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Your Business Guide To Conference Calls Service Providers

Having the ability to collaborate with your clients, co-workers, and potential customers is the most vital part of a business. With more and more organisations dependant on remote workers and long distance clients there are some instances in which a group phone call or meeting is necessary and obviously much convenient to use than an individual call.

Fortunately, VoIP systems have been invented to enable this kind of communication. Voice over Internet Protocol allows you to do so many things. It has the functionalities of a traditional phone system but costs less. One of its most impressive and useful functions is video conferencing. In order to use this, one must have a video-based conferencing service installed. To start the selection of an appropriate company the first step is to decide the maximum number of participants required at any one time and the types of functionality required. If you already have a voip system for your company it is worth checking what services they offer for conferencing and if there are any additional specialist bridge packages.

There are various factors that you must consider in choosing the right conference calls service provider for your company, such as if the said service can accommodate the number of attendees and if the additional features will surely help your work or business.

Types of Conference calls

  • One person to communicate to the rest of the group
  • All participants to be able to converse
  • Video conference
  • Video conference including screen sharing, virtual chat and virtual workspace.

We have reviewed the top conference call service providers that are available right now to provide you with a guide you can rely on determining what is best for your business. Here are the following conference call services that you can opt from:

FreeConferenceCall.com

It is known as one of the largest conference call providers on the internet as it hosts 40 million conferences every year. It has a lot of features on its belt aside from video conferencing it boasts its other features such as:

  • collaboration through the use of screen sharing
  • audio recording
  • calendar tool
  • dedicated number
  • Maximum of 1,000 callers per session
  • Twenty-four hours a day in seven days support.
  • Reports of the calls that you made can be generated.

Costs: Their service is all free of charge and they promise to remain free and do not have any hidden charges on their services. However, there is a charge on the cellular/mobile network if a long-distance call has been made.

Advantages: A reliable conference call service and even if it is just a free service with no fees at all it does not compromise the performance that it is giving.

Disadvantages: I cannot find any bad thing about this product because their brand already says it all. They built their reputation because of their excellent service.

FreeConferencePro

This is a great alternative to FreeConferenceCall in terms of a free service. It has all the basic features that you need for an online conference call service and can be a big help for your business if you are on a tight budget. Some of its key features are the following:

  • Built-in Scheduler
  • Unlimited duration of calls
  • conversation, question & answer, and presentation modes.
  • Has a built-in portal for the controls of the web application.

Costs: The service is free to use however it does not have any local or toll-free hotlines that is why long distance calls will be charged.

Advantages: A very reliable free conference call application that has the features of a premium software. This is a good go-to conference call application for small organizations without the allocated budget for such services. It is also offering 24/7 access meaning it is usable anytime which is an advantage for a lot of businesses that are planning to use their services. I also liked the high-definition video resolution that it gives that is why you can clearly see the people you are having a conversation with.

Disadvantages: The service is really good however it has a few turnoffs such as it does not have any local or toll-free numbers because of this you will have to pay for the charges that telecommunications provider will give.
AT Conference

This conference call service is one of the best in the industry. Although it is not free, it offers various features that are top-notch like its very reliable call structure that can host an unlimited number of participants. What I liked about their service is that you do not need to make any reservations at all to start a call if the call that you will be creating is less than 125 attendees which are good for smaller organizations and the good thing is you can do it 24/7. Some of its key features are the following:

  • Integration of its service with Microsoft Outlook.
  • An online portal where you can choose the options that best suit your call. Other things that you can do using the portal are settings of your account, payment options, up-to-date reports of your call history, and many more.
  • Recording of calls
  • Transfer of files.
  • Webcast and webinars
  • Cloud-equipped which lets you access the applications in any device as a part of their unified communication goal.

Cost: With regards to the price of their services I can say that they are very competitive with low charges of 1.5 cents for every minute of calls (per caller for local) and 3.9 cents for every minute of calls (per caller for toll-free). They also offer flexible payments for organizations that are consuming more than 5,000 minutes per month.

However, if the calls that you will be making requires the assistance of the operator then the rates will be slightly different.

Advantages: I can say that this conference calls service provider is a top of the line service as it has all the features that you are looking for a conference call service provider. It has the latest technology that separates it from its competitors such as real-time sharing of data like files and your computer screen which gives an access to your collaborators for a more transparent video conferencing session.
It also has a very reliable and incomparable after service support if you have queries or issues that need attention you just contact them via their website or email then they will respond quickly to your needs.
The rates are really affordable too that even a startup company or a budget-constraint organization can afford.

