Let’s face it. We live in a world that’s spoiled for choice of picking the best conferencing solutions. From eating dinner to booking a cab, everything is here, and everything is now! But, the Paradox of Choice rightly states that too much choice is not doing us any good.
Businesses today are selling shoes on Instagram and furniture on WhatsApp messenger. Real-time communication that helps immediately address customers has made businesses all the more focused on efficiency. And efficiency always begins within the workplace.
Workplace structures are swiftly changing- employees work from home more often and sometimes they are in remote areas with poor Internet connectivity. But decisions need to be taken, and lightning-fast communication has to happen regardless. Group conferences are taking place more than ever. In such a scenario, the business audio conferencing app quickly becomes the need of the hour!
Picking The Best Conferencing Solutions
Today, there’s a plethora of service providers who offer mobile and Web-based conferencing solutions. So, when you are considering a suitable call conferencing solution, it wouldn’t seem like a bad idea to have a cheat-sheet of sorts. And on that note, here’s one for you.
1. Audio quality
An audio conferencing solution that doesn’t offer good audio quality is just a sad excuse for a solution. Most conference calling apps currently work on VoIP. As a result, the quality of the call is heavily dependent on the strength of the Wifi or the mobile network. So, unless you’re using an audio conferencing solution that runs on regular networks, be prepared for call drops, echoes, voice lags, and other audio quality issues.
In this age of rapid modernization, businesses are less about the traditional, offline, 70’s style collar-tie offices and more about the fast-paced, moving, off the desk workplaces. For those who chose the latter, their employees are across locations, teams are wildly scattered and the importance of having a sturdy, promising conference provider increases 4-fold.
And only a good conference provider will be able to give you top-notch audio quality, zero call drops, and 100% security. Isn’t that what should be your priority?
2. Number of participants
Daily huddles, Sales Review, Tech Reports, Client Consultations or Board Meetings, regardless of the frequency, a company cannot function without these meetings.
Most call conferencing apps can have a few hundred participants on a single call, which is great. But, there is always room for more. Your ideal conference provider should be able to give you the flexibility to:
- Call people, be it 5 or 5000
- Host parallel conferences without creating confusion
You can then leverage this feature and work it around your company’s advantage- be it training and development or rolling out product updates to your clients, your conference provider will be your one-stop solution.
3. Ease of use
Studies show that people waste around 15 minutes on every conference call – Setting up the call, connecting people, waiting for late joiners, and other factors that can distract the host from starting the conference on time, causing a serious impact on business.
Your conference provider should solve this issue for you. You cannot force punctuality, but you can make conferencing convenient for your participants. This also solves one of the major issues in the corporate world – increasing productivity. With an easy to operate the conferencing system, you can increase your team’s productivity. With this, the work gets faster, and you directly contribute to your company’s revenue. So when you get to kill two birds with one stone, why refrain?
4. Mobility of the participants
Conferencing on the move is what companies expect from conferencing providers. Like I said earlier, with the ever-expanding corporate world, there’s no room for sit-in offices. Employees are on the move, KPIs, KDMs are doing more, just to contribute to your company’s success. Telecommuting has become the factor that attracts millennials to work smarter, work better.
For instance, someone being able to connect from Delhi while on a metro train just makes better business sense than him/her waiting in a conference room.
Traffic, work from home or traveling shouldn’t come in the way of progress, and your conference provider should cater to this efficiently.
5. Participant visibility for the host
When you have large member conference calls, two things that you can expect:
- There will be chaos because of the large number of speakers
- The host (you) will not know who’s talking and who’s not
You cannot expect your participants to say their name, designation every time they speak. As a host, you need to visibly see that, to make your conference effective and informative.
With traditional dial-in conference providers, the host might be unable to keep track of who’s joining the conference call or leaving it. This can be inconvenient and also raise concerns about the security of the call.
You should have:
- A comfortable view to see your participants
- Easy controls to hold/mute your participants
- Key features to regulate muted participants (some action that enables the host to know if a muted participant wants to speak)
This is an important aspect of conferencing and your prospect conferencing provider should satisfy these parts.
6. Internet dependence
3G, 4G, 5G, the list keeps on increasing. The Internet is faster than ever, and no matter how fast it gets, in remote areas and most parts of the city, the internet will disappoint you. One of you might have a poor connection, and all of you will face the brunt. Nothing is more annoying than a robotic voice on call.
Most conference call applications today are VoIP based. As a result, there is a heavy dependence on the Internet. That means bad news for those who live in remote areas with hardly any Internet network.
The lesser the internet dependence, the faster the call, and the better the call quality. Therefore, if your conference provider can give you PSTN over the Internet, go for it!
7. Call recording
If you’ve ever received an email from some education centers, their USP is that you can get online lessons, even if you missed the live lesson. When this can happen over video, why can’t this happen overcall?
Imagine this- an important conference where you discuss client requirements or revenue numbers, with call recording, you can:
- Ensure that the ones who missed the meeting can also learn
- Give a modern twist to Minutes of the Meeting
- Always refer back, in case of confusion
When a large chunk of your business takes place through conference calls, recording those calls becomes a necessity. These call recordings are very helpful in data analysis and reports and in making major business decisions.
This is why you should always pick a conferencing provider that can give you recordings. Some might charge for it, but most of them are for free.
You might say, nothing online is safe and secure. But the proverb ‘offices have thin walls’ also has some truth to it. For offline meetings, there’s no way to know who’s eavesdropping, but online, thanks to participant visibility, you can view who’s on call.
While choosing your conference provider, ensure that you get 100% security. Learn about features like non-member joins, redials or cross-conference linking. And only then make your decision.
Why should you consider grptalk to be your conferencing provider?
grptalk is an intuitive and powerful audio conferencing solution that has thus far helped thousands of businesses communicate better. grptalk solves problems that most other group calling services experience. Here’s a list:
PSTN: So long, Internet
grptalk makes your conferencing experience seamless by getting rid of delays and call drops, giving complete control and visibility to the host. Moreover, it is extremely fast, with the host being able to connect with 1000+ people within 30 seconds.
grptalk uses PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) to connect users to conferences. This means great connectivity and greater audio quality. Moreover, it makes life easier for people in poor-Internet areas.
Now, working remotely will never be an issue with grptalk
Member visibility, mobility, easy interface, scale
To further enhance the user experience, there are two versions of grptalk- mobile app and web. On either version, you can enjoy
- Full participant visibility
- The mute-dial feature where you can mute out any participant.
- Admin Access, where you can have a co-host for parallel conferences
- Private room, for live, on-call, confidential discussions.
On the web, you can manage and have conferences with thousands of people at the same time. The view is expandable and collapsible for your convenience. You can view all your participants on one screen, with a segmented list of participants on call, on mute, on hold, hand-raise(the action which represents that a muted participant wants to talk), and the ones who disconnected.
In addition, you can also record these calls and share them with the participants of the call. These call recordings can be accessed only by the host, for security reasons.
In conclusion, a cheat sheet is merely a reference so you make the right choice when it comes to audio conferencing. When it comes to features, audio quality and security, grptalk can make for a great conferencing solution!
Alternatively, in case you’re looking for video conferencing which needs internet, and other systems in place, you can try TelebuJoin, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom Conferencing.
Get, Set, Conference!