A problem familiar to any organization is that of communicating
effectively. As more and more people work from home or from dispersed
locations, how do you ensure that employees are planning and working
together effectively, and regularly keeping in touch when separated by
time and distance? In addition, many companies choose to sub-contract
some services such as payroll, logistics or manufacturing to third-party
suppliers. How do you ensure that you can act as one virtual
enterprise? Audio conferencing provides a simple and effective solution.
Audio conferencing makes it easy to include key people in decision
making wherever they are with minimum interruption from their work. It
responds to business needs that every company faces:
As a result of using conferencing, the benefits gained are:
Furthermore, the Return On Investment (ROI) is very short as Meet Me
conferencing is a built-in feature of IP Office Preferred Edition. The
typical ROI of just 4 to 6 months compared to Service Provider
conferencing services based upon 2 hourly conferences with 5
participants per week.
The conferencing solution built-in to IP Office enables multiple callers to talk in an audio conference. Callers can be on-site personnel as well as external parties whether field-based engineers, sales staff on the road, customers or suppliers. Conference calls can be planned in advance or established ad-hoc as and when required.
IP Office Preferred Edition with Voicemail Pro complements the built-in conference bridge facility on IP Office systems by allowing participants to enter conferences through dedicated numbers, adding guidance prompts as well as requesting PIN codes as participants enter the conference for security. For example, if conference calls are regularly scheduled, Voicemail Pro can have pre-programmed Call Flows for weekly conference calls e.g. every Tuesday between 2pm and 5pm using PIN code 1234 for a sales call, etc. If multiple conference calls are scheduled, users can select which one they want to attend via a simple menu. Should users encounter any issues, calls can be automatically routed to the operator for assistance. For additional security, if Caller ID information is provided by the network Voicemail Pro can make CallerID checks before allowing calls into a conference.
IP Office provides a flexible conferencing solution with 128 conferencing channels on the IP500 and IP500 V2, allowing multiple conferences of any size from 3 to 64 parties. This means that several conferences of different sizes can all run at the same time if the total calls do not exceed the systems conference resources. So the system will support 42 x 3-party conferences, 2 x 64-party conferences or any combination in between. IP Office does not impose limits on the mix of internal and external calls in conference, but if all internal participants disconnect from the conference bridge, the external participants can be disconnected automatically by the system for added security (configurable system setting).
The IP Office provides the following features and benefits relating to conferencing:
*Feature supported on 1408/1608/2410/5410/4610/5610 and 1416/1616/2420/5420/5621/4621/4625 as well as 9500 and 9600 Series IP telephones. Note that any internal party has the option to view & drop participants (not just the conference originator).