Why auto recording your conference call could be your saving grace.

Posted by Ozlink Editor

21-Apr-2016 16:37:30

reel-to-reel2.pngRecording a conference call is an excellent way to ensure conference participants have access to meeting content and comments made during a conference call, especially if they can't make it to the meeting.

Did you press record?

Of course, manually recording a conference call relies on the host remembering to initiate the recording via their telephone keypad. 

Let’s face it, with all the distractions that can occur at the beginning of any conference call, our intent to manually record our conference call may not be remembered until it's too late.

Cue embarrassment and frustration.

Why risk it? Automate it.

If you don't want to risk forgetting to record your conference calls, automatic call recording is an invaluable way to ensure that you and other meeting participants never miss a meeting again. In some situations it could be your saving grace. This way of recording a conference call removes the risk of human error and ensures that every meeting is recorded, securely stored and accessible to you and your authorised meeting participants to play back and download without you having to think about it.

Be free to focus on delivering your message.

Knowing you will have access to the recording of your conference call leaves you free to keep your meeting on track and concentrate on the discussion, rather than worrying about remembering key facts or having to ask someone to repeat themselves because you need to write things down. The meeting can run efficiently with minimal disruptions.

Automatic call recording means you will never again miss the opportunity to record the important information disclosed during a conference call and allows you to focus on delivering your message, engage with your audience and review discussion points, outcomes and action points (verbatim) post meeting. Imagine that!

Recording your conference calls allows you to:

  • Play back the call either by listening online or over the phone
  • Keep everybody in the loop if someone wasn't present for the call
  • Download the recording to your computer to save permanently
  • Create a link to replay the conference call online
  • Embed the recording onto any website by generating an HTML code 
  • Edit the file for use in company material such as slideshows or videos

You can learn about where your recordings are stored and how to access them here.

 

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Topics: Teleconferencing, Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing, Teleconferencing Tips

5 tips for a seamless conference

Posted by Vivienne New

18-Jun-2015 10:02:00

ConferencecallphoneWhether you hold conferences all the time or only very infrequently, you need to know that your conferences will run smoothly every time. 

Here are some tips for making sure you experience a seamless conference, each and every time.

1. Give the meeting your undivided attention. Even though the parties are not meeting face-to-face, location should be a key consideration. Choose a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed for the length of the conference.

2. Presentations often take more time than anticipated. Ensure enough time is allocated to the conference and that it does not take time away from the busy days of the participants. If possible, try to finish early.

3. Make sure the equipment and service provider you use are top-notch. This is an investment that is worth making to ensure you can make the most of the conference. A seamless discussion not hampered by technological issues is more likely to yield positive results. For this reason you should avoid “free” conference call providers. You can read more about the pitfalls of these providers here.

4. Recording your conference makes it easy to revisit what was discussed, or enables someone to take minutes at a later time for distribution amongst the participants. Knowing that your calls are being recorded eliminates the need for distracting note-taking during meetings, leaving you free to focus on what's being said.

5. Make sure the host creates an agenda and distributes it in advance to the meeting participants. An agenda is vital for making sure that the meeting stays on track and all required decisions are made in a timely manner. This also allows the other participants to consider the points that will be brought up in the call and think of any questions they may want to ask or points they would like to make. 

By following these 5 simple rules, you should be able to ensure seamless conferences no matter how often you conference.

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Topics: Conferencing Services

Hiring great employees in 3 steps

Posted by Vivienne New

25-May-2015 10:00:00

interview-607713_640No matter the size of your business, your employees are the backbone of the company and their personalities can be more important than their skills, depending on the type of workplace environment.

You want to make sure you’re hiring the best people for the job – people who complement the workplace culture you have created and fit in with your existing employees.

So how do you go about making sure you hire the people who are most suited to your company culture?

  1. Identify the workplace culture

Having a unique workplace culture can help set you apart from your competitors. It also ensures that your employees understand the standards they are expected to adhere to, and the direction they need to aim in their day-to-day work.

