Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is one of the many free features included in our global call forwarding service.
Fax Forward Globally
Fax Forwarding Uses. When another business or customer wants to send you a fax, it’s tempting to say, “Can’t you just email me a PDF?” because of all the disadvantages listed above, but that shifts the burden to them. Fortunately, there’s a much better way that allows you to ditch the physical fax machine, dedicated phone line, and all of the associated hassles of faxing while still accommodating those who need to send you faxes: Fax forwarding.
Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is one of the many free features included in our global call forwarding service. With this service, you can select a toll-free virtual phone number for your city, state, country — or any other country of the world, and use it to receive faxes. There’s no need for a fax machine, ribbons, ink, or paper because the faxes will be digitized and forwarded to your email inbox.
From the other party’s perspective, they simply place a document in their machine, dial your fax number, and hit the “send fax” button as usual. From your perspective, you receive a PDF via email. Now you can respond promptly from your desktop or mobile phone and there are no more worries about missed faxes.
Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is ideal for global faxing:
Receiving orders or POs from overseas customers or suppliers
Receiving food orders at a take-out restaurant
Receiving health care orders
Receiving signed documents
Your forwarding number can do even more than just receive and forward faxes. You can also use it to receive voice calls from the originating country. For example, if you need to receive faxes from an overseas customer in Singapore, you’d want to order a global virtual forwarding number that’s local or toll-free Singapore and set up your email address to receive faxes. However, if you’d also like your customer in Singapore to have a convenient means of reaching you by phone, set up a “ring to” number (such as your office or mobile phone number) for voice calls. Now, your customer can reach you via phone without having to dial an international number. Your business will feel more local as a result.
Whether your business is established or just starting up, our contract-free virtual phone number services are an affordable choice that enhances communications.
Spend some time examining a time zone map to determine a few optimal times for your global conference calls. Depending on how to spread out your team is, you may have to make a few compromises.
Setting Ground Rules for Timing International Conferencing Activities
International Conferencing Activities and video conferencing are outstanding communications methods for global teams. They allow everyone, regardless of location, to meet virtually. If your team members are located in the same time zone, or in relatively close time zones, impromptu and scheduled conference calls are as easy as domestic ones. However, the further apart they are, the more complicated it gets. Few people are willing to set their alarm clocks for 3:00 am in order to attend a work-related conference call. With that in mind, it’s helpful to set some ground rules. Below are a few tips to get started.
Determine Your Business’s Master Working Hours
This is helpful in general for businesses with satellite offices around the world. All branches should be aware of your main office’s working hours. If your main office is in Los Angeles, California, consider making Pacific time your official “home office” time. This doesn’t mean all branch offices will need to match their working hours to your home office time, but they should be aware of it.
For example, if your Tokyo office wants to hold an ad hoc global conference call at the end of day on a Monday at 4:00pm local time, that would actually be 11:00pm on a Sunday night home office time. A better choice would be to schedule the global conference call for Tuesday at 8:00am Tokyo time which would be 3:00pm Monday in Los Angeles.
Determine the Best Times for Most Conference Calls
Spend some time examining a time zone map to determine a few optimal times for your global conference calls. Depending on how spread out your team is, you may have to make a few compromises. Let’s use Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London as an example. If you plan on holding a global conference call during your home office hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm Pacific time, it will be the middle of the night in Tokyo and evening to midnight in London.
Some participants will need to join the call outside of their own local office hours. The most optimal time in this example would be 1:00 or 2:00pm Pacific time. Participants in Tokyo would need to join at 6:00 or 7:00am local time while those in London would join at 9:00 or 10:00pm local time. Though not ideal for your participants, it’s preferable to an international conference call during their normal sleeping hours.
Thus, for all-hands-on conference calls, you might establish 1:00 pm home office time as the ideal time for this type of conference call. For global conference calls between the home office and Tokyo, you might determine that 4:00 pm home office time is best. For international conference calls between LA and London, 8:30am Pacific time might be the best compromise.
Whatever you determine to
be the optimal times for each office, create a master chart and share it with
Consider the Proportion of Attendees in Each Time Zone
Finally, not all calls will require everyone’s attendance. If you’re the only person in Los Angeles who will be on a given conference call and everyone else is overseas, it might make more sense to schedule the call during your participants’ office hours. This may mean you’ll have to host an international conference call late at night or early in the morning, but you’ll be the only one who’s inconvenienced.
Modern SMR systems offer both a traditional dispatch mode, which allows for walkie-talkie-like voice communications over the air between two or more units, and interconnected mode, which uses the public switched telephone network for a more mobile phone-like experience.
Mobile Radio Early Wireless
Before the cell phone, many commercial businesses relied on (and many still do) specialized mobile radio, or SMR, to communicate with service workers out in the field. While public agencies such as law enforcement agencies had access to mobile radios starting in the late 1920s, commercial licenses weren’t available until the SMR service was established by the FCC in 1979. This opened the door to businesses operating fleets to communicate with their drivers in real time.
Specialized mobile radio
systems typically include a base station transmitter and antenna for the
dispatch office along with mobile radio units for the field technicians. The
mobile radio units could be car- or truck-mounted or handheld. In the early
days of SMR, vehicle-mounted units were common. Typical use cases for SMR
included dispatching taxis and tow trucks.
Modern SMR systems offer
both a traditional dispatch mode, which allows for walkie-talkie-like voice communications
over the air between two or more units, and interconnected mode, which uses the
public switched telephone network for a more mobile phone-like experience. In
dispatch mode, the entire fleet can hear these communications while
interconnected mode allows for private conversations.
Motorola was a pioneer in
the two-way radio era and a mainstay in police cruisers for decades before SMR
was introduced to commercial businesses. Motorola improved upon SMR technology
and developed MIRS (Motorola Integrated Radio System), which later became the
Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN), a mobile telecom technology that
blended cell phone technology with trunked radio service in 1991. Motorola’s
improvements increased the number of users on a single part of the bandwidth
dramatical compared to the standard, analog version of SMR.
A company called Fleet
Call (at the time) used Motorola’s iDEN network to power its mobile devices,
which were marketed to service-based companies such as pest control, mobile auto
repair, plumbing, HVAC, cable TV, and uniform companies. Fleet Call’s devices
looked and acted much like typical cellular phones of the early 1990s, but with
a unique “push to talk” feature that instantly converted the phone into a
two-way radio. By 1993, Fleet Call had changed its name to Nextel.
The push-to-talk feature
differentiated Nextel phones from the rest of the pack and was seen as a
marketing advantage. However, Nextel resisted including this feature on its
phones initially but the FCC insisted since the iDEN network was licensed to
use bandwidth reserved for dispatch use.
