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Additional Tools
Additional Tools Overview
Audio and Web Conferencing | Print |

Audio & Web Conferencing are tremendous communications tools. Whether you use them a little or a lot, nothing can replace the value they offer as efficient and affordable means to collaborate with fellow employees, clients and partners.

It is so easy to create a conference call on demand without a reservation. Even more amazing is how simple it is to hold a meeting with online presentations and share visual information in conjunction with a traditional conference call.

When you are not able to get everyone in the same room, there are no better tools than Audio & Web Conferencing. Whether you need to collaborate with a couple people across town, or thousands of people around the world, BMG Communications can consult with you to find simple and affordable solutions to meet your need.

Audio Conferencing:

Audio Conferencing is a product that enables the customer to engage in a conversation with 2 or more people via a conference bridge provided by a telecommunications company.

If you've ever tried to set up a conference call using an internal office phone system as the conference bridge, you probably understand some of the limitations involved with doing it yourself. For example, you are limited by the number of conference paths in the system, the number of available phone lines, as well as poorer sound quality the more users you add.

Not only does Audio Conferencing eliminate those issues, but it offers many benefits. Whether you're an experienced user of Audio Conferencing services, or you're just learning about the benefits, review some of these common uses and features:

  • Schedule On-The-Fly:
    Many services now offer on-demand availability. A registered user receives a Toll-Free or Direct Dial number that both the user and their audience dial anytime they want to hold a conference. The user also receives their own "Room Number" that everyone enters when the user holds a conference. This reservation-less service is very convenient and easy to use, as well as efficient, as advance scheduling is not required for the "room."

  • Call From Anywhere:
    By using a service, neither the user nor their audience, need to be in a particular location at the time of the call. They can dial into the conference from anywhere, offering tremendous flexibility.

  • Virtually No Limit On Number Of Participants:
    Audio Conferencing can handle anywhere from a handful of participants, up to an audience of thousands, depending on the product you choose.

  • Control:
    Moderator can add or remove mute functions, allow audience members to request speech capability and be placed in a queue. Calls can be open for collaboration as participants dial in, or can be placed in a waiting area until the moderator is ready to begin the call. Calls can also be forced to end when moderator is finished, or can be left open for other participants to continue collaborating, as well as many other control functions.

  • Operator Assistance:
    Despite the many advantages of conference-on-demand services that require no reservation, scheduled calls with operator assistance also serve a need. Larger calls requiring organization and introductions of senior executives, or the ability to identify the next speaker in large Q&A sessions, as well as bi-lingual calls covering multiple countries, can benefit enormously from Operator Assistance.

  • Record & Playback:
    Record & Playback features are available for calls that need to be re-capped or listened to by additional parties not in attendance during the original call.

  • Summary Reports:
    Reports are available that can include participant information.

  • Ability To Add Services:
    Expand the effectiveness of an Audio Conference by integrating other services, such as Web Conferencing, to present visual information for training purposes, presentations to partners, investors, customers, and internal employees.

To start your search for conferencing service, you may try some of these options:

Ultra Conference

UltraConference 9.8˘/minute conference calling: Outstanding on-demand fully automated service available anytime without reservations, enhanced web administration and lots of features. International access from over 30 countries at no additional charge!

Cogni Conference

CogniConference 9.9˘ per minute rate.: CogniConference™ is designed for both business and personal/family use. The system is perfect for board or business meetings or even getting together for the holiday. No reservations necessary!

There are so many benefits of Audio Conferencing, let BMG Communications help you discover which ones are most important to you, and we'll save you time and money in the process. For more information on our Audio Conferencing services, contact us for a free consultation.

Web Conferencing :

Web Conferencing now comes in many flavors. One common misconception is that Web Conferencing is simply a Web version of an Audio Conference that uses the Internet to conduct the Audio Conference. Although there are services that do this, the most popular Web Conferencing employs a component unique to the Web.

For example, a user initiates a traditional Audio Conference as described above. In this case, the user would like to bring some form of visual enhancement to the Audio Conference, such as a presentation, Web site or other document. This user can integrate a Web Conference with the traditional Audio Conference and make the meeting or training session far more productive with real-time, multi-media integration.

Why wouldn't someone use the Internet for the audio portion, along with the visual and interactive components? This would pose many potential problems. Unfortunatley, when integrating audio over the Internet today, a user runs the risk of running an ineffective conference. Not everyone may be in a position to access a quality high-speed Internet connection capable of handling the dual load of voice
transmission and visual data being shared.

Many services that attempt to do this require special plug-ins, downloads, even full-blown programs to enable this level of Voice-Over-IP integration, complicating what
would otherwise be a simple process.

Additionally, by Web Conferencing with a traditional Audio Conference over phone lines, some participants who are not able to get online at all are still be able to access the traditional Audio Conference side of the meeting, and those connected online do not risk losing the audio portion in the event of a computer malfunction.

Benefits of Web Conferencing:
The benefits of Web Conferencing and how it can help your business communicate more effectively, reduce travel expenses and increase sales:

  • Presentation:
    Share presentations via programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint® or through Web interfaces, allowing connected participants to see exactly what you want them to see.

  • Web Tours:
    Take participants on a tour through a series of Intranet, Extranet or Internet sites without the risk of participants jumping ahead, going back to previously viewed pages, or straying off into confidential areas. Control the visual information to coincide with the audio portion of the conference.

  • Document Sharing:
    In addition to presentations and tours, some services actually allow participants to share and have editing rights to a document, with the moderator's permission, of course. For collaborative projects, it's sometimes much easier to show someone in real time what would otherwise require lengthy discussion or chains of emails with confusing document revisions. This service allows real-time editing and viewing to drastically reduce time spent on other communication.

  • White Board:
    Need to draw out an idea on the fly? Use the white board feature to sketch out a quick diagram or drawing to shorten the verbal explanation or eliminate other more time consuming presentation tools when they're not necessary.

  • Web Meeting Control:
    Control the number of moderators and presenters. Specify who is able to have access to control and presentation functions, either at the outset of a meeting, or pass certain privileges to new contributors as needed.

  • Record and Playback:
    Similar to stand-alone Audio Conferencing, many Web Conferencing services offer on-demand, audio and/or data archiving and playback.

  • Enhance Corporate Profile:
    Many services offer the ability to do some form of co-branding to the Web Conferencing meeting site with the option of uploading images and logos to personalize the site and project a polished image. This is ideal for external high-profile meetings to impress investors, clients and prospects.

  • Surveys, Votes & Quizzes:
    With the ability to set up real-time electronic interaction, moderators can use the advanced features to conduct surveys, process votes and perform quizzes as part of their training and presentations.

  • Multi-Platform - Flexible & Easy to Use:
    Typically, services are entirely Web-driven. No special plug-ins or downloads required, just an Internet connection. By using the Internet as the common platform, anyone with permission to attend the meeting will be able to benefit from the visual portion, regardless of what type of machine they are using, or even how fast their connection is, as the visual portion is being presented through a browser interface. The larger files, documents and presentations being shared reside on the moderator's computer and do not have to be downloaded to the participant's machine.

  • Additional Communication Levels:
    Depending upon the service provider and configuration, many services allow for additional integration of features like text messaging, allowing users and participants to pose a question or share a comment with the moderator, without interrupting the flow of the conference. In some cases, participant's comments can be seen by other parties on the conference and increase collaboration.

There are many benefits of Web Conferencing. Let BMG Communications help you discover the features important to you, and save you time and money in the process. For more information on our Web Conferencing services, contact us for a free consultation.

Thank you for visiting our Audio & Web Conferencing section.

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