Maybe you have an academy culture, where employees are highly skilled and willing to undergo intense training. Or you might have a pragmatic workplace, where the customer is always right and strict rules are dispensed with in favour of giving the customer what they want.

You can read more about different types of workplace cultures in this article from Udemy.

Whichever kind of workplace you maintain, it’s important that new recruits understand the company’s values and are suited to working within that particular type of environment.

  1.        Decide which personality traits help build the culture that drives your organisation

In order to hire the people who will fit best into your workplace, you need to decide what it is that you’re looking for.

If you have an academy culture workplace, you might look for people with tertiary education degrees and a willingness to undergo additional training. If you have a ‘bet your company’ culture, you’ll probably want people who have lots of patience and are willing to take big risks.

Once you’ve decided what personality traits and skill background your new recruit will need, you can start the hiring process knowing exactly what you’re looking for. This way you won’t waste anybody’s time by interviewing unsuitable candidates.

You can teach information and new skills but you can’t teach someone to change their personality to fit into a workplace culture.

  1.        Don’t limit yourself when interviewing potential candidates

In order to be confident you are hiring the right person for the position, you want to make sure that you’re not limiting yourself to only interviewing candidates you can meet with in person. If there are other potential candidates living interstate or overseas (and who are willing to relocate if successful), they deserve to be interviewed too.

A conference call is the best way to conduct interviews with people located in far-off places. Ozlink offers conference calls from as little as 6c per user per minute. You can also record the interview for future reference during the hiring process for only $10, making your hiring process both cheap and easy.

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Topics: Teleconferencing

Three reasons why audio conferencing can boost your sales figures

Posted by Vivienne New

12-May-2015 14:30:00

Silly Photos-11

Are you are a sales manager?

Are you managing multiple teams or stores across the country?

Are you sick of your team using a lack of communication and not having anyone to motivate them as an excuse for not meeting their sales targets?

It’s time to start communicating with your team of managers every morning about what their sales targets are for the day and what they can do to best achieve those targets. You should seriously consider holding a conference call every morning. Here are three reasons why an audio conference can boost your sales figures:

1. It saves you money

Instead of wasting money on travelling to visit your stores, you can discuss everything you need quickly, easily and frequently by conferencing with them instead. That money can then be used elsewhere across the business, such as in recruitment or marketing, or even rewarding your teams when they meet their sales targets every day!

2. It saves you time

If you fly to meet with your interstate sales teams, you probably spend a lot of time on planes, travelling to and from airports and waiting for flights. This valuable time could be put to much better use, and the money spent on these trips is only cutting into your profit margin. Why waste this time when you can achieve the same result much more easily by holding a conference call.

3. It increases communication

Being able to chat with your team managers frequently results in more motivated employees. Daily contact will make them feel part of a team even though they are separated by thousands of kilometres. Setting targets is one thing, but achieving results doesn’t happen without further interaction. A conference call ensures everyone knows exactly what the targets are and is a great opportunity to discuss how those targets can be met. Sharing ideas between stores on how to get the best results can boost morale, meaning your teams are more likely to strive to achieve their goals.

Start your day with a team conference call. Set targets, inspire each other and get results!

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Topics: Conferencing Services

3 ways to ensure productive conference calls

Posted by Vivienne New

22-Apr-2015 10:00:00

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Conference calling is a highly effective tool for communicating with people spread over large distances quickly, cheaply and easily.

This enables businesses to enhance their collaborations and build stronger relationships with each other as well as with their clients or customers.

When done properly, your business could effectively eliminate unnecessary travel and therefore save thousands of dollars in costs.
The cost of travelling interstate or overseas to conduct business meetings can be prohibitive for many businesses, so the opportunity to negate these costs is one that is generally very welcome.

The time it takes to travel to an interstate or overseas meeting also means that decisions are delayed for some time, and usually decisions need to be made much faster than these travel times allow for. This is where conference calls come in handy. Important decisions can be made almost immediately this way, and at very little expense.

To make sure your teleconference runs as smoothly as possible and the desired outcome is achieved, here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Make sure the host creates an agenda and distributes it in advance to the meeting participants

    An agenda is vital for making sure that the meeting stays on track and all required decisions are made in a timely manner. This also allows the other participants to consider the points that will be brought up in the call and think of any questions they may want to ask or points they would like to make. 

