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

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

3 ways to ensure productive conference calls

Posted by Vivienne New

22-Apr-2015 10:00:00

iStock_000006864428XSmall

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. 

Download the app here


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Topics: Teleconferencing, 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

Download the app here  

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Topics: Teleconferencing, DIY Audio Conferencing

Achieve your 2015 goals with strategic planning and conference calls

Posted by Vivienne New

15-Jan-2015 11:40:00

Ozlink helps businesses achieve their 2015 goals


The beginning of a new year means businesses start their strategic planning for the year ahead. It is important to know where your business is headed in 2015 and how you’re going to achieve both your short- and long-term goals.

The best way to keep a company heading in the right direction is to make sure your chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) have a joint planning strategy regarding how the business is going to move ahead in 2015, as they are best placed to offer customer insight.

Cliff Condon of Forrester Research says, “In my role as chief research officer, one thing is now clear to me: the two roles that matter most for 2015 are the CIO and the CMO - their relationship and joint strategy to boost the business will determine the future of any corporation."

Employees with the best customer knowledge can be put in charge of strategic decisions across businesses of all sizes. The important part, regardless of business size, is how the CMOs and CIOs work together on this joint operation. Communication between the two is essential, and can determine the success or failure of your strategic planning goals.

Forrester found that this communication barrier could be an issue for many businesses. When asked whether their CMOs and CIOs develop a technology strategy together before allocating a budget, 53% of people in marketing and 43% in technology management said they did not. Additionally, 49% of both departments said technologies aren't decided upon and adopted as a joint decision, which is crucial to effective strategic planning.

To successfully put customer experience at the heart of your business, communication between the CMO and CIO must be prioritised. A simple conference call can work wonders in keeping whole departments up to date - whether they are located nationally or internationally.

A conference call is an ideal way to communicate with everybody involved throughout the whole strategic planning process. You can keep everyone in your business abreast of your strategy for as little as 6c per user per minute with Ozlink Conferencing’s low cost service

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Topics: Teleconferencing, Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Free Teleconferencing Services

Posted by Vivienne New

12-Nov-2014 10:00:00

Many conferencing providers now offer “free” teleconferencing services. While this may seem like a great option that allows you to continue conferencing while cutting costs, there are many issues with these services.

1. 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.

Ozlink only uses PTSN lines, ensuring that your meetings are conducted with high quality sound and with minimal chance of anybody dropping out of the conference.

2. Inability to handle large traffic - if network routers are experiencing high volumes of traffic, you may experience 'call drop-outs' while conferencing. We've often heard of customers complaining about dropping out of conference calls in the middle of very important meetings while using "free" services.

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.

3. Trust Issues - security can be a huge concern when conferencing, especially if your meeting agenda involves sensitive topics. When conferencing with an internet provider your meeting could be hacked, resulting in your sensitive information being heard by other people.

Ozlink provides 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.

4. No support - sometimes you may find you have questions or concerns about your teleconference, and having a support line available to address your needs can prove invaluable. Few free teleconferencing providers offer this service. 

Ozlink support staff are available by email (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.

5. No recordings - most free teleconferencing services will not offer the same features as paid providers, such as the ability to record calls.

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

6. 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.

Ozlink’s charges are transparent and easy to calculate.

Ozlink prices

So before you decide to use VoIP to conference with business partners or colleagues, think again. While you might save on infrastructure costs you could lose a lot more if your conference goes badly because you’re using substandard conferencing technology. Don’t risk it, use a reliable conference provider such as Ozlink.

Go to the website now!

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Topics: Teleconferencing, Conferencing Services, DIY Audio Conferencing

Small businesses love conference calls!

Posted by Ozlink Editor

19-Sep-2013 13:25:00

blonde_with_phoneSmall businesses are on the rise in Australia.  With the proliferation of home-based businesses, online entrepreneurs, and a focus back on trades, our lucky country is seeing a real resurgence in sole operators and businesses with only 2 or 3 employees.

Whilst it's great to eradicate the politics, the lengthy meetings and the chat-fest conferences of a large corporate (that's why you started your own business in the first place right?), a small business has it's own communication challenges. Working in isolation can be frustrating; there's noone to bounce ideas off or to give you the moral boost you need when making a big decision. "Am I making the right decision?" just falls on deaf ears... 

So how do small business owners garner support and build teams without putting them on the payroll? Conference call services are a great place to start. They provide a tool for disparate individuals to discuss ideas and challenges, test innovations and product updates and share war stories or successes with like-minded people.  A conference call becomes a great connector for a business owner with others in a similar situation without having to leave the comfort of their office.

Audio conferencing is also a great way to hold regular meetings with clients or suppliers who might not be located nearby.  Instead of an annual fly-in-fly-out trip, you can up the ante on your communication and feedback without spending much.  The participants will feel more loved but you won't be sacrificing too much time, which we know is a precious commodity for a small business owner.  

If you are in a service industry where you need to work in partnership with other businesses, conference calls can also be a great way to run project meetings. Your virtual team will benefit from the immediacy of a call (rather than a face to face meeting) and will thank you for not dragging them away from their work for too long! 

Conference calls are really easy to use too. Individuals call into the meeting using a dedicated phone number and a passcode; once everyone is connected the meeting can begin. A standard phone is the only piece of equipment required for conference-call meetings. 

Take a look at our comparison table to understand more about what Ozlink offers versus our competitors. We know you'll be pleased with our pricing and service.  

