Monday, May 18, 2009

The AccuConference Cost Advantage

Audio teleconferencing, video conferencing and Web conferencing are enjoying a renaissance in this economic downturn. The reason is that they are one business tool that can cut costs and improve productivity without the ugly process of layoffs or facilities closings. It's a classic example of technology usurping traditional business processes that are no longer viable. By tightly coupling teams to make their progress faster and substituting for expensive air travel and hotel stays, electronic conferencing helps businesses stay viable while economic activity is slow. AccuConference is a clear leader in this field.

What differentiates AccuConference from other companies in the conferencing space is that they offer a complete range of solutions, including traditional audio conference calls, video conferencing and Web conferences. By getting all the conference solutions you need from one supplier, you don't have to worry about having to integrate potentially incompatible services.

Cost savings are a major attraction of AccuConference calling services, but not at the expense of quality. Poor voice quality can spoil the effect of connecting far away locations so that everyone sounds like they are in the same room. You need to be able to understand what is being said without having to say "could you repeat that?" That's why AccuConference uses only the best carriers available, Tier A for international and toll free traffic and Tier B for local calls. They also lightly load their conference bridges, the devices that actually interconnect participants, so that no bridge is at more than 50% capacity. This gives AccuConference the ability to accommodate a sudden requirement for additional conferences at the same high performance level.

How about those cost savings? If you've shopped around, you know that you can pay upwards of 25 cents a minute per participant or even more with some conferencing providers. AccuConference will give you top rate performance for just 7.9 cents per minute per participant on a pay as you go basis. Each participant dials a toll free number, so it costs them nothing. As an account holder you'll get a monthly bill for the minutes used, but no set up fees, contracts or monthly requirements. You use the service whenever you want with no reservations needed.

The pay as you go program also includes Insight Web Conferencing at no additional charge. There's something you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere. You'll be able to share Microsoft PowerPoint charts, have instant online chat, and online voting/polling while your audio conference is in progress. Or you can use their Meeting Central Unlimited Pro plan that expands PowerPoint presentations to include application sharing, desktop sharing, remote control sharing, webtour, white boarding, and instant chat. All of this capability is available along with toll free audio conferencing at just 7.9 cents per minute per participant.

There's also a flat rate audio conferencing option that features an area code 404 Atlanta dial-in number, Insight Web Conferencing, and 24/7 availability without reservations. Participants and moderators will pay long distance charges to call the Atlanta number. As account holder, the service costs you as little as $14.95 a month for up to 5 lines. Other plans are available for 10, 25 and 50 lines. The advantage of flat rate is that you know what you'll pay each month, regardless of how much you use the system.

Larger organizations can also enjoy the advantages of low cost teleconferences. You can get options that include hundreds of participants, international dial-out or dial-in, operator services and video conferences. All of these are available at attractive rates.

The right way to evaluate the cost advantage of audio, Web and video conferencing is to compare using these services with what you'd do otherwise. If you can get the same results via conferencing that you could with travel for in-person meetings, you'll be way ahead using the technology. A more subtle comparison is to weigh the productivity improvement you get with real-time interaction between team members who are not collocated versus exchanging ideas and documents by, say, email. If you cut the time to market or time to solve a problem by half, how much is that worth to you?

You may just have to give this a try and see how well it works for your organization. You have little to lose since there are no contracts or commitments. You may have an incredible amount to gain in both cost savings and business advantage. Learn more about AccuConference telephone, Web and video conferencing options and get started quickly and easily right now.

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