  2. Appoint a leader for the call

    The host of the call doesn't necessarily have to actually lead the call. The leader's job is to make sure the call discussion sticks to the agenda. If a particular conversation begins to wander off-topic, the leader can step in and bring the conversation back on track to make sure a decision is reached in a timely manner. Additionally, having one person as leader makes it easier to encourage reluctant speakers to contribute as they can be asked directly to contribute and won't be able to just passively listen. 

  3. Keep your conference brief and limit attendees

    The most effective way of maintaining your participants' attention is to keep your conference short and to the point. Make sure your guests don't feel that they are being kept from their work for longer than necessary, which should encourage productivity during the call. 
    Additionally, make sure that only people that really need to be on the call are invited. If necessary, decisions made in the meeting can be passed on to other staff members afterwards by those who attended the call.

Ozlink Conferencing offers a low-cost, easy-to-use, high-quality conferencing service. There's no need to book and you can conference whenever you like, 24/7. 

Sign up now to start saving your business time and money! You can also contact us via our website for more information. 

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Topics: Teleconferencing, DIY Audio Conferencing

Happy Easter from Ozlink Conferencing!

Posted by Vivienne New

02-Apr-2015 14:30:00

With the Easter Holidays coming up, many people are looking forward to taking a break from work and spending time with loved ones. However, if you do have urgent work that must be done over the break, a conference call could be the answer. Instead of wasting time travelling to a face-to-face meeting, you can spend the time you save with family and friends.

Eastereggs_ostereierContact us at Ozlink today so we can help you work virtually, anywhere, at any time. You can still achieve a healthy work-life balance over your Easter break.

Many people will find it hard to get back into work after the four day break. Business meetings will be necessary for catching up on recent business developments, consulting colleagues and making decisions for the rest of April.

Conference calls can make it all easier. They allow you to:

  1. Work from the comfort of your home - with a conference call you can avoid your office altogether and still connect with people virtually. You can still be productive while staying at home!

  2. Save money – if you accidentally spent too much money on Easter eggs, you can cut down on costs elsewhere by not travelling to work and instead holding a conference call, which achieves the same outcome as a face-to-face meeting for only a fraction of the price. You can't go wrong!

  3. Make quick decisions - you can avoid spending time travelling to a meeting by conferencing instead. A conference call can be conducted at short notice, which gives people greater availability. This leads to quicker and easier interaction between employees, equipping them with the ability to make fast decisions.

  4. Lower carbon emissions – instead of creating carbon emmissions by travelling to a face-to-face meeting, your company can help save the planet by using our conferencing solutions.

What are you waiting for? Get back into action and start conferencing today! You can view our prices on our website. 


Happy Easter!

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Topics: Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing

What kind of audio quality can I expect from a teleconference?

Posted by Vivienne New

31-Mar-2015 14:00:00

A successful teleconference relies on exceptional audio quality, and knowing what kind of audio you are getting should be a key part of your research when considering a conference provider.

There are two main types of teleconferencing platforms:

1. General Purpose Media Server

Service providers load a teleconferencing software program onto a standard media server. It is a cheap and quick setup for the provider so they often offer their services cheaply or for free. There are many problems with this kind of server, such as:

  • Unreliability – these free services use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to deliver their service, and their network routers handle traffic on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that communication over IP networks is significantly less reliable than on a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the sound quality of these calls is often substandard.
  • Inability to handle large traffic - if network routers are experiencing high volumes of traffic, you may experience 'call drop-outs' while conferencing. 
  • Trust Issues - the lack of security could leave your meeting vulnerable to hackers, resulting in your sensitive information being heard by other people.
  • No support - Few free teleconferencing providers offer a support line available to address your needs, leaving you stuck if something goes wrong. 
  • No recordings - most free teleconferencing services will not offer the same features as paid providers, such as the ability to record calls.
  • Hidden fees and charges - there's really no such thing as a free teleconference. Most “free” teleconferencing services incur hidden expenses that you may not have considered, such as the cost of dialling in long distance numbers.

