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London Calling!

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In an increasingly globalised world, more and more companies are trading internationally. For companies that have bases in numerous areas within the same country, never mind in different countries, keeping in contact is a must. Business decisions need to be made quickly and strategies developed regularly to adapt in an ever changing world. Obviously driving or flying to meet up is an expensive and logistical nightmare never mind the cost to the environment. Yes e-mails keep people communicating but there is nothing like talking to people to fully understand what they are saying.

Client relationships are also imperative and keeping those customers from further field happy is not easy. A conference call where for example the sales director is in one destination, the operations manager in another location, and the customer somewhere else, can enable everyone the customer wants to speak to is contactable at once.

The costs of travel not to mention the time wasted by travelling are costs firms can do without. Of course, a weekend business conference or meeting in some far flung destination sounds appealing but it is not practical!

There are stories of conference calls being unsuccessful, but now access to decent bandwidths is the norm, stories of delayed reactions like a news link to a war zone and people talking over each other are a thing of the past.

They are simple to set up as well, the operator dialled conference call means someone takes charge of calling and adding the participants leaving the participants themselves to concentrate on the important business at hand.

Three way calling is probably the most basic method, and despite the name does allow more than three people to participate. This can normally be operated through your existing telephone company for a monthly charge plus a small usage charge per call.

The most common type of conference call is a reservation-less conference call. This requires little set up, simply enter a phone number and access code and get the other participants to phone and enter their code.

Different to an operator dialled call is an operator assisted conference call. Here, the operator will record and monitor the conference call. This requires a bit of planning and scheduling in advance and is obviously a more expensive approach. You will also need to check with your telephone provider, the length of call they can support, as this varies from one to the other.

The rise of the conference call makes it easy to forget the times of board and business meetings where people travelled into head office from far afield. Meeting face to face is important, but reacting to issues quickly is so much easier using conference calls.

Alan Lord writes on behalf of www.conferencenow.co.uk the experts in Audio conference

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