GlobalMeet Audio Case Study: Hunter PR

Founded in 1989, Hunter Public Relations is an award-winning consumer products public relations firm with offices in New York and London. Hunter PR has made a name for itself as one of the most respected mid-size marketing communications firms in the country. Hunter PR executes strategic public relations programs that build equity, increase engagement and drive measurable business results for branded consumer products and services.

Communication is a key facet of Hunter’s business, and they have found success with PGi’s GlobalMeet® Audio conferencing. With GlobalMeet Audio, Hunter is better able to maintain hourly communications with staff, clients, vendors, media, influencers and partners on a global scale. In 2016 alone, Hunter PR made over 21,000 GlobalMeet Audio conference calls.

"Everything has to be easy and done quickly, and GlobalMeet Audio meets that requirements for us every time."Chad Pearson, Hunter PR Operations Manager

To learn more about how GlobalMeet Audio has enabled anytime, anywhere meeting capability and fueled better communication with its easy setup and global coverage, download the full Hunter PR case study.

Skype for Business Audio Integration: FAQs

You may be wondering why you would need an additional Skype® for Business audio provider above and beyond your existing deployment. Skype for Business provides VoIP audio, but there are limitations in scale, audio quality and consistency, as well as global availability and accessibility.

By adding audio conferencing integration to your UC deployment, you will have better audio quality and consistency with best-in-class, 24/7 customer support, as well as the ability for external participants such as clients, vendors and partners to join your meetings. To understand more about a Skype for Business audio integration, check out these frequently asked questions:

Q: What should I look for in Skype for Business audio provider?

A: Choosing an audio conferencing provider can be challenging, but there are certain things that you can look for to ensure you’ll be working with the right one. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Strength of Infrastructure: An audio provider with a network and infrastructure that is enterprise-grade to ensure quality so that your service is never interrupted at a critical moment.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: When you're in a meeting, you need your audio to work. But let's face it, sometimes technology is fickle, and you need a support system that can provide live global support in real time.
  • Global Presence: Your next big client could be half way around the world, which is why a global presence and commitment to delivering quality audio to participants regardless of location is essential.
  • Integrations: Your audio provider should easily integrate into popular unified communications services so that all employees can experience the same consistent audio no matter where they are.

Q: How does PGi support Skype for Business audio?

A: GlobalMeet® Audio by PGi easily integrates with Skype for Business (formerly Lync Online), Skype for Business Server and Lync Server 2013. Users can set up the audio service quickly through the familiar Skype for Business interface with no additional training needed. PGi’s global service offers 24/7 regional support, account management and in-meeting, live support to ensure customers are getting the most out of their audio conferencing solution.


Q: What are the benefits of having a Skype for Business audio provider?

A: There are many benefits to integrating an audio conferencing solution like GlobalMeet Audio to your Skype for Business meetings. Here are just a few:

  • Crystal-clear, consistent audio quality for efficient communication and productive meetings
  • Dial-in, dial-out, VoIP and toll-free options to connect participants from both inside and outside of your company
  • Global coverage to connect participants around the world
  • A reliable network that hosts more than 60 million meetings each year
  • Larger meeting capacity on calls with up to 250 participants
  • A range of audio controls for better meeting management
  • Implementation services to ensure a seamless integration
  • Flexible pricing options

Q: How does GlobalMeet Audio work with Skype for Business?

A: Nothing is worse than poor audio quality during a conference call. GlobalMeet Audio for Skype for Business provides high-quality audio and enables internal and external meeting participants to connect from anywhere, on any device. Whether small or large, meetings become more productive when up to 250 VoIP and PSTN connections are supported.


Are you ready to enhance your Skype for Business audio? Check out how GlobalMeet Audio's integration can give your next online meeting best-in-class, crystal-clear audio with award-winning, real-time customer support to ensure that your meetings run smoothly regardless of how or where you join.

Checklist: 8 Considerations for Selecting an Audio Conferencing Solution

It may be hard to believe, but not all audio conferencing solutions are created equal. In our constant search for the best tools to improve our productivity and collaboration, sometimes we go after the newest product on the market rather than refine an already tried-and-true solution. While we all want to sip a cappuccino street side in France or dig our toes in the sand while taking a conference call via virtual reality headsets, audio conferencing solutions remain an absolute cornerstone of many businesses’ day-to-day.

The good news is that current audio conferencing solutions aren’t those of yesteryear–or at least they don’t have to be. With PGi’s new checklist, All Conference Calls Are Not Created Equal: 8 Considerations for Selecting an Audio Conferencing Solution,  you’ll be able to better understand the key factors that can take your audio conferencing to the next level.

After you’ve downloaded the checklist and learned a little more about what to look for in an audio conferencing solution, check out PGi’s GlobalMeet Audio by requesting a demo with one of our experts.

GlobalMeet Audio Conferencing Integration Case Study

To support their rapid global growth, an American-based off-price retailer uses Microsoft Skype for Business for some of its conferencing sessions in order to reach their local and international stakeholders.

However, users commonly experienced dropped audio connections with the web conferencing solution, and in turn, also experienced some audio budget challenges. A customer of PGi for more than ten years, the retailer knew it needed to pair with PGi once again to get the most cost-effective solution for global audio coverage.

Using PGi hybrid audio conferencing integration, the company not only enriched user experiences during their global web conference calls, but also experienced more value from their existing investments while also saving additional costs on international travel.