Disadvantages:
There is only one downside that I found regarding their service if you are a high volume user – they do not offer a flat rate meaning if you are a bulk user of the service you will need a higher budget. It would be worth while for a business that has a high volume of conference calls to find a service that offers a monthly or unlimited plan.

Infinite Conferencing
Is another conference call service that is definitely worth consideration due to its ease of use, its systems highlight is that there is no need for any reservations which gives you the ability to create calls anytime you want, it has the following key features:

  • Pre-registration and restrictions meaning you can authenticate the people who will be joining the call which ensures the security and confidentiality of your meeting.
  • Record your calls to enable other users that are unable to attend live to listen/watch it as a replay.
  • Poll feature although many conference call services providers already have this feature I found their poll feature the best if you will compare it with its competitors.
  • The ability to transcribe a live call and the saved recordings.

Translation for multilingual calls.
Advantages: The service is easy to use and will not require any extensive training or familiarization to get used to it. I remember that among all the conference call service providers this is the one that I learned in the shortest amount of time.
I also found this service the most user-friendly because it really cares for their clients as it offers a translation service upon request if it is necessary especially if you are collaborating abroad which is usually using a different language from yours.

Disadvantages: The only setback that I found in Infinite Conferencing is that they charge way too much which is a lot of difference when you compare it with its competitors to give you an insight they charge 4 cents for every minute imagine if you are always required to host a long meeting which will take several hours if that is the case be ready to pay a handful of cash.

UberConference
What I loved about this conference call service by Dialpad is that it is very simple to use, all the basic functionalities are there and the most important thing is it is completely free. It is a really great option if you want a straight to the point conference call service as it does not require any download from your part. It has the following key features aside from video conferencing:

  • Screen-sharing
  • It has a high standard of connectivity as you can connect anywhere you want.
  • Linkage to the social media profile of the one you are talking.

Cost: Service is free to use.
Advantages: In my own opinion aside from being free the advantage of it among its competitors which I realized after I gained the chance to grasp on this one of a kind product is its basic functions.
This service is really worth considering especially if you are looking for a basic conference call service with no expected add-on features then this one is for you. It is also good for people who are just new in hosting conference calls as this can be your training ground or a stepping stone to learning the use of these systems after you master this system then in the future, you can handle more complex conference call systems.

Disadvantages: Although instant access Is very convenient especially for users. However, it is not recommended if the topic of the meeting is highly confidential as it imposes a big risk of a security breach that is why their “No PIN” feature is a big no and also because of its very basic functionality expect that it only has limited features.

WebEx
The last on the list but not the least in terms of features and competitiveness is WebEx which is created by the famous company Cisco. For me, it is second to AT Conference in terms of ranking in terms of features but first in terms of quality of service. Because we all know that Cisco is a huge company that sees to it that they meet the customer’s needs. Here are the key features of their conference call service:

  • Multiple videos feed and you can also split your screen into several screens for multi-tasking purpose and simultaneous collaboration.
  • Sharing of apps, screen, and presentations.
  • VoIP
  • Has a lot of freebies application for mobile.
  • Markup tools.

Costs: The price is on a monthly basis 24 USD for a maximum of 8 people, 49 USD for 25 people, and 69 USD for 100 people.
Advantages: Cisco provides a top of the line support on their products which will put you on the right direction and ease when you use their products. WebEx has a lot in store for you as this system is really reliable from the high-quality video and audio that it produces to the tools that are built-in to optimize your meetings and especially the unlimited number of minutes that you can put into good use.
Disadvantages: For me, there are few setbacks of WebEx that I found like its very steep pricing and limitation on the people that can join the meeting.
Although monthly basis plan is a good thing on WebEx which can save you a lot of money if your organization is always conducting long meetings however the maximum people that can only join is up to 100 in which you have to utilize the people that can join the meeting as the slots are only limited.

Citrix GoToMeeting

This is less robust than WebEx but it has a simple interface that can satisfy users who want to go online and start sharing quickly.

It includes a video service called HDFaces. It offers an interface for viewing up to 6 streams of videos simultaneously. Other features include:

  • Share documents
  • Whiteboards
  • Share desktop screen
  • Up to 15 attendees

You can record conferences with just one click and change presenters quickly. It includes an iPad app and can support Android and iPhones.

This is priced the same as WebEx but gives you less functionalities although this is easier to use.

Conclusion
To conclude, in choosing the right conference call service for you consider several factors such as your budget, functionalities that you are looking for, number of attendees, and etc. for you to find what perfectly fits your needs.

 

Author: Yazz

Yazz is a trained telecommunications engineer with a diploma in telecommunications. He has spent the last 15 years working for Telefonica, one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world.