VoIP Teleconference

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: March 02, 2011

Most VoIP phone systems provide the ability to perform teleconferences over the internet. You can have somewhere between four to twenty people share the same phone call, and the discussion can be managed through an online interface. Videoconferencing options during the phone call are often available as well.

This type of online teleconferencing is generally accomplished through one of the following methods:

The first is to send the phone calls over the internet to special conference hubs that are operated by an independent business. These phone calls do not have to interface with local exchange providers and generally support a large number of codecs. The company making the phone calls does need to have a router or Session Border Controller in place so it can terminate the circuit when the conference call is completed and provide network management and support.

You can also directly interconnect the MPLS carrier and phone provider to a carrier cloud. Quality of Service is maintained throughout this process since there tends to be automatic overflow into the public switched telephone network if data issues should occur. This method also requires much less equipment and the conference calls can be protected by firewalls for extra security.

Each of these teleconferencing techniques are generally less expensive than their traditional counterparts. You don’t have to dial into an 800 number, and the people taking part in the conference call aren’t subject to long distance rates. The conference call is simply performed over the internet and relies on the available bandwidth in order to function smoothly.

VoIP Teleconference Features

VoIP phones also tend to have special teleconference features available for users. These can help to save time during the meeting and improve the general experience of the conference call. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Screen sharing – This allows people to see what is happening on the other computer screens. An employee can thus make a full visual presentation during a conference call and show charts, figures, reports, and other relevant information.
  • Outlook integration – You can directly contact any of the people who are stored in your outlook folder. You simply click on the name and invite them to a conference call or join one that is already in progress.
  • Green room – You can have specific speakers meet in a private room ahead of time to discuss the conference. This lets people collaborate on the topic of the meeting and talk about any last minute changes that may have occurred.
  • Lecture mode – This feature lets you mute all of the participants with the push of a button. The speaker or moderator can thus make a presentation without being interrupted or distracted by the other people taking part in the call.
  • Speech-to-text – You can use this to automatically transcribe the content of a conference call. It can separate the voices into different designations, and account for foreign accents and poor audio connections.
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