"With thousands of calls every month to various countries, we definitely save a lot on our international travel budget by meeting online instead."Nicole Richardson, Network Engineer IV

3 Tips for Evaluating Audio Conferencing

In spite of the advances in communication technologies of late—face-to-face video, instant messaging, mobile applications and more—it can be easy to forget that audio conferencing is still the cornerstone of collaboration. All of the video chats and online meetings in the world are useless to your organization without consistent, high-quality audio tailored to your company’s unique needs.

Audio remains a bit of an afterthought in light of the complexity and innovative promises of your other communications software. Or, more commonly, you’re simply continuing a legacy audio purchase. However, audio conferencing has grown increasingly more complex (albeit not as visibly as some of our other collaboration technologies), and making an informed purchasing decision is more important than ever before.

Here are several key things to consider when evaluating an audio conferencing solution:

1) Ease of Use
While it would be easy to assume that dialing a phone number and tapping in a few pin numbers and passcodes is sufficiently simple, it can still be a frustrating user experience, particularly for guests. Instead of digging around in email looking for an invite with numbers appended, today’s audio tools can auto-connect users via Voice-over-IP (VoIP) or even automatically dial-out to you or your guests as soon as you’ve joined the conference via desktop or mobile. It may seem like a small time-saver, but multiplied across all of your meetings throughout your organization, those few minutes saved add up to significant costs saved—and time.

In addition, audio conferencing apps for both desktop and mobile provide visibility and feature access that is normally somewhat obfuscated on conference calls, such as a list of participants; indicators of who is speaking and access to volume, muting and subconferencing controls. Normally accessible through a somewhat archaic list of “*” commands, having them visible on your computer screen or mobile device creates a more intuitive, efficient conferencing experience.

2) Hybrid Network Support
In addition to more intuitive user-facing features for conference calls, the underlying network infrastructure that makes those calls possible has also grown increasingly complex. Hybrid audio support, which allows for seamless mixing of VoIP and traditional PSTN within the same call, is essential to facilitating freedom and choice for your employees as well as any external guests. Without hybrid support, you may overly complicate your audio conferences by forcing a particular connection method.

3) Integration with Existing Tools
In order to avoid needlessly overcomplicating your employees’ lives, it’s important to consider collaboration tools that seamlessly fit into what we like to call a user’s “inertia;” in other words, how does a tool integrate into existing tools and workflows? If your audio conferencing solution and existing web and video solutions don’t play nice together or force users to navigate multiple interfaces and tools to get a conference together, you’ve done a poor job optimizing their collaboration. Any audio conferencing solution you consider for your organization should offer seamless integration paths for your existing communications.

Or, if you’re considering either adding or switching your web or video conferencing, the purchasing conversation may change to a web solution that includes audio conferencing, giving your employees the freedom and flexibility to meet how they want, without the additional costs of traditional per-minute audio models.

There are a lot of shiny new communications tools out there, and many of them have matured to the point where they’re ready to enter the enterprise. However, don’t let audio be on the backburner, or you may ultimately be hindering collaboration.

To learn more about advances in collaboration technology, including audio, download our free eBook “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition” today.

This post originally appeared on CIO.com‘s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.

Red Flags to Look for When Buying Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing is a must have for the modern business. It can be used as a stand-alone collaboration tool or can be used to enhance web and video conferencing solutions. But when buying audio conferencing solutions, it’s important to understand what you’re purchasing.

Like investing in any tool to enhance your business operations, understanding the pros and cons of an audio conferencing solution is important. To get the right solution for your business, check out these five red flags to look for when buying audio conferencing.

  • No hybrid network support: The ability to seamlessly mix callers on VoIP and PTSN in a single conference call will allow participants to join from whatever device or method they choose. Hybrid network support will help make your next conference call easier for all parties.
  • Lack of global coverage: Is your business is working with customers or stakeholders overseas? Make sure your audio conferencing solution has more than just local coverage. Finding a solution that features international calling and a globally distributed network infrastructure will save your business cash and provide a better call experience for global participants.
  • Limited audio controls: An audio conferencing solution that has audio controls only accessible through the phone and “*” commands is a huge red flag. Thanks to advances in technology, most audio conferencing solutions will allow you to control your audio through apps and online on your desktop. You won’t be forced to stay at your desk to take your next conference call.
  • Limited customer service support: This is a feature many business may not really consider when looking for the perfect audio conferencing solution. Don’t let a solution’s limited customer service limit your business operations. Find an audio conferencing solution that has easily accessible customer service, available 24/7 just in case something goes awry during an important call.
  • Lack of integration with web and video: This is probably biggest red flag of them all. If you’re looking for a complete audio conferencing solution that will keep you connected with employees and able to seek out new opportunities both locally and internationally, then you need to have a solution that will integrate with web and video conferencing. Combining these three features will enhance your company’s ability to collaborate and conduct business.

Unfortunately, not all audio conferencing providers will be straightforward with the faults in their services or additional fees. By looking for these five red flags, you’ll be able to better understand what your company is investing in.

For a complete audio conferencing solution, try PGi’s GlobalMeet® Audio. To learn more about audio conferencing, check out some of these related articles:

Audio Conferencing Integration Case Study: Northwestern University

To facilitate their rapidly evolving online learning programs, Northwestern University uses a combination of independent learning and interactive audio and web conferencing sessions, which help them reach more potential students, increase engagement, improve student experiences and maintain high retention and graduation rates.

However, students and faculty commonly experienced dropped connections on the VoIP-only web conferencing solution. Losing class time, momentum and opportunities to connect, NU needed an integrated audio solution to support synchronous online learning, better manage disruptions and guarantee seamless sessions.

Using PGi hybrid audio conferencing integration, NU enriched online student experiences, realized more value from their existing investments, increased the versatility of their technology for wider use cases and accelerated pilot online learning programs with better adoption, according to Instructional Technologist Alyssa Dyar.

