What Makes a Good Audio Conference Call?

    August 8, 2006

When making conference calls, it’s important to make sure first of all that everyone is seeing eye to eye on the technology that’s going to be used.

Sometimes, more traditional investors and older corporate managers may have a problem with appreciating new technology, so when using high-tech conferencing software, you may find yourself using the audio conference call features most frequently.

Remember back when teleconferencing was still new and corporate entities were still adjusting to it? You may come across that sort of psychological resistance when trying out new Web conferencing software. At any rate, your job is to make sure your audio conference call proceeds without a hitch!

A good audio conference relies foremost on the integrity of your connection. Are you and the other members of the conference all using fast connections to hook up to the Internet? Fortunately, a lot of audio conferencing software can adjust to the speed of the linkup of each individual user, so that even if the connection is relatively slow, he or she can still avoid missing out on key parts of the exchange.

The integrity of the software itself is also important. Do you have reliable, flexible software that doesn’t crash or conflict with certain business-central programs? Does your software operate across a variety of platforms, and are there any restrictions on usage? In certain cases, enterprise-level conferencing software is paid for via subscription, which means you can’t use your software anymore once the license you have purchased has expired. You have to renew the license, or seek another provider.

Audio conferencing isn’t exactly outdated, given today’s advancements in messaging technology; it still has its distinct advantages. For one thing, it’s lightweight, so that a large number of people can connect to the central server via their software, without putting a strain on either the server or their computers. For another, software made purely for audio conferencing is inexpensive!

In some cases, it can actually be free! Modern chat messengers such as AIM, MSN and Yahoo allow free VoIP calls via headsets, and all you and the other person need to have is the same version of the free downloadable software. This works especially well for small groups, or one-on-one discussions. However, there are some security concerns. Free audio chat clients are generally insecure and if any important information is to be transferred online, they might get lost or hijacked along the way. For high-profile conferencing needs, purchasing professionally made enterprise-level Web-based audio conference call software is still the best option.

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