Nextel phones had several
advantages in that era: they could be used as pagers, cell phones, and two-way
radios depending on the business’s needs at any given time. For example, a
dispatcher could send a short text message or alert to call the office at the
next opportunity, which was similar to the most advanced pagers of the time. A
dispatcher could also call an individual for a private phone conversation or
use the push-to-talk function to get a quick status update.
Nextel was later acquired by Sprint in 2005. Sprint abandoned Nextel’s iDEN network in favor of its own CDMA network. In 2013, Sprint decommissioned the iDEN network and integrated the spectrum in the Sprint LTE network.
If you’re looking for a convenient, engaging way to get your team together, a virtual workshop is something to consider.
Holding Virtual Workshops with the help of a Conferencing Tool
Conferencing Tool Enables Workshops with an effective means of collectively building a team’s skills. Holding a workshop has a lot of benefits beyond the actual training including the opportunity to build stronger relationships with your team members. However, the logistics involved in gathering a group together for a workshop can be tricky, especially if your team is scattered geographically.
From meeting room rentals and catering to flights and accommodations, costs can quickly grow, too. If travel is required, you may also experience a short-term productivity loss due to team members having to take time off to travel to the workshop. As wonderful as it is to get the team together in person, there’s another option: holding virtual workshops with our audio, video and web conferencing tool. Here are a few pointers.
• Determine the format — Does the training require visuals or will an audio conference alone suffice? Video and web conferencing are ideal for holding a virtual workshop where video will play a key role. If you also intend to share files or give a PowerPoint presentation, your virtual workshop will need to be in a visual format. If you don’t need visuals, audio conferencing is an another way to go. Consider also the advantages and disadvantages of the different conferencing options.
With video and web conferencing, your attendees will need Internet access and a standard web browser to join. With audio conferencing, a standard phone connection is all that’s needed. If you have attendees from around the globe, our international conferencing plan makes joining your audio conference a simple matter of dialing a local or toll free number specific to each participant’s country.
• Determine the size and scope of your virtual workshop — There’s a big difference between holding an audio conference call with 10 people and one with hundreds or even thousands on the call. For large events, contact us to learn more about our assisted event conferencing services. If you’re holding a video conference, how many people need to appear on screen via webcam?
Video conferencing is an excellent choice for smaller teams, enabling everyone to see and interact with one another. You may also want to have a series of individual presenters, passing the presenter’s role from one person to the next as your workshop progresses.
• Prepare your materials — As with a live workshop, you’ll need to do a lot of planning and preparation beforehand. You may even want to pre-produce some of your presentations for live playback during the workshop. Having them done in advance relieves some of the stress of the day’s events.
• Invite your team — Since the workshop is being held via audio, video or web conference, there’s no need for anyone to travel, which should increase attendance. If the workshop is for your own internal team, you could even make attendance mandatory.
• Record your workshop sessions — Our conferencing tools make recording easy. Your recordings can be added to your learning management system, allowing your team to rewatch any session they might have missed or want to review at their leisure. Future team members can also benefit from your previous virtual workshops.
If you’re looking for a convenient, engaging way to get your team together, a virtual workshop is something to consider. Our affordable, contract-free audio, video, and web conferencing tool can help you make it happen.
Virtual Conference Room with Audio, Video and Web Conferencing
The rise of smartphones, tablets, Skype, and FaceTime have fundamentally changed how we work and communicate with one another. Just a few years ago, having a physical conference room was an absolute necessity for most businesses. Today, you may be wondering how you might put that space to better use. After all, a good portion of employees work remotely. Even when a business hosts a video or web conference to include remote team members, it’s not unusual for those huddled around the conference room table to log in on their laptops so they can take advantage of all the real-time collaboration features offered by desktop video conferencing in their virtual conference room.
Whether your office has a
conference room or not, creating a virtual conference room with audio, video,
and web conferencing capabilities could eliminate the need for a dedicated
meeting space without having to compromise on human interactions. Here’s what
you need to know.
It’s no longer necessary to invest in extensive audio / video hardware — For example, our desktop video conferencing solutions run in a standard web browser and utilize each participant’s onboard webcam and microphone.
Virtual conferencing is easy to use and packed with helpful features — Hosting or participating in a video or web conference is easy with our service. If you can navigate a basic website, you can easily manage a video conference. Features such as screen sharing, collaborative notes, recordings, chats, personal share space, pass-the-presenter, and a companion mobile app enhance the virtual conferencing experience. In fact, you’ll probably miss these tools the next time you’re in a regular in-person meeting.
Geographic boundaries are no longer obstacles to getting things done — Getting your entire team together in person has become increasingly impractical, especially when many work from home, in co-working spaces, in various branch offices, in the field, or in entirely different countries for that matter. With a virtual conference room, location no longer factors into the equation. Everyone simply joins at the appointed time from wherever they happen to be. They can join using any type of device, too, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets.
Different types of conferencing services are available — It’s not always necessary to meet with webcams on or with screen-sharing enabled. In many cases, an audio conference is a desirable choice. We offer audio, video, and web conferencing, allowing you to build the right conferencing solution for your needs. Even better, each of our services is offered without a contract, which means you can add or remove services as your needs change. For example, if you’re working on a short-term contract with overseas vendors, you may need our international conferencing plan for a few months. Once that contract is up and you no longer need to communicate internationally, you could stop using the service without penalty. Likewise, you may want to host a series of web conferences after a product launch. Once you’ve completed the series and have posted the recordings on your website, you may want to take a break with that service. Again, since there’s no contract, you can start and stop the service as needed.
We offer a variety of virtual conferencing tools including international audio conferencing, video and web conferencing, special event conference calls, global virtual phone numbers, and more — all without a long-term commitment on your part, and all powered by modern, high quality telecommunications networks.
When was the last time you
saw someone wearing a pager? Largely a relic of the past, a few professions
still rely on pagers for alerts including surgeons, nuclear engineers, and
emergency responders. While pagers had their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s,
their use dates back much further into the 20th century. Here’s a
brief history of the pager.
Pager of the 1920s
Pagers trace their roots
to one-way radio, which first came into existence in the 1920s with the Detroit
Police Department leading the way. Kenneth Cox, Walter Vogler, and Bernard
Fitzgerald, all Detroit patrolmen and all amateur radio buffs began tinkering
with radio sets they installed in a Model T police car. Cox later partnered
with Robert L. Batts, an engineering student, to build a one-way radio receiver
and antenna. In 1928, their one-way radio was installed and the Detroit Police
Department began dispatching patrol cars by radio. Other police departments
Pagers of the 1940s and 1950s
In 1949, Al Gross, who
also invented the walkie talkie, cordless telephone, and CB radio, patented the
first telephone pager device. It wasn’t called a pager just yet. The device was
pocket-sized and included circuitry that responded selectively to specific
signals. Gross showed his device to healthcare professionals at a medical
convention in Philadelphia in 1949 but was met with skepticism. Most featured
that the device would either update patients or interfere with their golf
games! In 1950, Gross’s telephone paging system was implemented in New York’s
In 1959, the term “pager”
was finally coined when Motorola entered the market with a personal radio
communications device. This device was about half the size of a deck of playing
Pagers of the 1960s and 1970s
Motorola’s 1964 PageBoy 1
was the first successful consumer pager. It alerted users with a tone.
