For the past few years, vendors, government, and corporations have been focused on video conferencing – its acquisition, expansion, and adoption – as the solution to remote and hybrid work. In the background, operator assisted audio conferencing has carried on, unnoticed and, seemingly, unchanged.
But as telecommunications companies have recalibrated for the years to come, many have eliminated or limited audio conferencing services, leaving a void for customers. Corporations and governments that rely on audio conferencing services to power equitable and accessible global communications must look for new vendors in a changing market.
If your organization is on the hunt, consider these must-haves:
- Operator Assisted Audio Conferencing
Whether based on audience or content, a teleconference is sometimes the best choice for a specific message. But with no visuals to fall back on, it’s imperative that call quality and execution be flawless.
Execution is down to your call’s operator. Your provider should maintain a cadre of trained conference operators with deep technical expertise and the wide perspective on enterprise and government use cases that informs best practice guidance. Operators should be in touch prior to your call, available to host Dry Runs, and online prior to start for pre-call prep. Operators should actively lead your call and Q&A, as well as take responsibility for your receipt of reports, transcripts, recordings, and other artifacts post-call.
A high-quality audio network that scales to suit your audience – whether of hundreds or thousands – is essential, as is the availability of local toll and toll-free numbers in your key locations.
Scalability also encompasses the speed with which attendees can get connected. We saw legacy systems – in which callers are manually connected by an operator – stumble under the frequency and size of worldwide calls hosted in the early days of the pandemic. Your provider should offer an alternative, PIN-based calling model that preserves controls and knowledge (who can attend, who is in attendance) at scale.
Not every call is the same, so you’ll want a provider with a full menu of features. Comm lines can enable effective coordination between onsite a/v and your operator. A visual conference monitor can provide visibility into question queues and the convenience of chatting with your operator. Private speaker pre-conferences, simulated live playback, and recurring numbers for call series are among the table-stakes features to remember.
- Customer-Friendly Pricing
As infrastructure has matured – with networks replacing ports – not every vendor’s pricing structure has kept pace. Ask your potential provider if they’ve eliminated legacy ‘unused port fees’ and offer flexible, usage-based pricing.
Last but not least, consider asking your potential provider about their commitment to and vision for conferencing. Finding a partner with a clear, multi-year plan may help you to avoid the pain of another change.
Intellor has answered the call for Fortune 500 companies and Federal agencies for over 20 years. We are invested, and investing, in services and technologies to ensure our clients have the right audio conferencing partner – today and in the years to come.
If your business or mission requires you to communicate by audio conferencing, let’s start a conversation today to see if we can help you to succeed.