Saturday, 3 November 2012

Online Conference Calling Services: Features, Need and Importance

Why Conference Call Services? What are its various features? What is the need and importance of conference call services in modern business?

This article answers various questions regarding online conference calling services. It focuses on the need and importance of conference calling services in today's modern business life. We will also discuss various features to look before purchasing a conference calling service.

As businesses develop and grow into national and world-wide companies, travel has become a mundane part of life for many business people. Spending countless hours on a plane, adjusting to time changes and holding meetings around the clock to fit everything in is all part of the normal routine schedule nowadays. Thankfully technology has journeyed forward and provided us with the conference call services to hold a conference with workers around the globe while never leaving the desk or office. Conference calls are a great way for participants to gather and discuss business issues and ideas. Keep in mind that a conference call service is different than a web conference call service, as it only provides a place to gather. Your participants will not need a computer to join a conference call.

Conference Call Services: What to Look For

No matter where you are located and who you need to contact, the best conference call service company will provide you with support around the clock, a high-quality audio and video connection and the tools that will allow you to interact with conference participants anywhere.

Conferencing Features

The features of conference call services focus on the tools and capabilities each company provides for calls. The best conference call service companies will provide their users with full access to their system at any time, blocked entry so only certain participants can enter the call, automated invites and automated RSVPs. Some of the features that we feel should not be overlooked are recording and replay, multiple presenter controls, the maximum number of participants allowed into each call and the maximum duration allowed.

File Sharing

More often than not meetings focus on a specific subject or topic for discussion. An important part of conferences is what each participant brings to the table as well as the presenter themselves. File sharing is an integral part of web conference calling since it allows the users to share documents, applications or entire desktops with their participants. However, keep in mind that this is a conference call and not necessarily a web conference, so not all individuals will have computer access.

Interactive Abilities

The options provided in this area are what bring each conference to life. For real-time polls, surveys and hand raising, the best companies have what you are looking for. When a participant has a comment they can “raise their hand” and alert the host or presenter. There is also a white board ability that allows users to draw, take notes and brainstorm with other participants. You can feel like you are in the same room with someone even though you are hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Conference call services will allow you to use these actions by pressing certain numbers or a sequence of numbers on your telephone.

Ease of Use

Every person wants a plethora of tools and services to choose from but also the ease and the simplicity that allows them to utilize the benefits. As we searched for the features, file sharing capabilities and interactive abilities that each company offered, we took into account the ease that each service provides. From signing up to beginning and hosting a web conference, we ranked the companies in usability and design.

Help & Support

As with any web service the help and technical support is a large area to take into consideration. If you are in the middle of a meeting and something happens, you don’t want to wait countless hours to reach a representative to help you. Some of the best conference calling companies we found offer around-the-clock technical support with live representatives. We put them to the test and contacted them numerous times to find out how easy they were to contact, how knowledgeable they were about their product and the overall help they could provide us in our time of need. We were very impressed with some conference call services and significantly less impressed with others.

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