Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Conference Bridge to Everywhere

A conference bridge is a piece of telephone equipment that connects multiple phone lines together so that people in far flung locations call all participate in a discussion. Very large organizations may elect to buy and maintain such equipment, but for individuals and small to medium size businesses it is much more cost effective to simply pay as you go.

CogniConference is low cost conferencing service that lets you organize and participate in telephone conference calls as you see fit. You may be well served with audio telecons using speaker phones in conference rooms and individuals on handsets. But you may also find that CogniConference is valuable in providing the audio link that complements a web conferencing tool such as GotoMeeting.

Managed teleconferencing services can be expensive, but CogniConference is designed to be a low cost solution that offers flexible management and high quality performance. It is based on toll free numbers for the U.S. and Canada. As moderator, you invite participants to join the call by giving them the toll free number and access code for your particular conference. Both you and they simply dial-in to be connected. Note that the number is toll free so it doesn't cost participants anything, although they may be using minutes if they are calling in from a cell phone. The cost to the host of the call is 9.9 cents per participant per minute in the continental U.S. and 24.5 cents per minute for Canadian participants. Participants from other countries can also join in at rates particular to their location. Some countries may not have toll free numbers available.

The per minute per participant rates are it. There are no per conference or monthly fees. It's pay as you go. Like other telephone services, there are governmental taxes also. But you pay those no matter what service you use.

To see the cost advantage of CogniConference, let's take a look at a typical call. Say 8 people participate in a 30 minute business conference call. The rate is 9.9 cents per minute for each of the 8 participants times 30 minutes. $0.099 x 8 x 30 = $23.76.

Compare that with a face to face get-together. Even if you are all in the same town, you might spend that much alone on gas driving to and from the meeting. If you need to pay for a meeting room, that's additional. Then there's the lost productivity involved in just getting there and back. Suddenly $23.76 looks dirt cheap, doesn't it? If your group is scattered around the country, costs for an in-person meeting soar into the thousands.

This is why more and more businesses are saving travel for when it's really essential and leveraging technology such as telephone conference calls for day to day needs. That includes things like team collaboration, training, presentations and distribution of important information to management, employees and stockholders.

CogniConference holds your costs down and gives you flexibility by allowing you to schedule conferences on the fly, with up to 16 legs in each call. A leg is one phone calling the conference service at the toll free number. Of course if that phone is a speakerphone, there could be a dozen participants at that particular location. No operator is required to set up your conference calls. You or the moderator you designate gets a special host password that they can use with the easy Web and telephony interfaces. Payment is by credit card and you can set a usage limit to control costs.

Have you been spending too much money and getting too little participation via email, physical meetings, or a more expensive conference calling solution? You should give CogniConference Ultra-Low Rate Conference Calling a try.

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