has moved forward as all other technologies in the communications space have.
Some of the most common and a few less known business collaboration services are listed below:
Business collaboration services can take several forms including traditional audio conference calls as well as Web conferencing and video
conferencing. Which type of teleconference is the right type? It depends on your calling and collaboration needs
at the time. Each call type has its own characteristics and is well suited for specific purposes. Rather than relying
on a single type of conference call, you may want to use a blend of conferencing technologies and select the right
call type for each specific scenario.
Audio Conferencing (Traditional International Conference Calling)
International conference calls using toll free numbers allow participants from geographically diverse countries
to speak with one another. This type of teleconference is ideal for holding group discussions and team meetings
with an international group. Being able to hear one another allows participants to get to know each other as well
as allows for more natural communications and fewer misunderstandings. International conference calling is one
of the easiest means of conducting a teleconference with participants simply dialing a toll free phone number and
entering the conference's access code at the scheduled time. International participants do not need any special
equipment and can call from their mobile phones if desired.
Conducting conference calls over the Web is another popular choice. This type of teleconference blends international
conference calling with the computer where files and applications can readily be shared with the group. Choose
Web conferencing when you need to share presentations, documents, charts, and software with the participants. For
example, if you need to teach your team how to use your new point of sale software, holding a Web conference allows
you to share your desktop with the group and demonstrate how to use the software. Phone bridge technologies can
be incorporated to ensure a clear audio connection at a low cost.
Another way to conduct conference calls with your international colleagues is to add video. Video conferencing takes international conference calling to a highly visual level with all
participants using webcams to communicate. Video conference calls allow you to see and hear a participant making
for a well-rounded perspective that takes into account non-verbal communication methods such as gestures, facial
expressions, and body language. Use video conferencing when the ability to see one another is of importance such
as during negotiations and disputes or if the video conference is a substitute to a face-to-face meeting.
Not only do these teleconference types have their own specific purposes, they also have their disadvantages. For
example, Web conferences require access to computers with Internet access of all participants while video conferences
require a professional appearance and background as well as access to videoconferencing equipment. Toll free international
conference calling is far easier on everyone involved but may require follow-up emails if files must be shared.
Understanding the different types of conference calls and the purpose for which they are best suited allows you
to select the right format for your international virtual meetings. For a cost-effective exchange of information,
toll free international conference calls are an excellent choice. For sharing documents, giving onscreen presentations,
or demonstrating software, you can't beat a Web conference. And when seeing all participants and reading body language
are essential, a video conference call
is the way to go.