Audio Conferencing Solutions for Business
Audio conferencing is an important tool in modern business, bringing together workers wherever they are located. A hosted audio conferencing service, such as that offered by UC&C, enables groups of workers to get together to discuss ideas and to collaborate on shared projects, without requiring the financial investment in telephony infrastructure that was required in the past. Instead, UC&C offer a service that is software based, available to clients through a web application that is quick and easy to download.
One of the biggest advantages of audio conferencing over exchanging ideas by email or meeting in person is that it is cost effective and efficient. Over a telephone connection, the tone of voice and nuance of a conversation can have an important role in building trust and understanding between speakers, improving the outcome of business communications when compared to email alone. In addition, audio conferencing removes the need and expensive of business travel. Without the need to be in the same location for meeting, an audio conferencing service enables more flexible working, connecting home workers, workers on the move and those who are based in offices across the globe.
Another significant advantage of hosted audio conferencing from UC&C is that is does not require clients to purchase new handsets or mobile devices in order to be able to function. Companies who have already invested in SIP handsets do not need to discard them, as the UC&C support team can often re-configure them to function with OpenScape Voice. If clients don’t have SIP hardware in place, UC&C can provide preconfigured handsets that simply plug and play, which means audio conferencing is possible as soon as the technology arrives.
UC&C’s audio conferencing services are offered in partnership with Unify’s OpenScape Voice solutions. This software-based technology is fully compatible with all existing computer operating systems, including the mobile Android and iOS software of mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets. OpenScape Voice can also provide a hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) communications network, which means that companies can hold audio conferences using their existing data channels, connecting through secure LAN or WLAN depending on their location and the devices being used. Using VoIP for audio conferencing means that companies can rely on better voice connections, with much fewer dropped calls and an improved line quality. Hosted VoIP services also allow businesses to make further cost savings, because voice calls made within the same VoIP network are free of charge and international calls can take advantage of much lower call rates.
Before hosted OpenScape Voice services were available, audio conferencing required specialist equipment (such as a conference bridge), which usually needed technical support before it was up and running. This meant that audio conference times had to be agreed in advance and the equipment and staff booked before the meeting could take place. This was inflexible and cumbersome and meant that workers had to adapt to the requirements of the available technology, not the other way round. Today, hosted voice services only require an OpenScape-configured handset, whether that is a desk phone, a mobile phone, a laptop soft phone or a tablet.
Today there are two methods of setting up an audio conference: ad-hoc and scheduled. To set up an ad-hoc audio conference, anyone involved in a voice conversation can add another person to the conversation by simply dialling their number or clicking on their name in the company directory. This option enables up to 15 people to have an audio conference without the need for prior arrangements or technical support. If workers want to arrange a scheduled audio conference in advance, the service can also be integrated into the company calendar system, so an individual can invite a greater number of participants to join the conversation simply by inviting them through their digital calendar.
Audio Conferencing is available as part of UC&C’s Voice Plus service, which includes a dial-in conference bridge, on-net video calls, fax to email, a mobile client, call recording and automated call distribution. The service is equal to any telephony provision available to FTSE 100 companies, and is available without the equivalent investment in infrastructure. Both UC&C Voice and UC&C Voice Plus include ongoing maintenance and support, ensuring that telephony services remain online and available at all times to staff and customers.
For companies whose current broadband speeds would be insufficient for hosted VoIP services such as voice conferencing, UC&C offers Assured IP, an access circuit designed specifically to carry hosted VoIP products. Coupled with the full range of IP products, including an SIP trunking service, Assured IP offers a full end-to-end VoIP telephony service that is tailor-made to each business’s needs. The service also offers companies an alternative to ISDN (SIP trunking) to provide them with up to 30 data channels. This guarantees the available bandwidth for simultaneous telephony and Internet activity, ensuring that voice calls and audio conferences always connect and are of good quality. UC&C are IP experts, providing an understanding of VoIP needs. Assured IP also offers the latest monitoring and diagnostic tools to ensure that the service works seamlessly and reliably.
With hosted audio conferencing services, companies can take control of their voice communication needs. There is only one bill at the end of each month so it is simple to keep an eye on spending. Our dedicated support team means that there is one point of contact for all questions and queries. Based on the latest communications software from Unify, the service is simple to set up and run. The ability to take advantage of VoIP technology gives companies a competitive advantage, because it is now possible to access the most advanced features of telephony and still cut costs.
UC&C offers the option to integrate its audio conferencing service into its more comprehensive Unified Communications package, allowing businesses to modernise their way of working and collaborate in new ways, with integrated video conferencing and online workflows on the same user interface as email, voicemail and voice calls. The possibilities for everyone are exciting.
To find out more about how hosted audio conferencing services can help your business, contact UC&C today.
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