Show me how it works

 

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Topics: Teleconferencing, Conferencing Services

Mobile Phones and Conference Calls

Posted by Ozlink Editor

18-Sep-2013 11:30:00

mobile_phonesConference calls are a fantastic way to connect people from a variety of locations.  Project teams can collaborate, sales teams can regularly communicate, HR staff can converse with disparate employees, journalists and PR professionals conduct interviews and companies run investor relations meetings.

Whatever the reason for the conference call, many participants choose to connect via mobile phone due to their remote location or the necessity to be on the road.  Discussing sales campaigns, budgets and projects just got easier.

Or did it?

Whilst mobiles are convenient, they can cause some issues during conference calls.  Regardless of whether you are the host or a guest, here are a few things to consider before reaching for the mobile:

  1. Charge your battery well in advance of the conference
  2. Check the signal on your phone; if it is not strong, move to another place to find the best signal possible
  3. Bar incoming calls or put your mobile on silent before going into conference
  4. Use a headset rather than speakerphone to help eliminate background noise
  5. Consider who is paying for the conference and your mobile charges, particularly if it is an international conference call (they can be very expensive!)

It's important to adopt appropriate conference etiquette to ensure clear communication and collaboration.  If ignored, the use of mobile phones on conference calls can lead to a lot of distortion and disturbance for all participants.  

So before you dial via mobile, do a quick check of these things.

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Topics: Teleconferencing

Women favour conference calls

Posted by Ozlink Editor

18-Sep-2013 10:19:00

Whilst the gap between men’s and women’s working habits has closed in the last decade, there are still some differences in the way the genders operate. The shoulder pads and power suits of the 80s gave men a never-before-seen run for their money when it came to providing a powerful presence around the office, but in recent times women have adopted a more feminine approach to office dressing and attitude without losing credibility.  Add to the landscape the huge wave of ‘mummy businesses’ and female sole operators – largely courtesy of the internet – and the way women approach collaboration in the workplace has definitely changed.

A recent study (2012) of 2500 adults in North America conducted by online-meeting service provider TeamViewer and Harris Interactive showed that “women are more likely to see the benefits of attending meetings, virtually”. Whilst both men and women in the study obviously saw the pros of virtual meetings, the percentage of women respondents was notably higher across all metrics.

Here are the results:

women_in_meetings_graph

There are probably a range of reasons for this bias but I would hazard a guess it’s largely because many women (including those with full-time jobs outside the home) have family responsibilities which make online meetings more convenient than in-person meetings.  The flexibility afforded by teleconferences is a huge factor for working mothers, giving them the option of at-home meetings and conferences outside standard business hours without the necessity of travel.

For sole operators, of which there are many females in Australia, there is a huge advantage in building ‘virtual teams’ to collaborate on projects, share ideas and network. Often, the people in these teams are not centrally located, so the use of teleconference services is highly advantageous. Flying or driving all over the country is not economical nor an efficient use of time.

I would suggest another reason for the female bias towards conference calls may be because many women don’t particularly like travelling or staying in hotels on their own – often a requirement when invited to a physical conference.

Interestingly, Kate Lister, a telecommuting researcher and author (www.workshitfting.com), notes that - “the people who regularly work from home offer the greatest potential to reduce global warming, energy usage, and traffic congestion. They're also the ones who derive the most work-life benefits from telecommuting.”

Could working women be onto something then? I think so. The protection of the environment and the reduction of stress through better work-life balance are both huge factors for today’s working generation; the implication of not considering these issues will impact generations to come.

If you are interested in changing the way you work, reducing the impact on the environment, increasing efficiencies and saving costs, then contact us to find out how easy it is to get started.

 

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Topics: Teleconferencing

The value of recording your teleconference

Posted by Ozlink Editor

06-Sep-2013 10:18:00

Recording your conference is as easy as pressing a button (or two!) But did you ever wonder why you might do so?

Details details details.

Most of us are so busy these days juggling careers, families, study and social media accounts. We live in the 'knowledge era' which is great in many ways, but also can feel at times like we are being bombarded with new information from dawn until dusk. With estimates in the thousands, the number of marketing messages we apparently see each day are enough to clutter our busy minds. So how is it possible to remember every important detail of meetings and phone calls?

Increasingly, businesses are choosing to record their conferences so that they have a permanent record of their meetings and can leverage the details across their organisation.

1. Keep a common record

Forgetting an important detail of a meeting can mean lost time or a lost deal. When you have large groups of people involved in a teleconference, it is not uncommon for people to 'hear' things differently. Interpretations of material occur at the individual level which can be dangerous if there are important instructions communicated, or specific deals to be brokered.  

2. Maintain focus during the conference

Knowing that there will be a permanent record of the conference allows participants to listen more fully whilst on the call rather than worrying about frantically taking notes.  

3. Include missing people in the conference

If someone has been unable to join the conference, they can listen to the entire conversation at a later date rather than receive a second hand summary by an attendee. 

4. Utilise the information in various ways

If you would like to disseminate some of the information about the conference call to others in your organisation, you can choose to record only parts of the call and then make this available to non-attendees.   

All your teleconference recordings are automatically stored in a secure, online archive at Ozlink Conferencing. You can access them from the recordings portal at any time for up to 28 days after the recording takes place. Alternatively you can choose to download your recording so you can keep a permanent record.

Want more information on teleconferencing?  Have a look at our resources or read more of our blogs.

 

   View Resources                                                Take me to the blog

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Topics: Teleconferencing

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