Pagers of this era came to
be known as “beepers” as that’s exactly what they did. They beeped you with an
audible tone. A series of different tones meant that different meanings could
be attached to the tone type. For example, a short beep might mean, “incoming
ambulance” whereas a long tone might mean “call the dispatch desk.” Pagers
during this time also had a limited range, making them useful in hospitals and
Voice pagers arrived,
improving the practical use of pagers, albeit still within an onsite network.
With voice pagers, instead of just an alert telling the user to call in to the
dispatch desk for details, the pager relayed audible instructions such as
“you’re needed in room 2.” Numeric pagers soon followed and were preferred over
voice because they were more discreet. At this time, the displays were small
and limited. Either the phone number the receiver should call would be
displayed or an internal code for a predetermined action.
Pagers of the 1980s and 1990s
By the 1980s, wide area
paging had arrived. This allowed pages to be transmitted via radio waves across
wide distances — across cities, states, and the country. The popularity of
pagers rose as a result. Businesses of all types recognized the value of pagers
and equipped their field technicians and employees with pagers. Even drug
dealers got into the act.
Alphanumeric pagers soon
arrived, allowing dispatchers or pager callers to enter a text message. Now,
instead of using internal codes, it was possible to send typed instructions. At
this point, paging was still a one-way affair. The end user could receive the
message but had to find a phone and make a call to respond in any way. In the
late 1990s, two-way pagers appeared, enabling users to respond back directly
from their pagers. Motorola’s Tango two-way pager could even receive email. In
1996, Research in Motion (BlackBerry)’s Inter@active Pager arrived complete
with a QWERTY keyboard and graphical display.
The Death of Pagers
By 2001, paging
manufacturers began exiting. It had become clear that new technologies were
making pagers all but obsolete.
Conference calls, international or otherwise, often run longer than anticipated. When this happens, participants may leave before you’ve officially wrapped up the call due to other commitments. In addition to losing engagement, you may lose some credibility as the meeting’s leader. Conference calls and meetings that run long can be annoying, inconvenient, or even signal a lack of respect for others’ time. Participants may perceive you as being unorganized if you don’t focus on International Conference Calls Timing.
None of the above is what you want. It’s important to create and stick to a schedule so that your global conference calls are productive and engaging and respect International Conference Calls Timing.
In order to end international conference calls on time, you will need to:
Plan your conference call. What is the call about? What is the desired outcome? What topics do you need to discuss? Will you field questions from attendees as you go or at the end? Plan out your conference call and allot a certain amount of time to each topic.
Allow time for the unexpected. Pad your times a little to allow for unexpected delays. For example, with international conference calls, English may be a second or third language. You may need to clarify some topics to ensure everyone understands their meaning.
Front-load your conference call. Start with the most urgent matters and end with those of lesser importance. If, despite your intentions, your meeting progresses slower than expected, you can still end it on time with confidence knowing that the most pressing matters have been addressed.
Include time for questions and answers at the end of the call. This also serves as padding. For example, if you’ve scheduled 10 minutes for questions and answers at the end of the call but are running five minutes behind schedule, you’ll still be able to field questions for five minutes and end on time.
Include time at the end of the call to detail the next actions. Summarizing what’s next is important in ensuring that everyone knows what’s expected of them. Take notes during the international conference call, writing and highlighting any action items. At the end of the call, go over these action items.
Start promptly on time. If your international conference call is scheduled to start at 10:00am, start it at 10:00am. You will always have latecomers, and that’s not your problem nor it is the problem of those who joined your call on time. If you wait five minutes to start your call, you’re automatically starting with a five-minute deficit which could cause your meeting to run long or prompt you to skimp on a topic in order to make up lost time.
Watch the clock or use a timer. Keep an eye on the clock in relation to your agenda. As the end time for a given topic draws near, wrap it up and move on to the next topic.
End the conference call early or on time. Best case, your call is productive and your timing estimates were spot on. Since you padded your agenda items, you may even finish early.
Your participants will likely be happy to have participated in a productive international conference call and thrilled to have extra time on their hands. Worst case, your call went slower than expected and you weren’t able to cover everything you wanted to cover in the allotted time. As you wrap up the call — on time — with your action steps, mention that you’ve tabled the remaining topics for your next meeting.
Since you prioritized the most urgent matters, this should be acceptable. Your participants will walk away with the most important information and be happy that the call ended on time.
How to Use International Conferencing
to Communicate with a Large Global Audience
International conferencing bridges distances, bringing a diverse group together in a group telephone call. Our global conference calling service uses advanced telecommunications networks for optimal sound quality. Our bridge enables individuals to access the conference using country-specific access numbers. With support for up to 250 participants, you can host large international conference calls with people from around the world. Below are a few tips to help ensure that your next global audio conference goes smoothly.
International Conferencing Benefits
International Conferencing Provides Global Access Numbers
When you activate your global conferencing account with us, we’ll send you a list of all global access numbers.
Your participants will appreciate being able to join your global call using a local phone number. Not only is it more convenient for them, having a local access dial-in number moves uncertainty surrounding the cost of the call, which should improve participation. Attendees join your call free of charge.
Encourage the use of our free Connect app — Imagine joining a global conference call with just a tap. Our Connect app lets you do just that, eliminating the need to enter access numbers and passcodes. It works worldwide from any web-enabled device including computers, smartphones, and tablets.
As the host of the call, you’ll have access to helpful moderator’s tools, but attendees can use the app as well to join your conference. They simply tap to join and will be automatically called by the system and joined into the conference call.
In addition to the added convenience and value, the app offers, when attendees use it to join a call, their participation is billed at our dial-out rate. This rate is much lower than most of the toll-free dial-in rates, which can reduce the overall cost of your global conference call.
Have a colleague help moderate the call — There’s a big difference between hosting global conference calls with a small group and one with up to 250 attendees.
Having a co-moderator allows the conference to continue while the co-moderator handles various administrative tasks such as time- and agenda-management, taking notes, keeping track of questions to answer at the end of the call, and so forth.
Your co-moderator could also monitor emails, phone calls, and other channels in case some participants reach out indicating that they need help joining the conference. If that’s the case, they could then use the dial-out function to join them into the conference in progress.
Make sure you and your co-moderator know how to use the various moderator features — A single unmuted phone line could wreak havoc over your global conference call. Knowing how to quickly find and shut it down is crucial in minimizing its potential for disruption. Ideally, your co-moderator will take care of this so that you can continue sharing your message.