2. Dedicated Purpose-Built Conferencing Platform

Ozlink's purpose-built platform ensures calls are routed via a digital telephone system, not the internet, so the output of the audio quality is high.

We only uses a purpose-built conferencing platform and PTSN lines, ensuring that your meetings are conducted with high quality sound and with minimal chance of anybody dropping out of the conference.

Ozlink is able to control the amount of people conferencing by owning our own conferencing bridge (the technology that link telephone lines). This ensures that our bridge is not overloaded, so that there are no drop-outs or bad lines. Our technology can accommodate hundreds of individual participants.

We provide the option of securely locking your conference, so you can have peace of mind when conferencing. When guests enter the conference, their name is announced. Once everyone is in the meeting, the conference is locked so nobody else can enter.

Ozlink support staff are available at help@voiceconference.com.au between 9am and 5pm on Monday to Friday. You will always be answered by one of our Australia-based support staff.

We are able to record your conference, which you can then download from our website for minute-taking or for future reference.  You can read about all our features on our website.

The table below demonstrates the difference in audio quality you can expect from Ozlink’s Purpose-Built Teleconferencing Platform (Contex Summit) and an inferior General Purpose Media Server.

conference calls australia

Quality of Speech Score = effort required ‘to understand’ the meaning of sentences:
5: Excellent - Complete relaxation possible; no effort required
4: Good - Attention necessary; no appreciable effort required
3: Fair - Moderate effort required
2: Poor - Considerable efforts required
1: Bad - No meaning understood with any feasible effort

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Topics: Teleconferencing, DIY Audio Conferencing

What types of organisations can use conference calls?

Posted by Vivienne New

03-Mar-2015 10:00:00

Ozlink conference callsTools such as conference calls are beneficial to a wide range of organisations. From not-for-profit charities to high-end corporates, there are plenty of ways to incorporate conference calls.

While these organisations may be far apart on the monetary spectrum, they all have something in common - a need to communicate with outside contacts in order to progress.

No matter how big or expansive your organisation is, a conference call can both save and boost funds at the same time.

Here are three types of organisations that can benefit from conferencing:

1) Humanitarian charities

Funding can be difficult for not-for-profits as money can may only be received on an adhoc basis. This means budgets are tight and spending severely capped.

To continue pitching to investors and businesses for funding, there are likely to be some travel costs involved. However, by using conferencing, charity workers can stay at their home base and still achieve the desired outcome. The same meetings can still be held, just without the unnecessary costs that are usually involved.

2) Marketing businesses

To give products a good launching pad and to connect with clients and customers, marketing businesses need to involve a variety of third party contacts.

As there are many stakeholders involved in developing products, meetings need to be held on a regular basis to ensure targets and deadlines are met. To achieve this on a large scale, conference calling could be a good option.

With the capability of hundreds of people, conferencing with Ozlink is a cost-effective alternative to hiring out large meetings rooms or conference venues.

3) Recruitment businesses

Recruitment businesses can also benefit from conferencing. If candidates are overseas or the business doesn't have the facilities to host a face-to-face interview, a conference is a great alternative.

Recruitment teams across departments can be involved in the interview and businesses can learn quite a lot from the candidate through a conference call. As well as assessing telephone skills, recruitment teams can pick up on confidence, attitude and enthusiasm for the role.

You can learn more about our conferencing services on our website.

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Topics: Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing

We answer your burning questions about conferencing

Posted by Vivienne New

27-Feb-2015 15:16:00

dogEver wanted to know more about conference calls but can't find the answers? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.

What is a conference call?

A conference call enables you to talk to multiple people all over the world at the same time via telephone.



Do I need to book my conference call?

No, you do not need to book your conference with us.

How much will my conference call cost?

The price of your conference will depend on where your participants are dialling in from. Our basic charge is 6c per user per minute (excluding GST). 

How do I sign up?

All you have to do is fill out our Register Now form.

How do I start a conference call?

