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Enhance Your Business Effectiveness Via Conference Call Technology
By Andy Denis
The fiscal difficulties of recent times have caused significantly increased pressure on all corporations. Tried and true strategies of enhancing profits through revenue increases are proving difficult, if not impossible to come by. As a result, more and more businesses are looking to methods of increasing productivity through cost mitigation.

All aspects of expenditures are being increasingly scrutinized. Technology is an important component of the cost reduction strategy. The intelligent use of technology to reduce communication and collaboration costs is particularly gaining momentum.

The adoption of new conference calling technologies is one area where this can be seen most dramatically. It used to be true that only large businesses have access to full-featured conference calling services. These services were expensive and in many cases required the assistance of live operators.

Incumbent service providers priced their teleconferencing services at astronomical levels such as twenty to thirty cents per minute. Businesses were required to pay these costs to secure access to quality service. But the forces of competition would soon change that.

The second-generation conference calling services were more efficient. Live operator assistance was not required. Self scheduling lowered expense for service providers and the cost reductions benefited users as well.

Third-generation conference calling services have become free. There are now countless companies offering free conference calling services. Simply type the search term "free conference call" into Google and you will see a myriad of offerings.

However, the services are not free in the same sense that oxygen is free. Rather, a telephone call is required to be made to access the service and users will pay whatever the charge is associated with making that call. For individuals with flat rate plans, there will be no additional charge to use such a service.

The fact that these businesses provide free services does not mean that the options are limited. To the contrary, a number offer a variety of useful features. Audio recording is one such service and many offer premium features such as toll-free access at discounted rates.

Fuel prices

may be lower today than they were in recent years; however travel remains a costly alternative for many companies. The actual costs of air travel, auto rental and the like are only part of the expense associated with travel. The opportunity cost of time not spent in the office is also a key element.

It is for that very reason that free conference calling can become a critical enabling factor in increasing productivity. A San Francisco-based sales executive with clients in Denver, Colorado can generate three to five times the productivity by replacing just one trip a month to Denver with free conferencing.

In addition, companies involved in complex marketing can unite disparate individuals across locations on one conference to leverage expertise. Clients, in turn, can get faster access to that expertise through the use of conferencing.

Conference calls also offer the benefit of including parties that otherwise may be unable to travel on account of extreme location variation. Today's multinational corporations are increasingly likely to have team members located in Asia as well as North America and Europe. Conference calling enables these individuals to gather in one virtual forum.

In other words, the productivity benefits of conferencing don't just come from reducing direct and indirect expenditures. The advantages also flow from enabling communication that formerly would have been cost prohibitive to arrange.

Some companies are also using conferencing as a method of augmenting cooperation among group members situated in the same city. The reason is that today's workforce is increasingly mobile and many employees work from home or satellite offices.

The ability to organize conference calls in these situations can lead to higher levels of cooperation among individuals who would normally see each other in person perhaps once a week. Now it becomes feasible to have regular group communication on a daily or every other day basis.

The economic challenges of internationalization and increased competition are unlikely to abate anytime soon. In the meanwhile, intelligent use of technologies such as free conference calling holds the promise of enabling businesses to reduce expenditures and improve efficiency
Through the concentrated use of free conferencing numbers, consultant Denis has undertaken a variety of programs to apply technology to increase corporate productivity.


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