so far so we created it at all. It was both very interesting, but we were faced with a totally blank page. It is in particular for this research work that we obtained the status of JEI (Young Innovative Company).
For business development, we still have an important work of evangelization. The realization of the costs induced by ineffective meetings is quite simple, but it is surprising to see to what extent it is considered inevitable and the very idea that we can find a solution still surprises our interlocutors. And yet, it works.
What is your main asset in this market?
We are the first in this meeting performance market. This is an asset since there is no competition. But it is also a difficulty since we must create this market, evangelize etc. Now that we have customers who have been using the solution for over a year, we are able to calculate an ROI. It is impressive to see the number of hours and men that were wasted before.
What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?
I appreciate this quote from Henry Ford: “ The two most important things do not appear on the company’s balance sheet: its reputation and its people ”. Perfony is a great human adventure and the energy of this team gives extra motivation every day.
Who is the personality you admire the most?
I am always fascinated by those who have the strength to reach out to others with a capacity for self-sacrifice and forgiveness. It is appropriate, but the personality that I admire the most is Nelson Mandela.
Founder : Lionel Pasco and Luc Bonnin
Creation date : july 2011
Number of employees : 6
Company based in: Paris