With so many new ways to communicate in today’s technology driven world, plain old conference calls may feel like a thing of the past. But before you write off audio conferencing, there is something that you need to know. Wainhouse Research predicts that over the next five years, the total number of audio conferencing minutes used in North America will grow at a CAGR of 10%. This means not only will people continue to host conference calls, but they will host more of these calls than ever before. Here are the five things that you need to know about audio conferencing:
1. You get what you pay for.
When hosting conference calls, many people resort to free services to save a few bucks. They subject their guests to advertisements and quality issues, making the call last longer than it would have otherwise. In the business world, time is money and you are better off paying for a reliable service than squeaking by with a free service.
2. Compression is taking its toll.
Compression is playing a big role in the audio conferencing industry. Minute usage is on the rise, while revenues are plateauing. While this is bad news for telecommunication service providers, this is great news for those people that need to host audio calls. Companies are offering audio minutes at a much lower rate, making these services accessible to companies of all shapes and sizes.
3. Ensure international accessibility.
Before selecting an audio conferencing provider, think about your guests. Many businesses today are interacting globally on a daily basis. If this is the case for you, ensure that the provider that you select has a global infrastructure. Ask for a list of international dial-in numbers to guarantee that your guests can dial in to the call by using local phone numbers. This way, they do not get stuck with an extremely high conferencing bill.
4. Integration is handy.
Today, companies like PGi offer Microsoft Office Outlook and mobile calling app integration, which allows users to add meetings to their calendars and join conference calls from any location. This integration also allows other types of functionality, such as the ability to see who is on the call and who is talking. These types of features help lead to smoother, more productive audio conferences.
5. Know the size of your audience.
The typical audio conference line holds around 100 people. This takes care of the majority of company’s needs. However, if you are the small percentage of users that host webinars or “all hands” meetings, call size can be extremely important. Choose an audio conference provider like PGi that offers unattended audio lines that support up to 300 for no additional cost.
Like so many other technology types, conference calling technology continues to evolve far from its origins more than 20 years ago. By choosing a conference call based on today’s trends and future outlooks, you can guarantee a cost-effective, quality experience for your users. You also prepare for the Consumerization of IT trends with mobile app options for access on multiple devices, alongside integration into standard IT processes to enable users with efficiencies when scheduling conference calls and visual conferencing meetings.
To learn more about visual conferencing and conferencing calling options with PGi, including innovative GlobalMeet Web Conferencing Calling, visit their website.