“The PGi integrated audio solution is pretty flawless. Students just type in their phone number, it pops up and there’s not a lot for them to do. If someone can’t get the code right, dialing out is really quick.”

Why do Small Businesses Need Audio Conferencing?

Regardless of the size of your business, you’ll always need the right tools to support your collaboration efforts. The spoken word is the foundation of successful collaboration between the various parts of your business.

Despite all the advances in business technology – features like video conferencing, screen sharing, whiteboarding and more – audio is still the ultimate tool that makes meetings and collaboration possible. Without audio, you simply can’t meet.

Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to conferencing and collaboration. From tight budgets for things like travel to limited IT infrastructure issues, finding an audio conferencing solution that fits within the realm of what’s plausible (and sensible) for your small business’s unique needs can seem tricky. However, with the proper strategy, you can find an audio conferencing tool that works for your business.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways your small business can benefit from the right audio conferencing solution:

Grow Global Presence: Thanks to advances in technology, the business world has gotten a lot smaller. The ability to reach new business globally is more attainable than ever before. Networks that were once only local and regional are now Internet-based and connected across the globe.

Thanks to modern audio conferencing solutions, you can forget about globalization difficulties by utilizing local dial-in numbers, in-language support and in-region network infrastructure. By harnessing the technology and power of modern audio conferencing software, your company can truly rethink the scale and reach for new business opportunities.

Lower Costs: As a small business, your budget is always top-of-mind, but so is looking for new business opportunities. And when you add up costs for travel or international calls in pursuit of new business, you may be running up a large bill.

By using an audio conferencing solution that integrates with an online meeting tool, like PGi’s iMeet®, you’ll be able to recreate those traditional face-to-face meeting to nurture existing global relationships or forge new ones with video and audio conferencing.

Facilitates Collaboration: Having trouble getting everyone you need on the line when you’re trying to work on new business plans or to discuss monthly sales goals? Using an audio conferencing solution that can host multiple guests can help you reach out to various team members all at once in a simple, straightforward way, allowing everyone to join regardless of location or device.

If you and your business are ready to see how an audio solution can help you expand your business globally while cutting costs, try PGi’s GlobalMeet® Audio.

Learn more about audio conferencing with these articles:

What is Audio Conferencing?

Tips for Choosing an Audio Conferencing Provider

How to Avoid Audio Conferencing Mishaps

How to Build Stronger Relationships with Audio Conferencing

Beyond products and revenue, business will always be about people—without customers and fans or employees and partners, a company is nothing but a name and a logo. Whether you’re wooing new customers or improving teamwork, building relationships can be the difference between the success and failure of both your job and your company’s brand at large.

Relationship building no longer happens just face to face. It occurs over emails, tweets, webinars, instant messaging and other virtual forums that make it quick and convenient to do at a distance.

While these tools all have a place in connecting with the people powering your business, nothing beats the speed and human touch of a good, old-fashioned phone call. Don’t overlook audio conferencing as a tool to build stronger relationships.

Why You Still Need to Pick Up the Phone

Audio conferencing will improve your business relationships and ensure that they are long lasting ones.

  • Phone calls are quick. Every salesperson knows that the faster you respond to a lead, the better your chances are of turning them into a customer. That’s because prompt communication demonstrates your genuine interest in helping someone, and unlike email and social media, you don’t have to wait for the person on the other end to find your response when you call. So if you want to make someone feel like you really care, try audio conferencing instead of sending an email or waiting to find a time to meet.
  • Conference calls are convenient. Not everyone is always in a setting to turn on their webcam for an online meeting, but people are more likely to answer a phone call, no matter where they are. And even when someone joins an online meeting on the go, most people prefer a more reliable, higher quality audio connection over VoIP.
  • Audio conferencing is more personal. If you want to get to know your teammate or a sales prospect, it sounds much more authentic to go off your talking points when you’re on the phone rather than email. Getting to know someone on a more personal level and hearing each other’s voice helps you develop trust and rapport. Plus, everyone has different communication preferences and learning styles. For instance, some prospects may prefer talking with sales primarily over emails, but many people still prefer the personal, instant, human interaction of phone calls.
  • Conference calls offer richer feedback. Building relationships requires you to not only reach out often but also to listen and learn about the other person, and conference calls help you do that better than text-based tools. Knowing how someone says something, not just what they say, tells more about what they’re thinking and feeling. Hearing pauses, sarcasm, laughter or a grave tone reveals hesitancy, anger, joy or concern, and you wouldn’t be able to pick up those insights just by reading a response. As a plus, audio conferencing captures all of that deeper data in a recording so you can go back and further analyze and archive your conversation, too.
  • Calling gets you in the door. How many times have you ignored an email? While most people are bombarded with emails, updates and messages, phone calls and voice mails don’t typically arrive by the hundreds every day. People will be much more likely to engage with you and remember you if you call.

If you want to accelerate relationship building and improve the quality of your relationships with customers, teammates, vendors or partners, audio conferencing should be part of your communication strategy.

Even if you’ve moved on from in-person meetings to video conferencing, having an all-in-one conferencing solution that includes crystal clear audio will ensure you stay in touch even when you don’t have the time for a formal online meeting or aren’t in the place to turn on video.

Learn more about the benefits of audio conferencing and all-in-one collaboration solutions for sales professionals and marketing teams today.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

How to Avoid Audio Conferencing Mishaps

Thanks to the proliferation of mobile technology, telework is on the rise. Gone are the days when employees were forced to be in office to take conference calls. Now, audio conferencing can help generate meetings pretty much anywhere – from airport terminals to coffee shops.