We recommend having the online event viewer open during your global conference call. This tool will show you a list of all participants as well as the status of their lines. It’s very easy to identify and mute the line that is generating noise.
Use the “lecture” mode as appropriate — One of the best ways to minimize interruptions is by using the lecture mode during your presentation. Use * 5 to turn this mode on and off. When in lecture mode, the only line open is yours. Everyone else will be able to hear you, but their lines will be muted. Once you’re done presenting and want to open up the call to other speakers or for a questions and answers session, press * 5 to exit out of lecture mode.
Take advantage of our operator assistance if needed — If you need help at any point, our live operators are standing by to be of immediate assistance. Simply press * 0 to reach an operator during your global conference calls.
International Conferencing Service
Finally, consider our assisted International Conferencing with audio and video conferencing service. Our operators help before, during, and after your international conference calls, handling all kinds of behind-the-scenes tasks so that you can focus on your presentation. We can assist on calls with just a handful of attendees to the largest global conferences of all with thousands of attendees.
bootstrapping a new business or have received a much-needed infusion of cash,
running a startup requires a lot of networking with others. Video conferencing
can play a role in this from collaborating with your partners to pitching your
business plan to investors. Below are a few ideas on how to use video
conferencing in your startup.
First, let’s look at some
of the advantages of video conferencing.
Save on Office Space — Housing employees is
expensive, even if you just have a few of them. What if everyone worked
remotely? You’d save a lot of money on office space each month. Hundreds of
companies exist that have adopted the virtual business model including
Automattic, AgileBits, Buffer, Sticker Mule, and InVision (which has 700
Get a Competitive
Advantage — Video conferencing frees you from the bounds of geography. The
best people to bring on board may not live in your city or be willing to
relocate. By eliminating the office, you can hire from beyond your local talent
pool. Plus, remote work is seen as a desirable perk, helping your business
attract top-notch talent in a competitive hiring environment. With less
overhead and better talent, your startup will have an advantage over your
So, what’s a typical day in the life of a virtual startup like?
Morning chats — How about starting each day with a quick video chat covering the day ahead. Keep it short, say 5 to 10 minutes max, and make it a routine. This gives everyone a chance to check in, stay informed, and get some face time. It’s also a good way to breed familiarity amongst a distributed team.
Regular staff meetings — You could hold both regularly scheduled staff meetings in a video conference as well as ad hoc meetings as needed. Your regular staff meetings will be longer than your morning chats and will go into greater depth as well.
Small group collaboration — Video conferencing enables you to connect in a face-to-face environment for real-time collaboration. Screen-sharing, file-sharing, and other features allow for a more immersive experience, much as if your team huddled around the same computer. Video conferencing is great for training, demonstrations, sharing, and brainstorming.
Interviews — Speaking of hiring talent from a global talent pool, what better way to conduct an interview than with a video conference? As a candidate rises to the top, consider having his or her future colleagues join the conference to introduce themselves. This is a good way to introduce new hires to your remote culture.
Touching base — In a regular office, you might stop and chat with your team members, casually getting to know them and finding out what ideas they might have or struggles they may be facing. You’ll need a virtual way to do something similar. Consider holding one-on-one video conferences with your team members periodically so you can get to know them and pick their brains. Just like your casual chats, these should be short and informal.
Pitches — It’s not always practical to meet in person, and you have the next best thing in the form of a video conferencing plan. It’s part of your competitive advantage, so why not use a video conference as part of your pitch to investors? They’ll be able to experience part of what makes your business tick while also enjoying the fact that they don’t have to travel to a meeting.
Investor relations — As your relationship with investors grows, you’ll want to stay in touch. Video conferencing is an excellent communications tool. Whether you need mentoring and advice or have an issue that needs their attention, setting up a quick video conference can bring everyone together no matter where in the world they may physically be.
Video conferencing is quickly becoming a must-have business communication and collaboration tool. It’s affordable and available on a contract-free basis.
How to Hold International Conference Calls Between USA and Southeast Asia
Business partnerships between companies located in the United States and international partners and suppliers in Southeast Asia have become commonplace. Communications methods including phone calls, international conference calls, email, Skype, and text messaging make it possible to collaborate with one another despite the huge geographical distance between regions. Hold International conference calls between USA and Southeast Asia are an affordable, convenient choice for any company doing business with companies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Brunei, or Timor-Leste (East Timor).
Here’s what you need to know.
Hold international conference calls between USA and most of the countries in Southeast Asia is straightforward with our global audio conferencing plans. We have toll free access numbers specific to 7 of the 11 countries in Southeast Asia, making it extremely convenient for your international participants in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei to join your global calls. Since these toll free access numbers work just like any other toll free number in those countries, participants do not need to dial their country’s exit code or make a potentially costly long distance phone call in order to join your audio conference. We also have some city specific access numbers in Southeast Asia, for example, Singapore City, as well as dial-out access. Our international toll free, regional, and dial-out conferencing rates are extremely competitive.
It’s a little trickier for participants in Laos, Myanmar, and East Timor as those countries are not currently supported with toll free access. The reasons for this vary, but not all countries have the infrastructure in place for toll free access to global conference calls. For example, East Timor was part of the Indonesian numbering plan up until 1999 when violence and Indonesia’s departure from the territory destroyed most of the telecommunications infrastructure. International access remains limited in East Timor.
However, they can still participate in your global conference calls. The two best ways to facilitate international conference calls between USA and Laos, Myanmar, or East Timor are:
Dial-out — With our dial-out feature, the call Leader can dial participants directly and then join them into the international conference call. It’s a simple process, and our dial-out rates tend to be our lowest. If you only need to connect a few participants, dial-out is a practical choice. If you have a long list of participants requiring dial-out, you could either enter their numbers in advance and let the system automatically dial-out to them at the appointed time or request our live operators to assist you with this. Learn more about the dial-out feature here.
The free Connect app — Our free connect app allows participants to join your USA to Southeast Asia conference call without having to dial an access number. It’s a convenient choice for any conferencing participant, even those who could otherwise access your call using a toll free access number. You’ll be billed for participants using the app at our low dial-out rates.
Hold international conference calls with your business associates in Southeast Asia is an affordable, flexible choice. We have extremely low rates and no minimum usage requirements. There are no contracts, no monthly fees, and you can cancel at any time. Sign up for an account today and pay only for the minutes you use.
Web, video, and audio conferencing make telecommuting much more practical.
How Telecommunications Can Give Your Business a
The telecommunications tools you choose for your business can do much more than simply connect callers to your office; the right ones can give your business a competitive advantage.
So, rather than approaching a phone system or international conferencing plan as a necessary business commodity, think of how you can leverage them to your advantage. Below are a few ways that our contract-free telecommunications solutions can give your business an edge over the competition.
Web, video, and audio conferencing
make telecommuting much more practical. By utilizing a remote workforce, you
can drastically reduce your office space. Not only does this reduce your rent,
it also reduces your energy bills and other associated costs. With lower
overhead, you’ll have more resources available to invest in other aspects of
PBX systems are
expensive, but there’s an alternative that can give you the same features such
as auto attendant and extensions — and you won’t be tied down to the office.
Our global virtual number plans act like a virtual PBX. You can set up your
toll free virtual phone number to include an auto attendant, a personalized
greeting, extensions, time of day routing, and more. You can even set it up so
that incoming calls follow you from the office to your cell phone to any other
phone number you may have or have the system respond differently based on the
time of day. Moreover, our rates are extremely competitive and can scale with
Conference calling is a
great way to reduce the need for business travel, further reducing the costs of
doing business. If you travel internationally, our pay-as-you-go international
conference calling plans are an excellent tool to use in lieu of a trip. While
some trips may be unavoidable, if you can reduce their frequency yet still
interact with your international contacts in a meaningful, real-time manner,
you’ll reduce your spending and have more time to spend on strengthening your
Since your virtual PBX can
ring all of your phones at once or in a sequence that you set, you’re less
likely to miss an important phone call. Meanwhile, we offer global virtual
phone numbers specific to more than one hundred countries and thousands of
cities around the world. By ordering low-cost virtual phone numbers for the key
regions you are targeting, your prospects and customers can more easily contact
you simply by dialing a local phone number. There’s no
need to establish and staff a local office anymore as virtual phone numbers
allow you to answer international incoming phone calls virtually anywhere in
conferencing and video conferencing services facilitate global meetings, again,
making you more accessible to your customers and prospects. Using audio or web
conferencing can play an important role in building those important
Telecommunications business services Assist with Better Talent Acquisition and Retention
Earlier we mentioned
telecommuting as a means of reducing office space. Employees appreciate remote
work opportunities, which can help improve morale and retention. Telecommuting
also widens your potential talent pool, enabling you to choose more qualified
employees and build a stronger workforce.
Telecommunications business services with Audio, video, and web conferencing allow for real-time collaboration amongst your remote teams. They can interact face-to-face, share ideas, and share files with one another as if they were in the same building.
Improved Customer Experience
All of our tools can be
used to enhance the customer experience. For example, where your competitor’s
phone system may prompt callers to “press 2 for Spanish,” your virtual phone
number can automatically route incoming calls from Mexico to bilingual CSRs who
speak Spanish. Having the ability to hold audio, video, or web conferences with
your customers on a moment’s notice enables you to respond better to issues.
Each of the above points is powerful on its own, and even more powerful collectively. It’s a tough market out there; you need every advantage you can get. Give us a try and see just how beneficial our business telecommunications tools are.
These early chemical telegraphs set the stage for future devices that would later include the modern fax machine.
Origins of Telecom: The Chemical Telegraph
When you think of telecommunications, it’s really quite magical, isn’t it? Sending and receiving messages from around the globe in real-time (or close to it) is nothing short of amazing. But it’s not magic. Telecommunications is built on the imaginations of inventors who tinkered with wires, devices, and even chemicals in order to make their magic work.
One of these inventors was Samuel Thomas von Sömmering who, in 1809, improved on an earlier design by Francisco Salva Campillo for transmitting letters over a telegraph. Their designs used a series of wires to represent letters of the alphabet and numbers. Sömmering placed the wires on the receiving end into tubes of acid.
When an electric current was sent, the receiving wires electrolyzed the acid in the tubes in sequence. This released hydrogens bubbles next to the corresponding letter or number. An operator on the receiving end would observe the bubbles and then record the transmission. This technology was known as an electrochemical telegraph rather than the electromagnetic telegraph which opens and closes a circuit to establish a magnetic field, which then causes a mechanical movement.
Another one of these inventors was Alexander Bain, who invented the first technology believed to transfer images over a wire. His chemical telegraph, which you could consider an early fax machine, was patented in 1843 — still long before the telephone. It was an offshoot of the telegraph, intended to draw letters on one end and then re-draw them on the receiving end. Bain, a professor, philosopher, and amateur clockmaker, accomplished this by synchronizing two pendulums with a stylus to a clock. The motion scanned a flat metal plate containing letters of the alphabet line by line and then projected outlines of the letters onto a cylinder. The image quality was poor, but it certainly was proof of concept.
Bain faced what an article in Scientific America claimed was “unjust opposition” to his patent application by a rival caveat, Professor Morse’s chemical telegraph, which “…is not worth a single straw, and which cannot operate as a telegraph at all, that is as it is represented in his drawings, we humbly believe that the Chemical Telegraph of Prof. Morse was set up merely to blockade the path of another rival Telegraph.” Bain appealed the patent rejection and was ultimately awarded the patent. Bain eventually went bankrupt, and Scientific America observed a notable change in the inventor’s appearance “From being so much harassed and persecuted.”
The “image telegraph” soon followed, invented by Frederick Bakewell as an improvement to Bain’s chemical telegraph. Bakewell’s version replaced the pendulums with rotating cylinders and a metal stylus that travel across the cylinder as it rotated. The receiving end featured a similar setup, but with a chemical paper that was marked with the stylus as the cylinder rotated. He presented his invention at the 1851 World’s Fair in London. Not only could his device transmit text, it could also transmit simple lines. His version was not a commercial success, but the possibilities had certainly become apparent.
These early chemical telegraphs set the stage for future devices that would later include the modern fax machine.
How to Improve the Sound Quality of Your Audio Video Conference Call
Audio video conference call is a fact of modern business life, but sound quality remains elusive — and frustrating — for many conference calling users. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to improve audio. Below are a few tips to get you started.
Choose Your Service Provider Wisely
Test the services you are considering, paying close attention to audio quality. Starting with a high-quality service provider will help ensure that pops, low volume levels, echoes, and other distracting line noises don’t interfere with your audio or call-in video conference.
Set Up Your Environment and Minimize Distractions for your Audio Video Conference Call
Choose an appropriate
environment, ideally a private, quiet area where you won’t be overheard and
where the other participants won’t have to hear distracting background noises.
Turn off phone ringers, audible alerts, and other potential noise makers such
as fans, fountains, radios, and appliances. If you’ll be participating from
home, instruct family members to stay out of the room. Pets are another concern
when calling from home.
Use the mute function
when not speaking. When dialing in using a telephone, the keypad command is *6.
When using computer audio, click the microphone button to turn your audio on
and off. All participants should be familiar with muting and unmuting their
lines. If you’re hosting the conference call, you also have the ability to mute
the lines of other participants.
Get a Microphone
Use a good quality
cardioid microphone or headset. Cardioid microphones pick up audio from
directly in front of the microphone rather than in a 360 degree field. Thus,
when you speak into the microphone, your voice will be picked up but noise from
behind the microphone (such as a computer fan running) won’t be picked up. If
you used an omnidirectional mic, it would pick up everything. You could also
use a standard headset typically used for phone calls.
Not only do headphones
help you to better hear other call participants, they’ll reduce the likelihood
of audio feedback (make sure to turn off your computer’s speakers). Feedback
occurs when a microphone picks up its output such as when you have the speakers
turned up too high. Bypassing your speakers and wearing a headset will
eliminate that problem.
Test Audio Video Conference Call Gear
It’s smart to join audio
and video conferences a few minutes early to make sure that you have plenty of
time to test your microphone, speakers/headset, and webcam.
Ready to improve audio on your next conference call? Start by testing one of our affordable audio, video, and web conferencing services today.
Ease of use and more comfortable end-users don’t necessarily mean that everyone is engaged during web conferences. Some people still dread them. Maybe they’re camera shy, or perhaps they simply prefer meeting in person. Some may be bored or unsure of what their role should be. Whatever the case, if you want your web conferences to be productive, increasing your participants’ engagement levels should help. Below are a few tips to consider to Improve Web Conferencing engagement.
Technology and user
adoption rates have converged, making web conferencing an increasingly popular
communications tool. It’s become so easy, that obstacles that used to make web
conferencing impractical no longer exist. Users are accustomed to clicking a link
to launch a web conference in browser and signing in. Since most computers,
tablets, and smartphones are already equipped with microphones, webcams, and
speakers, there’s no need to purchase or set up equipment.
Your entire team doesn’t
necessarily have to attend every single web conference you host. While it may
seem to make sense to gather everyone into a longer session, it could be an
engagement killer. Consider holding smaller web conferences with select
Run a Tight Ship
One reason people dread
meetings is because they tend to drag on without a clear agenda. Creating an
agenda and allotting a certain amount of each time per item is a good start.
While you’re at it, assign a few key roles: timekeeper, chat moderator, and
official note taker.
Send Personal Invites to Improve Web Conferencing
While most web conferencing
software will automatically invite attendees, providing them with the pertinent
scheduling and access information, sending a personal invitation gives you the
opportunity to engage with participants before the conference.
For example, you might
write, “Hey John, I’d like you to present the new product demo tomorrow during
our weekly web conference. I put you down for 7 minutes. That should be enough
time to show the video and share the story behind it. Let me know if you need
additional time or have anything else you’d like to share.”
See what we just did? We
set expectations. John now knows exactly what’s expected of him, so he can
prepare accordingly. He’ll know to have the product demo video ready to go when
it’s his turn to present. Not only can this help John better understand his
role and eliminate any uncertainty he may have, we’re helping him to become
more invested in the web conference. We asked for his input. He’s no longer an
idle participant. This is true of the people you’ve asked to be the timekeeper
and note taker, too.
Since John will be ready
to present, there will be less time wasted waiting for him to locate and load
the video. This improves meeting efficiency which will help with everyone
Have a Little Fun
As your web conference
gets underway, warm everyone up with a fun activity. For example, you could ask
everyone to take and share a picture of their current view. This is fun when
your team is located in different states or countries. Don’t spend too much
time on this — just a quick warm up. Schedule this at the top of the agenda and
then quickly jump into the heart of the web conference.
Draw Out the Introverts to Improve Web Conferencing
Web conferences are great
for introverts, but they may still have trouble getting a word in if others
tend to dominate the conversation. Periodically call on individuals, asking for
their input. Encourage participants to use the chat box to jot down their ideas
and questions throughout the presentation. Ask your chat moderator to keep
track of these questions and ideas (culling out any duplicates or comments that
have been resolved) so you can address them
during the Q&A.
Keep Your Web Conferences Short
Shorter, more focused
meetings tend to be more effective than long, drawn out ones, so keep your web
conferences short, too.
Send a Follow-up and Share Your Notes and Web Conference
Recordings with Participants
Finally, after the
meeting, promptly send a follow-up, wrapping up what was discussed and what
needs to be done. Including your notes and the recording is helpful.
Improve web conferencing engagement starts with a reliable, easy-to-use desktop web conferencing solution.
Whether you’re hosting a small audio conference with your distributed team or a huge global conference call with dozens of attendees, minimizing distractions will lead to a more productive call.
How to Minimize International Conference Call Distractions
A few years ago,
researchers from Research Now surveyed business conference call users about
their experiences. They found an average of about 13 minutes of every
conference call was wasted on interruptions and distractions. If your typical
conference call runs about a half hour in length, losing 13 minutes to
distractions puts a serious damper on the productivity of your global audio
conferences. Fortunately, you can take matters into your own hands to minimize
distractions and keep your calls productive.
Let’s look at the most common international conference call distractions so that you can recognize and avoid them:
Getting started — Small talk, finding
out who’s on the call, waiting a few extra minutes to ensure everyone else has
had a chance to join the call, sending text messages to attendees who haven’t
joined the call, is one of the biggest distractions. If your global conference
call starts at 9:00am, many attendees will have joined a few minutes early.
Waiting until 9:05 or 9:10 to start could mean up to 15 minutes of time wasted.
Multiply that times the number of attendees you have on the line and you’re
looking at a serious loss of productivity.
Late joiners — Late joiners are
disruptive, too. They may announce themselves and apologize for their tardiness
— or even expect a quick synopsis of what they’ve missed.
Background noise — It’s a common
conference call courtesy to mute microphones when not speaking, but this
doesn’t always happen. Whether someone doesn’t know any better or merely forgot
to mute their line, background noise can be very distracting. For example, if a
participant is typing notes on a keyboard, the sounds of typing could easily be
heard by all. Likewise, landscapers with lawnmowers and leaf blowers outside
one of your attendee’s office could drown out the speaker’s voice.
Fumbling with screen
sharing — For video conferences, screen sharing is a useful tool.
However, if the other person is unprepared for the handoff, it could be a
time-consuming task to get up and running.
You’ll always need to get
the global conference call started, have late joiners and attendees who fail to
mute themselves, and you may need to share each other’s screens from time to
time in a video conference. So, how do you manage all of the above? Here are a
Set expectations and start on time — Let your attendees know your global conference call will start promptly at the scheduled time, and suggest that they dial in a few minutes early to give them time to enter their passcodes and get settled. Depending on the nature of your conference call, you may even want to lock your conference once it gets underway. If so, let them know the call will be locked promptly, which is another incentive for attendees to be on time.
