The process of finding a common time for a group of people to meet is time-consuming. Group scheduling and calendaring systems facilitate this. The people concerned must each maintain an electronic calendar, and the scheduling system finds suitably available slots.
Group scheduling systems are typically very closely integrated with email systems. As they evolved, the systems typically included the ability to schedule shared meeting resources, such as conference rooms and display equipment.
We are not clear when the first group scheduling system was deployed; the museum’s best guess is 1978. IBM’s highly successful PROFS email system, available in 1981, included group scheduling, as did Digital’s ALL-IN-1.–David Ferris