But these on-the-go meetings can pose some unique challenges. From poor audio due to mobile service providers to loud background noise, we’ve all suffered through some audio conferencing mishaps. Check out the below best practices to keep your next audio conference trouble-free:  

Keep it Easy to Join
We’ve all been there, waiting on that one person who can never seem to figure out the passcode or get the right dial-in number for an audio conference call. Avoid this situation altogether by choosing an audio conferencing solution that doesn’t require extensive steps to join a call.

Sometimes though, dial-in numbers are unavoidable. If this is the case, you can make it easier for everyone, especially your mobile attendees, to join the call. Make sure the dial-in number or passcode is included in the meeting invite so when they are reminded of the call, their pop-up notification will give them access to the information they need. This will also make it easier for them to rejoin the meeting in case the call is dropped.

Have international attendees? Remember to give them access to local access numbers to avoid high international audio conferencing fees.

Keep Audio Clear
Mobile technology has improved tremendously since it was first introduced in 1973. But, as we all know, sometimes mobile carrier service can be weak, causing dropped calls or intermittent lapses in audio. If you’re a remote worker joining an audio conference, make sure your signal is strong to avoid audio break-ups.

To further the chances of clear audio, make sure you are cognizant of your environment. If you’re in the office, you may be subjected to the occasional side conversation from colleagues, but if you’re mobile, your environment may be a little noisier. In all audio conferencing situations, the mute button is a great feature to use. As a rule of thumb, if you’re not presenting or interjecting, keep your line on mute to avoid unwanted distractions.

Also consider using headsets or hands-free devices if you’re on the go while taking your call. Not only is it safer, but you’ll be less likely to accidentally hang up or unmute your line while juggling your luggage, coffee or brief case.

Whether you’re constantly working on-the-go or working in-office, audio conferencing doesn’t have to be full of mishaps. Execute these best practices with a reliable audio conferencing solution, like PGi’s GlobalMeet® Audio.

 

How to Ensure a Flawless Investor Relations Call

Investor relations calls can be risky business. After all the diligent, time-consuming preparations, a lot can go wrong.

What if the audio sounds bad? What if your team forgets the call flow? How will you handle dropped calls and mispronounced names, and how will you recover from late starts and mismanaged Q&A sessions?

The complexity of a large-scale investor relations call demands so much—connecting hundreds of endpoints, complying with best practices, etc.—that they often take away the time you need to focus on your message. And the stress of minimizing slipups can deteriorate your confidence, which analysts and veteran listeners interpret as red flags.

Because there’s so much to do, and doing it all with confidence is imperative, you need the right features and solutions to ensure a flawless investor relations call. So all you need to do on the day of the call is deliver your message, you need complete IR support, such as:

  • Event Management: Veteran event managers with a thorough understanding of the industry take over the entire earnings call process, from planning and preparation to execution and post-event services. An entire team goes to work planning presentations, connecting participants and managing your Q&A. An event manager further simplifies the process by acting as a single point of contact and learning your preferences as you go.
  • Operator Assistance: Seasoned, dedicated operators with clear enunciation help make events more professional, welcoming and comfortable to minimize friction and maximize interaction. They welcome and connect callers, make introductions, moderate your live Q&A and seamlessly manage call operations with your event team behind the scenes on a separate communications line.
  • Rehearsals and Briefings: Your operator and event manager conduct rehearsals and pre-event speaker briefings to make sure there are no surprises during your investor relations call. Get audio quality checks, go over call flow and review the pronunciation of names to eliminate mistakes.
  • Host Controls: A visual audio display helps your operator or IR team prioritize callers in the Q&A queue so everyone gets a chance to ask questions (and so you can avoid disruptive callers).
  • Superior Audio Quality: Nothing’s worse than being asked to repeat yourself on an IR call, and when you’ve got hundreds of callers listening, you don’t want to fumble for solutions when connections drop. Your audio conferencing provider must be known for crystal-clear audio and reliability so you’ll be able to devote your attention to your investors, not your technology.
  • Hybrid Audio Support: Maximize attendance by choosing an audio conferencing provider with excellent hybrid audio support so you won’t have any problems connecting mobile callers and out-of-town executives.
  • Pre-Recorded Calls: By pre-recording your financial announcements, simulated live IR calls let you perfect your message and take some of the pressure off you to deliver a live event. Instead, you can stand by and wait on the Q&A portion.
  • Recording and Transcription: Make your financial announcements more accessible and extend your reach to those not in attendance with on-demand event recordings and transcription services available in multiple languages.
  • Web Streaming: Easy-to-join webcasts make your events even more engaging, interactive and impactful.

Remember, it’s not just what you say on IR calls but also how you present your message.

Explore PGi’s investor relations call solutions today for experienced event management, white glove service and customized experiences that let you minimize risks and focus on perfecting your message.