Use operator assistance to track down late attendees — Locking your conference calls will eliminate the international conference call distractions of late joiners, but you may still want them to be able to attend your conference call, even if they must join late. Our operators can help and join dial key attendees who may have forgotten or had issues joining your call. Designate one of your colleagues to coordinate this or make arrangements before the conference call to have an operator track down any absentee participants. Meanwhile, start the conference call while without them. The operator will take care of the pleasantries and join these latecomers into your conference call in progress.
Use the live event viewer to mute any noisy or unmuted lines — Our live conference viewer provides you with a graphical list of attendees and the status of their microphones. When you hear background noise, a quick look will show you exactly which attendee is responsible. From there, a simple click of a button will mute that caller’s line to avoid those audio international conference call distractions.
Give the other presenter(s) a heads-up about screen sharing — If you know ahead of time who you might want to share their screens, it’s helpful to let them know you’ll be calling on them to share their screen at some point in the video conference. This gives them time to prepare a short presentation and have it open and ready on their computers. It also affords them the opportunity to close any other open applications that could be distracting when their screen goes live. If they’ve never used screen sharing, offer to do a quick practice run beforehand so they feel comfortable with how it works.
Whether you’re hosting a small audio conference with your distributed team or a huge global conference call with dozens of attendees, minimizing distractions will lead to a more productive call.
Assuming your call participants should be privy to the information, shouldn’t you be able to speak freely?
How to Share Confidential Information More Securely During
a Conference Call
Have you ever shared
confidential information during a conference call? When discussing important
matters with colleagues and business partners, it’s almost a given that you might
discuss sensitive information. In fact, a Research Now Survey revealed that 93
percent of respondents had done just that on a conference call and 20 percent
admitted to doing so frequently.
Conference Call Issues and Security
So, is that a problem? After all, you probably signed up for a conferencing plan specifically so you could communicate with your team, partners, and other key business associates on any number of topics. Assuming your call participants should be privy to the information, shouldn’t you be able to speak freely?
Absolutely, but it’s
smart to make sure that uninvited guests are not lurking. Read our article on
how to improve conference call security to learn the best practices for
securing your conference calls. Here are a few more tips to consider when
hosting an extremely confidential conference call.
Remind attendees of the confidential nature of the call — At the beginning of the conference call, remind everyone that the call is for their ears only. Ask them to close their office doors for privacy, and if they are in a public space, to please leave the call until they can find a private environment.
Consider Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) — You may even want to use non-disclosure agreements, especially if the conference call involves highly sensitive information or is part of a merger/acquisition process. If your attendees have already signed NDAs, remind them that the call is covered under the NDA.
Prohibit call recordings — As the moderator of the call, you can certainly initiate a recording, which you will have full control over. Let your participants know that you’ll be recording the call should anyone need to review the information and explicitly state that any other recording is prohibited. Later, when sharing the audio file with participants, host it on a password-protected server and set an expiration date to assist with this conference call issue.
Don’t overlook other media — Many businesses use audio conferencing in conjunction with web conferencing for a richer multimedia experience. You may want to prohibit screen captures or limit the information that you share in your presentation. Similarly, it’s not unusual to share files or send attendees files as email attachments during or immediately following a conference call. PDF’s are another conference call issue. A little advance planning is helpful. For example, if you have a PDF that is relevant to the call but with a few lines of sensitive information, you could either password protect the PDF so that only your attendees will be able to open it in the future or redact the information you want to protect from prying eyes.
Conference Call Issues and Steps
Will these steps (in conjunction with dialing participants directly, locking your conference calls, and other conference calling security measures), stop all corporate spies, hackers, or unscrupulous individuals from their evil deeds? No, but they will put attendees on notice that you take the protection of your information seriously and that they should, too.
How to Use a Virtual Global Phone Number When On an
Why you may need a Global Phone Number and a Mobile Phone
Mobile Phones can be used by a rock star, musicians, stage actors, dancers, performers, crew members, business professionals, military service members, or a world traveler, going on an international tour or any sort means extensive time away from home — and your loved ones. Mobile phones are wonderful tools that can help you stay in touch, but they don’t always work as expected from one country to the next. Plus, international roaming charges are likely to put a damper on your international phone conversations. Fortunately, a global phone number is a cost-effective solution that enables you to be reached by phone no matter where in the world you might be.
What is a Virtual Global Phone Number?
By being “virtual,” this
type of phone number is not tied to any given physical phone line. Rather, you
can change where the phone rings at any time, to any phone number. Since it is
also a global phone number, this means that you can forward your calls to any
phone in the world and take advantage of our low international call forwarding
For example, if your
family and friends are in the United States, you could get a toll free virtual
global phone number for the United States and then set your “ring to” number to
ring to your hotel phone in Paris, France. To your callers, it’s a typical toll
free phone call. Behind the scenes, that call is forwarded over our modern
fiber optic telecommunications network to your hotel room in France — bypassing
the typical (and expensive) international long distance carriers that your
calls would normally travel through.
The Flexibility of Using a Virtual Global Phone Number
When On an International Tour
When on tour, you’re
rarely in one place long. After a night in France, you could find yourself in
Germany, Ireland, UK, or Switzerland before heading off to another country — or
continent — a few days later. When you have a virtual global phone number, your
callers don’t need to try to figure out where you are and how to reach you
because they’ll always dial the same exact phone number every time. Instead,
you’ll change the ring to number as you travel around the world.
Thus, an example ring-to
strategy might look like this:
Paris, France: Ring-to number set as hotel room phone number
Berlin, Germany: Ring-to number set as a disposal cell phone
purchased in Germany
Dublin, Ireland: Ring-to number set as a phone line at a temporary
office space you’ve rented for the day
Nova Scotia, Canada: Ring-to number set as your personal mobile
Iceland: Ring-to number set as your hotel phone number
Using a Virtual Global Phone Number to Make Cheap Calls Home
The ability to receive phone calls from home while on tour is reassuring; however, there will likely be times when you’d like to initiate the calls. Our contract-free global phone numbers work in the opposite way, too. For example, if you’re staying in Paris, France for a few weeks, it might make sense to order a global call forwarding number that’s local to Paris. That way, you could make a local call, but set the ring to number to the phone number of whomever you are calling — no matter where in the world they may be. Since our virtual global phone numbers are offered without a contract, they’re perfect for short-term use such as when a job, assignment, or tour requires overseas travel.
Today, CU See Me is largely a relic of the past, but it set the stage for the desktop video conferencing tools of today.
Origins of Telecom: Early Video Conferencing Tech – CU SeeMe
Video conferencing has become the next best thing to being there in person, but it wasn’t always as easy and intuitive as it is today. In 1964 the first video phone technology, called Picture Phone, from AT&T debuted at the World’s Fair in New York. The 1980s saw the first video conferencing system from Compression Labs. By the 1990s, Macintosh released CU SeeMe, the first video conferencing software for personal computers, but it was limited to Macintosh users until 1995 when Windows version was released — and it was nothing like the full screen, high resolution video conferences you’re familiar with today.