The host gives their guests the Guest Access Code and the list of dial-in numbers. Everybody then dials in to the conference from wherever they are in the world using their relevant dial-in number. The host enters the Host Access Code and the guests enter the Guest Access Code to start conferencing!

Can overseas participants use the service?

Participants can dial in from any country in the world. 

What equipment do I need to conference?

All you need to conference is a telephone. It can be either a mobile or landline telephone, although calls from mobiles may incur additional charges from your mobile provider.

Can I record my conference?

You can record your conference for $10 (ex. GST). You can manually record each conference or you can set up your account to automatically record all of your conferences.

Are the participants of the conference call charged?

Participants using the toll-free dial-in number on a landline will not be charged. The use of a mobile phone may incur charges from the mobile phone carrier. If participants use a local dial-in number from outside the local calling area in Australia or internationally, they will incur long distance charges on their phone bill.

Are there any monthly charges or additional fees?

We don't charge monthly fees, cancellation fees, or account keeping fees. There are no hidden costs.

How do I mute and unmute all participants?

The host is able to place all guests on mute by pressing 250#. They can be unmuted by pressing 200#. Individuals can mute and unmute themselves by pressing *6.

How can I prevent unwanted participants from entering the conference?

There are a number of ways to prevent unwanted participants:

  • keep your access codes secure
  • request new dial-in access codes when staff leave
  • only issue conference start times and dates to those participants you want in attendance
  • once guests have entered the conference, the host can lock the conference by pressing *7. To unlock the conference and allow new participants to enter, the host presses *7 again.
  • the host can hear how many parties have joined by pressing *0*6*6 and return to the conference by pressing *9.

Can someone enter the conference without me knowing?

No, the default settings for all groups give a short tone to signal any new participant(s) entering your conference. These settings can be customised at your request, such as name announcement upon entry.

Does my voicemail pick up while I am on a call?

Your phone will function as if you were on any other call.

How do I join a conference that is already in progress?

Simply dial into the conference at any time and a tone will tell the others that someone has joined the conference.

What if I lose my phone connection during a call?

If you lose your phone connection, just redial the dial-in number and follow the prompts.

How many participants can there be on the phone?

The conferencing system can accommodate hundreds of participants in one conference call.

What information should I provide to my participants to invite them to join a conference call?

Each participant will need:

  • The relevant dial-in phone number
  • The Guest Access Code

 

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Topics: DIY Audio Conferencing

Start Playing Conference Call Bingo Now

Posted by Vivienne New

17-Feb-2015 10:00:00

We all know that conference calls can be far from perfect, so we've created a fun bingo game for you to play next time you're on a call. Remember, many of these issues are unnecessary problems and can be minimised by talking to an expert conferencing consultant at Ozlink Conferencing. Until then, here are some more resources to help make your conferencing easier and more effective.

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  ozlink conferencing

 
Here's a quick guide to understanding conferencing:

Host and Guest Codes
The organiser is provided with a unique Host Code and Guest Code by Ozlink.

Host Code: This number should be kept confidential. It is used only by the organiser (account owner) to start a meeting.
Guest Code: This number is sent to the guests who are required to join the conference. Guests will be prompted to enter this code to access the conference.

Holding a conference
Holding a conference is simple and straight forward. It only takes 3 steps:

1. Organise: arrange the meeting and send all details including Dial In Number and Guest Code to the guests.
2. Dial: the host dials in and enters the Host Code followed by the hash key (#). Guests dial in and enter the Guest Code followed by the hash key (#).
3. Start: begin talking!

Choosing which number to use
Knowing which numbers to use for every situation can save you money and time.

           National Toll Free number:

  • Use when you have guests from both metro and regional locations
  • Ease of sending only one number to large number of guests
  • The host pays the carrier costs
  • Charged at a higher conferencing rate
 Local Access Numbers: 
  • Use when your guests are all metro based
  • Sydney guests call the Sydney number, Melbourne guests call the Melbourne number etc.
  • Each guest pays the carrier cost at the price of a local call
  • Charged at a lower conferencing rate


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Topics: Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing