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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Question Voice Conferencing Software

    My team is in need of something we can use to have group phone conferencing. For example, if "Joe" is in Illinois, "Bob" in Michigan, and "Patty" over in San Fran, we need to have some sort of application that can allow us to make a teleconferencing call. Here's the kicker: it needs to be easy to install and use!

    Does Skype do this? Any suggestions is appreciated and free is always good (most of the time, at least).

  2. #2
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    Skype does this, though I think you need to pay some nominal usage fees for conference calls. If you want to use normal phones, there are plenty of conference call bridge services available at very reasonable rates. Perhaps overkill for your team, but handy if you want to get a client on the line as lots of folks can't/won't setup skype.

    Lol Gamerz option: teamspeak.

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    http://skypecasts.skype.com/intl/en-us/

    Are you sure they provide teleconferencing?

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    That is broadcast. I think you want a conference call.

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Ah... I think I see the distinction now. Okay, so Skype should work then!

    What about Microsoft Live Meeting? Have you ever used that?

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    Yes, probably more than Skype. Slightly different setup there.

    One thing I forgot to mention which we use alot is GoToMeeting. It is pretty slick platform and very reasonably priced and overall had rave reviews. We usually used our own offline conference bridges rather than the embedded VOIP, so YMMV.

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    GoToMeeting looks great for a more tech-savvy sample of people, but I can't see that being that good when it comes to setting things up for clientele, you know, the people who can't work their mouse right half the time... I'm assuming your guys used this for other partner meetings?

    Regardless, I think it's boiling down to three likely candidates:
    1.) Skype
    2.) Microsoft Live Meeting
    3.) Yahoo Instant Messenger (lol)

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    We used it on one long-running project with a few dozen organizations and never had that much of a problem getting people setup. Basically, it creates outlook meeting requests with a url where you can download the software.

    Your biggest hurdle in any case is not going to be the underlying software but rather that most people haven't the foggiest idea how to enable and configure their mic. Like I said, we sidestepped this because we had a standard, telephone accessed conference bridge available so we never had to mess with the audio angles.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    I was about to ask you how much one of those bridges might cost, but judging from this link, I think I have my answer. My only question about it is the phone lines. I'm on a campus, so I have no clue as to whether or not something like this could / should be implemented.

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    Why build or buy when there are lots of services that do telephone conferencing for free to rather cheap. For example, the one we use here is Premiere Global. But there are many other options.

    Now, if you are on the facility, they might already have a setup for employees, I'd ask the telecom folks about capabilities.

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Why build or buy when there are lots of services that do telephone conferencing for free to rather cheap. For example, the one we use here is Premiere Global. But there are many other options.

    Now, if you are on the facility, they might already have a setup for employees, I'd ask the telecom folks about capabilities.
    Our company is a small start-up relying on the phone line already provided and I thought that building our own PBX bridge would be a good way to invest in our growth by eliminating eventual hurdles that we'll face in the future when we get our own office (we're kinda leasing our space from a grant). Honestly, I never thought about simply asking the campus telco people if they already provide something of this nature. I guess I never assumed they would since we rely on the campus phone line. I'll make sure inquire about it, so thanks for the light bulb!

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    Gotcha. FYI, at this very well funded organization, we've got about 120 people working here, a dedicated Cisco VOIP PBX and ~200 outgoing lines. And we still use a conference calling service . . . . .

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    That's insane.

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    Why? Actually makes alot of sense. Tech staff is pretty thin so there wouldn't be enough support, and you would be suprised how many phone lines we'd need to have enough capacity to handle all the calls that are going on at a given time.

    Also, a couple firms I work with who have their own PBX/concall system always use our bridges because their systems suck so bad compared to the commercial options.

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    I usually use Skype software for Video conferencing, but the image and voice interrupted.


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