Conference Call Information : Articles

Choosing The Right Conference Calling Plan For Your Business

A typical scenario for a business today is to find themselves in receipt of record profits. However, because of the rising cost of travel and the company's expansion into new markets, the expense line for travel has kept pace with the income.

You have been asked to look into conference calling plans that will help to reduce the expenses that are being incurred as a result of the increased travel. This travel is not only reflected in the expense reports submitted by your sales personnel, but through other staff members who report to the corporate headquarters for quarterly staff meetings.

Your research has revealed that there are two basic conference calling plans that are available for your business. Your report to the chief operating officer reveals the details surrounding audio conferencing and video conferencing.

Conference Call

A conference calling plan that is strictly audio is through the use of a third party conference call provider. Through the system of conferencing, a company, through a contract with their service provider, can call a toll free number. Those that have been invited to the conference call simply call this phone number and when prompted enter a specific code followed, generally, by the pound sign. Once this process has been completed the caller is linked to the other attendees of the conference call.

This particular conference call plan usually provides two methods of payment. The first method of billing is determined by the length of the conference call. The time utilized is charged at a pre-designated rate. Normally this rate is by the minute and the company that utilizes this service is charged at the end of their billing cycle.

The other method of payment is a charge that utilizes a flat rate. Regardless of the number of times that the conference number is utilized for conferencing, the customer company is charged the same rate each billing period.

Video Conference Calling Plan

When considering a video conference calling plan it is important to remember that communication is paramount for the success of any relationship. In the business world communication is just as important.

A video conference calling plan combines the best of both worlds when it comes to communication. Those two worlds are audio and visual. This plan is accomplished by utilizing not only phone lines where multiple parties can be bridged together, but also utilizing video conferencing technology so that those that are speaking can be seen by the other attendees in the conference. This type of conference calling plan is ideal in that not only do you hear the verbal communication, but you also view the nonverbal language.

The negative aspects to this conference calling plan are that specialized equipment and technology is required. The options for a company are to invest dollars to bring about this technology to their place of business. In addition, the same equipment needs to be available for use by the other attendees on the conference call. This may be cost prohibitive.

Therefore, another option is the utilization of business call centers that provide this technology as a service. Even though there are costs associated with this service, it is important to remember that it may be far less when given the costs associated with travel, meals and lodging.