GlobalMeet Terminology

Active Talker Technology
Active Talker technology is a feature that switches the camera to the person currently speaking.
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Adobe Connect
PGi and Adobe Connect let you host live and on-demand web meetings, webinars, eLearning classes and more, complete with fully integrated audio, video and web conferencing.
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Audio Conferencing
Audio conferencing is the practice of connecting multiple called parties on a single audio conference call, with multiple lines connected through a conferencing bridge. Modern audio conferencing solutions allow for alternate connections methods such as cloud-based web connections using VoIP or connecting through smartphone or tablet applications. See GlobalMeet Audio.
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Cisco WebEx
Cisco WebEx is an enterprise-level conferencing solution that can record training sessions for up to 1,000 participants and facilitate meetings for up to 3,000. GlobalMeet Audio by PGi integrates with WebEx for the ultimate experience. See GlobalMeet Audio.
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Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is an alternative method to storing data locally on a computer’s hard drive. Instead, data is stored over the Internet, or “in the cloud,” where it can be accessed on multiple devices.
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Conference Call
A conference call is an audio meeting with multiple connected parties on the same audio bridge.
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Conferencing Software
Conferencing software, like PGi’s iMeet and GlobalMeet, allows people to communicate and collaborate with cutting edge technology for web, audio and video. See iMeet and GlobalMeet.
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Earnings Call
An earnings call is a teleconference or webcast open to the public via an 800 number and online meeting where a public company discusses its revenue for a given reporting cycle.
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Federal Acquisition Regulations
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System. The FAR System governs the “acquisition process” by which the government acquires goods and services. The process consists of three phases: (1) need recognition and acquisition planning, (2) contract formation, and (3) contract administration.
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File Sharing
File sharing is a web conferencing feature that allows a host or designated guest to display a file to other meeting attendees.
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Host Control
Host control is a web conferencing function that allows users to access a list of participants, manage Q&A, share screens and chat with others.
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Interconnectivity
Interconnectivity is a state of connection without technological barriers. Anyone, anywhere across the globe can communicate and collaborate with others on any device.
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Interoperability
Interoperability is the seamless integration and operation of any group of IT systems and software.
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Investor Relations Call
See earnings call.
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Legal Conferencing Solution
See Soundpath Legal by PGi.
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Microsoft Lync
Microsoft® Lync® is a unified communications platform offering instant messaging, voice and video. Lync® allows users to share presentations and desktop control as well as engage in online meetings, audio conferences and video conferences. Lync is a registered trademark of Microsoft®.
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Mobile Web Conferencing
Mobile web conferencing refers to a conference accessed on a smartphone or tablet. It allows participants the freedom to collaborate and communicate from anywhere in the world. See GlobalMeet.
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ON24 Webcasts
ON24 webcast integrations allow users to stream live events and presentations and record them to share later. It offers real-time event polling and feedback as well as live event monitoring and post-session reporting.
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Online Collaboration Software
Online collaboration software allows employees to reap the benefits of virtual meetings without sucking up excessive amounts of bandwidth or bogging down your network.
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Online Screen Sharing
Online screen sharing is an online meeting or web conferencing feature that allows a presenter to display their computer desktop to attendees.

Online Training Software
Online training software can be used by a number of industries, including human resources and sales, that allows in-office and remote workers to access  professional development resources and learning materials on the internet. Learn More

Operator-Assisted Conference Call
An operator-assisted conference call is an audio conference in large parties of up to 15,000 are connected by a live operator who manages call logistics, moderation, Q&A and more. See GlobalMeet Audio.
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PGi
PGi, formerly Premiere Global Services, is a video conferencing, web conferencing, and online meeting software company founded in 1991 by Boland T. Jones.
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Post-Event Debrief
After an operator-assisted conference call, a post-event debrief gives analytics and insight into viewer behavior at the event so the host(s) can objectively discuss the what happened during the event.
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Screen Sharing
See online screen sharing.
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Secure IP
A secure IP address offers standard SSL encryption to protect enterprise-level software and logins, such as a web conferencing platform. Using a secure IP ensures the integrity of such a platform or web conference by disallowing outside users to accidentally enter or cause harm to enterprise systems or software.
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Smart Calendar App
See iMeet Agenday by PGi.
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Soundpath Legal
PGi’s Soundpath Legal is a legal billing and web conferencing solution that offers audio and video conferencing for lawyers.
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Telecommuting
Telecommuting, also called remote working, is a way for employees to “commute” to work virtually and still collaborate with coworkers through the use of communication technology such as web conferencing software or email instead of completing work in a brick-and-mortar office.
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Two-Way Dialogue
Two-way dialogue is an effective means of communication in which both parties listen and respond to each. Ideally, both parties will come away with an understanding of the other’s point of view and also feel that (s)he had equal opportunity to be understood.
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Video Interview Software
Video interview software is a human resources technology in which an HR manager can recruit and/or interview job candidates virtually using video conferencing. This method of interview reduces costs of travel and adds another dimension to candidates often missed by using audio conferencing alone.
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Video Managed Services
Video conferencing solutions customized to fit a company’s needs and technical infrastructure as well as its training, implementation, and support availability requirements.
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Viewer Behavior Tracking
Viewer behavior tracking uses metrics from operator-assisted audio calls, webinars, video conferences, etc. to help online meeting or event hosts determine viewer engagement levels after an online collaboration experience.
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Virtual Collaboration
Virtual collaboration is a way for people to engage with one another and work together using web conferencing, online meetings, and other communication technologies to connect digitally anywhere, on any device.
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Virtual Employee
A virtual employee is anyone who works remotely or telecommutes.
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Virtual Meeting
A virtual meeting is any conference or collaboration that happens on a laptop, desktop or mobile device using online meeting or web conferencing software.
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Virtual Office
A virtual office is a web platform (like iMeet) that gives users a virtual space that any colleague can enter by visiting their dedicated online meeting URL. The owner is then notified exactly who has entered via email or text and can join the space to collaborate.
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Virtual Security
Virtual security is a set of measures taken to ensure websites, networks, software etc. are protected from crashes and foul play, such as malware infections.
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Virtual Training
Virtual training is a teaching and learning method that uses webinars or web conferencing technology to present material online.
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VoIP
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is an audio conferencing option that delivers voice communications over the Internet rather than a traditional public switched telephone network, or PSTN. A VoIP participant converses through his or her computer’s microphone, which sends audio messages over the Internet to others in the conference or online meeting.
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Web Conferencing
Web conferencing refers to any multipoint, online communications solution that allows for simultaneous sharing of voice audio, web cam video and text-based chat communications between multiple participants.
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Web Meeting
See online meeting.
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Web Recording
Web recording is an online meeting or video conferencing feature that allows hosts to record virtual events or webinars to archive and share later.
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Web Streaming
Web streaming allows live audio and video to be broadcast in real time over the Internet during an audio, web, or video conference or webcast.
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Webcast, Webcasting
A webcast is an online event that is streamed live over the Internet.
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WebEx Audio Integration
WebEx audio integration is a solution that incorporates GlobalMeet Audio by PGi into a WebEx conference to improve audio quality and overall performance.
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Webinar
A webinar is an online meeting presentation or web conference event that is broadcast in real time to multiple participants, which often ask questions at the end via real-time chat or polling features. A webinar is typically recorded so it can be shared later and archived.
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Webinar Hosting
Webinar hosting is the process of creating and moderating a webinar. It involves organizing and managing presentation files, registering and accommodating a large number of participants, engaging the audience, and using web conferencing software (like GlobalMeet by PGi) to record and archive the webinar.
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Workation
A workation is a telecommuting experience in which an employee uses online and cloud-based collaboration and communication tools to work while on vacation, allowing employees to utilize their time off without feeling like they’re getting behind.

