How conference calls work? a glossary…

red-phone

The Mysterious Conference Call

It’s a Friday morning and all you’re thinking about is the TGIF drinks tonight as you walk into the office. Suddenly, your boss pops by and says: “Hey! Please arrange a con call later this evening at our office. Let’s get Sally from New York to dial in to our teleconference and Jane from Italy and perhaps, we can all have an audioconference together to get this project going.”

Okay wait. What?

What a party pooper! If you’ve no idea what conference calls are or how they work, you wouldn’t have a clue to what was just said. Con call, teleconference and audioconference are all jargons for the meaning “conference call”.

A conference call is simply a group of 3 or more and even over 3 thousand parties, conversing simultaneously over the phone or a conference call app that is designed to host such a call. These calls can also be made locally or globally with participants dialling in with a given number and a pin code.

Now hang on tight folks, we are now going to tell you what you need to know about the mysterious conference call.

When are conference calls used and are there different types?

Companies use conference calls to converse or distribute information to a varied number of callers at the same time. There are two basic types of a conference calls – The “meet me type” which all participants including the administrator or host, dial in to a common number and the “ad hoc type”, which the host calls each participant to connect the call.

How you can set up a conference call

A company can simply call and sign up with a conference call provider and get everything going immediately. We highly recommend a service that gives you call recording, participant dial out capabilities and dialling in from Skype, SIP or WebRTC.

If you’re in a company that has offices around the region or globally, you may want to strongly consider a service provider that would allow you to have a central billing account as well.

Jargons commonly used that you absolutely need to know

Dialling in / Dial in: The act of dialling a phone number to connect to the central host of the conference call. A conference call service provider would have their own set of phone numbers that you can dial and upon entering a pin code, you will get connected to the host of the call.

Dialling out / Dial out: The act of the administrator / host of the call to call someone outside of the current conference call to add him/her in. It is worthwhile to note that not all conference call providers can provide such a service.

Pin / Call pin code: Each conference call has its own set of pin codes which would need to be entered after dialling the phone number. After entering the pin, the caller will be given access to the call that he/she should be joining.

Administrator / Host: The administrator or host of the call is usually the one who organizes the conference and has a few other controls over the call, such as muting participants or removing them completely. The administrators are also the ones who will be billed for the call.

Reservationless / Permanent conference: These are terms used to describe a non-expiring conference call service, which also means you can have a conference call anytime with no setup needed. The administrator typically owns 2 conference call pins, one for the administrator and one for the participants. They can be used anytime.

Scheduled conference: A type of conference call that is scheduled at a specific time for a specific set of participants. The call pin codes are unique to the conference call only and expire after the end of the call.

Local access number(s): These are the local telephone numbers that you need to dial to connect to a conference call. Most conference call service providers have local access numbers in many countries so that participants do not need to call international phone numbers for connection.

Additional Information

Setting up a conference call is a lot easier once you know the basics of functionality and its jargons. To find out about what a conference call provider can do for you, please click this link here.

 

Nigel Sim for myGC