CU SeeMe v0.1 arrived in 1992 as a video conferencing application that had no audio for the first two years of its existence. While you and another participant could see one another, you couldn’t hear each other unless you used a phone. Back then, webcams were not common. Thus, users needed to purchase a webcam in order to use the app. Likewise, Internet speeds back then were much slower than we’re accustomed to today with most users using dial-up networking. The video images were displayed in tiny 4-bit grayscale windows measuring either 320×240 or 160×120.
CU SeeMe was initially developed by Cornell University Information Technology as a free desktop videoconferencing tool to be used over high-speed campus-wide / company-wide LANs. While intended for high speed networks in an enterprise-type environment, individuals found their own uses for CU SeeMe, using the app over their slow dial-up networks to work, play, and interact with one another.
Users could also connect to what was known as a “reflector,” which gave them the ability to join a virtual community filled with other CU SeeMe users. More than 30 users at a time could join real-time video chats on any number of topics.
By 1994, audio support had been added, allowing for real-time videoconferencing without having to use a separate phone. However, many users didn’t use audio, opting instead to use the text chat feature included in the software. The use of voice was sometimes frowned upon due to factors such as the work environments at the time and the fact that many users didn’t have sound cards and speakers, and thus, wouldn’t be able to hear the audio.
In 1998, the commercial licensing rights were transferred to White Pine Software. A series of mergers and acquisitions and rebranding followed.
Today, CU See Me is largely a relic of the past, but it set the stage for the desktop video conferencing tools of today.
Desktop video makes it easier for employees to build relationships and collaborate with their colleagues and superiors located in different locations.
How to Transform Desktop Video Conferencing from a Tool into a Perk
Desktop video conferencing is a valuable communications tool for businesses of any size, instantly enabling you to hold face-to-face conferences with others around the world. However, it’s more than a just a tool that increases employee productivity and strengthens customer relationships; desktop video can also be seen as a perk — one that could enhance the lives of your employees and foster loyalty. Below are a few ideas for transforming desktop video conferencing from a tool into a perk.
Remote Work — According to Global Workforce Analytics, 80 to 90 percent of the United States workforce says they would like to telework at least part-time. There are a lot of benefits to both the business and the employee surrounding telecommuting, and desktop video conferencing can certainly play a key role in facilitating such an arrangement.
Greater Flexibility — Desktop video conferencing doesn’t necessarily mean you must be tethered to a PC in order to participate. Users can log in using tablets and smartphones, allowing for any number of flexible scenarios.
Reduced Travel — Business travel is a fact of life for many working professionals. While many enjoy time away from the office, frequent travel can become burdensome. Having the option to meet with customers in a video conference, at least some of the time, rather than traveling to meet them could be a welcome relief to your team members.
Increased ProductivityWhen Traveling — When an actual trip is required, desktop video conferencing canstill play a starring role. For example, your traveling employees couldparticipate in your staff meetings remotely by logging in with theirsmartphones. For those on extended assignments overseas, desktop video conferencing with their family members could make a profound difference on their experiences, helping them to stay connected despite distances.
Training and MentoringOpportunities — Desktop video is an excellent delivery system for training andmentoring sessions. Oftentimes, the best trainers, coaches, or mentors are notphysically close, but with desktop video, they are just a quick videoconference away.
Better Access toDistributed Colleagues and Superiors — Similarly, desktop video makes it easierfor employees to build relationships and collaborate with their colleagues andsuperiors located in different locations.
Positioning your desktop video conferencing solution as a perk rather than just another business tool could improve user adoption, productivity, job satisfaction, and employee loyalty and retention. Your employees will love the benefits associated with the occasional remote workday, greater flexibility, enhanced collaboration, reduced travel, and more while your business will reap the rewards of improved productivity and increased employee engagement. It’s win-win!
Our 30-day free trial ofVideo Pro desktop video conferencing is a great way to discover how desktop video conferencing can benefit your entire office. It’s loaded with features, easy to use, and affordably priced.
How to Conferencing Tools Help Build a Collaboration Culture in Your Business
Looking to improve the spirit of teamwork in your organization?
Collaboration has been shown to be extremely beneficial to businesses and their employees. For example, a few compelling benefits include: engaged employees, better retention, increased profitability,productivity gains, more productive meetings, improved innovation, andincreased business velocity. However, fostering collaboration is not as simpleas sending out an email telling your team to collaborate. It requires acompany-wide mindset shift as well as tools to facilitate it. Here are someways audio and video conferencing can help.
Use collaborative technology — Tools like Slack andTrello have become mainstream, but they’re not the only collaborative tools toconsider. With today’s mobile and remote workforce, audio, video, and webconferencing are a must. Audio conferencing is a convenient, all-around choicefor discussions, questions and answers, status updates, and other groupmeetings. Video conferencing adds the ability to see one another face to face,which is particularly important for virtual teams where team members may neverinteract in person. Video and web conferencing are other great collaborationtools for remote teams, especially when it’s necessary to share screens, watchvideos together, or share files.
Create shared goals — Think about your
organization’s current incentive program. Does it incentivize individual or
group effort? It’s natural for employees to focus on their individual goals,
but that can interfere with collaboration. In contrast, shared goals encourage
collaboration. So, gather your team in an audio conference and find that common
Recognize, share skills,and break down silos — Everyone has something of value to offer, but others may notrealize it. Barbara in accounting, for example, may be a Photoshop whiz. If it makes sense, invite her to your next marketing conference call and get her input. While you may not want her pulled from her main accounting tasks, her Photoshop skills may be of value to the marketing department periodically. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration could be beneficial. Likewise, encourage the sharing of information across departments. This helps reinforce the shared goals, helps everyone understand their role in the greater scheme ofthings, and provides opportunities for further sharing and brainstorming. Itcan also reduce the potential for redundancy.
Lead by example — Initially, you may need to assign collaborative tasks to your team, helping them to shift from individual to group work. Likewise, show your team how important collaboration is by openly collaborating with others, hosting collaborative video or audio conferences, and sharing credit with your collaborators.
Make it easy — While technology can help foster collaboration, if it’s too complicated, your plan will backfire. An elaborate video conferencing platform requiring specialized hardware and technical skills won’t get used nearly as often as a simple, user-friendly desktop video tool that works from a web browser.
Conferencing Tools enabling Communication is the backbone of collaboration. Without it, everyone is back in their own private silos, doing their own thing. Our audio, video, and web conferencing plans offer an affordable, convenient, and user-friendly way for your employees to communicate and collaborate — whether they’re in the same building, city, state, or country or in an office on the other side of the world. With the right mindset and conferencing tools, you can build a culture of collaboration in your organization.