Advantages of Owning a Conference Bridge
If you and your business frequently require conference calls to coordinate clients, freelancers, agents, or offices around town or around the world, then having access to an audio conference bridge can save you both time and effort in connecting all of the individuals in your conference call together. There are a number of companies and service providers who will schedule and manage your conference calls for a price, but if you are regularly having to use these services then you might want to consider purchasing your own conference bridge so that all conference call planning and coordination can take place in-house. Of course, before you decide to purchase a conference bridge for your company it’s important that you realize exactly what a conference bridge is and how it can assist your business so that you’ll know what to look for when it’s time to buy your own.
What a Conference Bridge Is
In order to choose the conference bridge that best fills the needs of your business, it’s important that you understand exactly what a conference bridge is and what purpose it serves in your conference calls. Traditionally, conference calls were done by a single instigator contacting all of the participants in what was essentially an expanded version of three-way calling. The conference bridge was developed to eliminate this time consuming and (in the case of long-distance calls) costly process. The bridge serves as a hub for several callers to connect to via a specific telephone number and security code so that instead of a single user contacting all of the participants the participants can all connect themselves to the conference. A number of conference bridges also have advanced features including scheduling software integrated into the unit and an autodialer that can be programmed to automatically contact all of the conference participants at the same time.
How a Conference Bridge Can Help You
By utilizing a conference bridge for calls, companies can save time in getting everyone connected and get right to the heart of the business at hand. A bridge featuring a scheduler and autodialer can increase this productivity even more by organizing conference calls across multiple time zones if necessary and automatically contacting the various offices, agents, and clients who are scheduled to take part in the call. This can be especially useful for those businesses who regularly conference with clients, as it saves the client the trouble of dialing in to the bridge and eliminates any potential long distance charges that the client might otherwise incur.
Owning Your Own Conference Bridge
While there are a number of service providers who will organize multi-party calls via a conference bridge, if your business regularly has need of these services then you will be able to save money in the long run by purchasing your own conference bridge and scheduling the calls in-house. Of course, it’s important that you shop around and compare the various options which are available to you in order to find the bridge that will best meet the needs of your company at a price that isn’t excessive. Consider the size of your company’s average conference calls and whether the participants are branch offices, freelancers and agents, or clients; this will help you to determine the number of connections that your bridge will need to be able to handle as well as whether you would be better served with a basic bridge that users can call in to or if you should instead purchase one with autodialer features and scheduling software. You may also wish to make sure that the bridge you are considering is compatible with both standard public telephone systems and Voice Over Internet Protocol systems, as VOIP systems are becoming much more common in business and you’ll want to make sure that the bridge you purchase will be useful to you in the long term.