How to Become a Lync Audio Conferencing Expert

Microsoft® Lync® Online (now Skype for Business) is a powerful communication tool for connecting your entire company, but how do you connect your company with clients, partners and mobile workers to extend the value of your unified communications and collaboration investment?

Become an expert on Lync audio conferencing to get the most out of your investment and ensure your solution truly meets all of your collaborative needs.

The Benefits of Lync Audio / Skype for Business Integration
Microsoft Lync Online offers users the ability to start a meeting anytime right from their computer, but unfortunately, that’s not the only way that users work. While audio conferencing is one of Lync’s many capabilities, its VoIP-only audio puts limitations on when, where and with whom you can collaborate.

By integrating a separate audio conferencing service, you can have an integrated conferencing experience and connect from a phone, too. Unlike your software provider, a true audio conferencing expert will also provide you with better call control, a variety of ways to connect and enhanced global coverage.

Before you choose a Lync audio conferencing service, it’s important to develop your understanding of what your users need and the collaboration complexity that you need audio integration to resolve.

3 Must Reads on Lync Audio / Skype for Business Conferencing
To become an educated Lync audio conferencing buyer, get started with these three must-read articles and white papers on the complexity of and audio solutions for your Lync investment:

  1. Why Do I Need a Lync Audio Conferencing Provider?: Better audio quality is only one benefit of leveraging a Lync audio provider. Like most enterprises, yours is probably collaborating with a larger group of mobile, external and international users more than ever. Here’s how that impacts your Lync deployment.
  2. Tips for Choosing a Lync Audio Conferencing Provider: Because this unified communications solution is so critical to your company’s collaboration needs, it’s important to choose a provider you trust and that offers the expertise and support you need. Here’s how to assess those qualifications.
  3. Powering Collaboration in the Unified Communications Era: Make sure you understand the complexity of your Lync endpoints and access methods to ensure your provider sufficiently meets the needs of your Lync audio conferencing supplementation. Download this white paper today.

GlobalMeet® Hybrid Audio for Lync Online

Collaboration is not only more important but also more complex than ever before. However, with the superior quality and support from an expert Lync audio integration provider, you’ll be confident that every meeting and interaction consistently works on this platform.

Did you know that Microsoft Lync Online is now Skype for Business? The newest version of Lync blends the familiarity and love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance, and control of Lync.

Interested in learning more about Skype for Business? Check out these articles:

Operator Assisted Conference Calls Case Study: Beck Ag

Beck Ag specializes in facilitating audio conferencing conversations with agriculture professionals to accelerate the word-of-mouth marketing process for agriculture industry leaders. In order to accomplish this, their events with clients' customers must  be so accessible, authentic, consistent and flawless that participants feel they're joining conversations, not conference calls.

For 15 of their 18 years in business, Beck Ag has partnered with PGi to simplify these complex events using operator assisted conference calls. PGi's dedicated call team and high-touch services helped Beck Ag maximize attendance, minimize errors, naturally integrate interactive polls and save time on prepping for calls.

As a result, PGi's easy-to-join, seamless call format is one of four reasons the majority of participants reported a favorable experience in studies, as well as a contributing factor to why an average 85-100 percent of participants polled after each call found the event valuable and worth attending. These positive experiences contribute to higher engagement, which impact word-of-mouth sharing and result in repeat and new business for Beck Ag.

“We’ve seen repeat client business — that’s significant. We know that if our client didn’t have a good experience with PGi, we would reconsider our services. We’ve grown, and part of that has a lot to do with PGi’s continued delivery of excellence.”

Operator Assisted Conference Calls Case Study: CAIA

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA) is known as a world leader in alternative investment (AI) education, growing to 18 global chapters in 2014 and spreading awareness of their high standards of achievement for AI professionals.

However, global growth poses a challenge to the organization's mission for transparency, information sharing, engagement and communication. To connect global members, Chapter Relations Manager Heather Morales uses operator assisted conference calls for professional, quarterly calls with chapter members.

Conference calls provide a compelling medium for members to join the conversation, and PGi's seamless experience keeps the focus on the dialogue, not the technology, increasing attention and interaction.

To callers, the experience is simple, but PGi's hybrid audio conferencing experience is highly sophisticated. Total event management lets CAIA carefully prepare for these events and customize them for their needs.

PGi's operator assisted conference calls help CAIA support new growth and improve their existing membership service. With the aid of an operator, the Q&A is easy and organized, and post-event reporting and recordings help CAIA continue engagement.

“We’ve taken the calls to the next level. There’s that personal touch; it’s not just automated. Callers actually get to talk to somebody, and the operator checks back in with them. It helps a lot because they feel like they’re not forgotten on the line,”Heather Morales, Chapter Relations Manager

Audio Conferencing Integration Case Study: Mercedes-Benz USA

Not many industries are completely untouched by digital transformation, including your local car dealership. For Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), faster information sharing matters more than ever to balance consistent, global branding with increased customer touchpoints and evolving marketing and sales strategies.

To bridge the internal information gap across the US, the company uses web events for virtual training. But how do you ensure those huge, ongoing events always run smoothly?

MBUSA uses audio conferencing integration to conduct more user-friendly, professional conferencing with enterprise security, mobility and enhanced control. Cost-savings aside, audio-integrated webinars add value with the benefits of advanced telephony for web events, including increased productivity, better attendance, enhanced engagement and more reliability.

Learning Architect Surya Boonphadung uses seamless GlobalMeet® Audio integration for all internal training purposes. The whole process is smooth, and it’s a seamless experience for the user. We know what we’re using, but for the attendees, it’s just another live conference they are dialed into, and it works flawlessly. It’s pretty intuitive,” Boonphadung said.

PGi's suite of collaboration services (like operator assisted conference calls) accommodate MBUSA's larger events, as well, lending flexibility and scalability as this leading, luxury automotive brand transforms the car buying experience.

How to Choose an Enterprise Audio Conferencing Solution

For large enterprises, audio conferencing is an essential tool for driving collaboration, productivity and business results. While many enterprises may have the resources to try and tackle their collaboration solution on their own, increasingly, multi-national corporations are recognizing that they don’t possess the necessary skillsets. And furthermore, they can burn considerable resources trying to create something that already exists in the marketplace.

However, with so many employees relying on your conferencing solution, how do you properly evaluate an enterprise audio conferencing solution and provider to ensure reliability, consistency, security and ease-of-use?

Like any enterprise software purchase, there are several key areas to consider when purchasing audio conferencing to ensure it meets your organization’s needs, scale and reach.

Provider’s History, Reputation and Customer Base
While collaboration start-ups can grab headlines and VC funding, few companies in the world are equipped to support the collaboration needs of the largest global corporations. One of the first areas to evaluate when comparing providers is how many other large companies they’ve successfully supported, how successful they’ve been in doing so and their level of experience in the marketplace. Case studies, customer testimonials, reference customers and more are all invaluable assets throughout the conferencing buying cycle.

Conferencing by the Numbers
When supporting thousands of employees, numbers become very important to your conferencing solution, both in terms of simultaneous users and simultaneous meetings on your provider’s network. Carefully evaluate the meeting capacities that are available in the conferencing solutions you evaluate to ensure that they meet your needs, from the smallest ad hoc conference calls to large, company-wide events.

In addition, once the decision is made to deploy a solution to your extensive user base, training programs and resources become paramount to driving usage and adoption to maximize ROI.

Security and Resiliency
Enterprises frequently exchange highly sensitive information and trade secrets during their conference calls, making their meetings some of the most important on the globe. Enterprise-grade security and encryption and centralized IT administration allow your organization to easily establish user permissions at either the individual or departmental level, ensure that and protect valuable company data. And built-in network resiliency and failover helps ensure that your service will always be available for your critical meetings.

Support Structure
Regardless of the strength of a provider’s network infrastructure and resiliency, it’s inevitable that your associates will encounter problems that require customer support. For enterprises, it’s vital to provide access to multiple support avenues, including in-meeting support, live chat, phone support and customer communities in order to meet the diverse needs of such a large employee base.

Furthermore, the reach of multi-national corporations makes global support – in terms of network infrastructure, access points, dial-in numbers and local-language support options – a must-have component of any collaboration solution.

 

Tips for Choosing a Lync Audio Provider

Microsoft Lync (now Skype for Business) is one of the most popular unified communications solutions on the market today, thanks to Microsoft’s long history with and dominance in the enterprise software space. The decision goes far beyond the simple nuts and bolts of a deployment. Here are tips for choosing a Lync audio provider, including three key factors that should be evaluated:

1. Trust
Unified communications solutions such as Microsoft Lync / Skype for Business are an increasingly vital way for businesses to connect, collaborate and communicate. Because of their importance, an audio conferencing solution has to come from an equally trusted provider, one that has both a long-standing, successful relationship with Microsoft and the trust of organizations around the world for their audio conferencing needs.

Carefully evaluate an audio provider’s case studies, customer base and reference customers. Are they trusted by organizations that you trust and respect, or that have seen significant success in the marketplace?

2. Expertise
Modern communication and collaboration solutions such as audio conferencing are incredibly complex technologies. The complexity of the networks, infrastructure, security and resilience measures and more all require industry-leading levels of expertise to create seamless and productive collaboration experiences.

Unified communications is too important to your business to work with a provider without extensive expertise connecting diverse businesses with a variety of network setups and requirements. Carefully evaluate your Lync audio provider’s track record and technology leadership to ensure a smooth deployment and usage experience.

3. Support
Finally, it’s important for your Lync / Skype for Business audio provider to complement Microsoft’s Lync support for IT administrators. Because of the key role audio conferencing plays in any meeting, having access to 24/7 end-user audio support will be vital to the success of your unified communications experience. And in an increasingly global economy, your audio solution should offer in-region, in-language help to support global employees, clients and vendors.

For over 20 years, PGi has been a pioneer in collaboration, providing innovative solutions to businesses all over the world for the shaping and advancement of ideas. In addition to PGi’s audio conferencing integration with Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business, we also offer cloud-based web and audio conferencing tools, operator-assisted audio events, and webcasting.

Learn More
Did you know that Microsoft Lync Online is now Skype for Business? The newest version of Lync blends the familiarity and love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance, and control of Lync.

Interested in learning more about Skype for Business? Check out these articles:

How to Choose an Audio Conferencing Solution

With the incredible pace of innovation in communications technologies—including face-to-face video, instant messaging, mobile applications and more—it can be easy to forget that audio conferencing is the cornerstone of collaboration. Without consistent, high-quality audio tailored to your organization’s unique needs, collaboration simply isn’t possible.

It’s easy to put your audio solution on the backburner in light of the complexity of your other communications software, or to simply continue a long-standing audio purchase. However, audio conferencing has grown increasingly more complex (albeit not as visibly as other technologies), and there are several key things to consider when choosing a solution:

1) How easy is it to use?

You may think that dialing a phone number and entering a passcode is fairly simple already, but audio conferencing solutions have evolved to make meeting entry even easier. Modern tools can auto-connect users via VoIP or dial-out as soon as you’ve joined the conference via desktop or mobile application. It may seem like a small time saver, but multiplied across all of your meetings throughout your organization, those few minutes saved add up to significant cost and time.

In addition, these desktop and mobile applications also provide visibility and feature access that is normally lacking from conference calls, such as a list of participants, indicators of who is speaking and access to volume, muting and subconferencing controls. While these features are normally accessible through a list of “*” commands (and still are, should you have them memorized), having them visible on your computer screen or mobile device creates a more intuitive, efficient conferencing experience.

2) Is it mobile?

While conference calls are mobile by default (since you can always dial-in from your smartphone), mobile conferencing applications offer unique features that have become practically essential in today’s BYOD-driven workplace. These apps offer simple connections and a visible read-out of participants and who is speaking when, in addition to the aforementioned easy access to common features like volume, muting and sub-conferencing or breakout sessions.

In addition, your provider’s invitations should be straight-forward and mobile-optimized, allowing for one-touch dial in and passcode entry.

3) Does it support multiple connection methods simultaneously?

As endpoints, codecs, audio bridges and other technologies that make audio conferencing possible have evolved, the underlying infrastructure of your conference call has also grown increasingly complex. Hybrid audio support, which allows for seamless mixing of VoIP and PSTN within the same conference call, is essential to facilitating freedom and choice for your employees as well as any third-party participants. Without hybrid support, you may overly complicate your audio conferences by forcing a particular connection method.

4) Does it integrate with your existing tools, or offer support for web and video integrations?

Finally, an audio conferencing solution you consider for your organization has to offer seamless integration paths for your existing communications deployments, including unified communications tools such as Microsoft® Lync®.

Or, if you’re also considering web or video conferencing, the purchasing conversation may change to a web solution that includes audio conferencing integration, giving your employees the freedom and flexibility to meet how they want, with no additional costs offer traditional pay-per-minute audio models.

Interested in learning more about purchasing an audio conferencing solution for your organization? Contact a PGi expert today.

Tips for Choosing an Audio Conferencing Provider

While not as flashy as the latest communications technologies, audio conferencing remains mission-critical to businesses of all sizes all around the world. The spoken word is the foundation of collaboration, and without consistent, high-quality audio connections, all of the latest web and video features are all but useless.

Choosing an audio conferencing provider, however, can be a bit daunting. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing audio conferencing:

1) Strength of Infrastructure
At the core of any audio conferencing purchasing decision should be a careful consideration of the strength, stability and resilience of a provider’s audio infrastructure. As all of the technologies around the conference call have evolved—smart phones, VoIP audio, unified communications, etc.—audio conferencing has grown increasingly more complex.

Your organization needs an audio provider with a network and infrastructure that is enterprise-grade to ensure quality and hardened against failure so that your service is never interrupted at a critical moment.

2) Hybrid Audio Support
The evolving complexity of audio infrastructure makes it vital to have the capability to seamlessly combine audio from a variety of endpoints and access methods—mobile, VoIP, PSTN, desk phones—into a single conference call. And all of this has to happen invisibly to the user to provide frictionless, intuitive collaboration experiences to power productivity and business growth. This type of audio support is called “hybrid audio,” giving your organization the ability to have a single call combining all of these various devices and connection methods.

Ensure that your audio conferencing provider’s network can support hybrid audio. As your workforce becomes more mobile and the BYOD phenomenon more prevalent, facilitating multiple access methods will be key to maintaining productivity and collaboration within your business.

3) Global Presence
Even if your company primarily works within a single country, providing global access to conference calls is paramount to extending your business’s reach and bridging gaps between employees, customers and partners. Without local dial-in numbers, in-language support and in-region network infrastructure, international conference calls can be confusing, poor quality disasters.

Carefully consider your providers’ global presences and their commitment to serving and delivering quality audio to participants all over the world. Just because your operation is in one place doesn’t mean your next big client will be.

4) Integrations
Finally, your audio conferencing solution needs to integrate easily to any existing collaboration solutions your company may have deployed in order to avoid needless complication and clunky interactions and, more importantly, to increase the overall ROI of your collaboration deployments.

Verify that your audio conferencing provider can integrate easily into popular web, video and unified communications services so that your employees can experience the same consistent audio experience regardless of how they’re meeting.