This article examines the types of conferencing solutions–and important items to consider when adding International Virtual Numbers to your business conferencing platform.
Conferencing Solutions: Adding International Toll Free Numbers
Seamless communication is critical to the success of any business. Whether it’s conferencing, business meetings, webinars or messaging, your corporate conferencing platform is the center of your organization’s workflow. In today’s digital era, remote working is a vital part of business, allowing greater mobility to both employees and clients. The use of audio and video conferencing allows multiple people to connect on the same call, at anytime—from anywhere in the world. Conferencing solutions appeal to businesses for a variety of reasons including cost savings, flexibility and increased productivity.
Customers contact us regularly to add new local or toll free dial in numbers for their corporate conferencing platforms. Sometimes, this is because their current conferencing platform does not have international coverage; or, it’s because they want to reduce the cost of conferencing services. Adding an international virtual number to your conferencing platform is a cost-effective solution. To get started in determining how you add an international toll free number to your platform, first identify the type of conferencing solution you currently use and the key elements.
Types of Conferencing Solutions
- Premise Based Conferencing Solution – When adding an international toll free number to your existing on premise voice system, AVOXI recommends using a network switch. Cisco Conference connection is a popular solution that uses Voice over IP technology, but allows callers of any type to join conference calls.
- Cloud Based Conferencing Solution – For businesses using cloud-based conferencing platforms, like Skype for Business, creating dial-in access numbers allow users to dial into the audio conference from the public telephone network. This solution lets you view and customize your dial-in conferencing numbers. For more information managing Skype for Business access numbers, you can visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt422823.aspx
- Hybrid Internally Developed Solution –Add virtual numbers as an add-on service for internally developed hybrid systems by using call forwarding services. This process connects your custom phone system to a specific number or IP address, creating an expanded cloud-based international presence.
Every company has a unique communications strategy. With the help of a specialist, a customized solution is available for every businesses platform. Once you identify the different types of conferencing solutions and which one you have, there are key elements to consider in when adding an international toll free number.
Items to Consider When Adding International Virtual Numbers
- Type of Number to Select – When it comes to selecting a number type, there are several options to choose from: Local numbers, Domestic, Toll Free, UIFN. Your individual business model and budget help determine which type of number best suits your organization. For the retail and insurance industry, international toll free numbers prove the most cost-effective. Most technical/support companies use a combination of both international toll free numbers and domestic toll free. Hospitality companies generally reap the most benefits from UIFN numbers
- Connectivity to Your System – The two most common ways to connect to your system:
- Forwarding: Call forwarding allows you to send calls to multiple phones from a single line. The calls route to any location and don’t require any added equipment or fancy networking capabilities.
- IP addresses / SIP Trunk: SIP trunking is a simplified solution for connecting your existing phone service to the cloud. A SIP trunk functions as virtual phone line or channel that connects your existing data paths to the Internet. SIP trunks allow you to make the most of your bandwidth and are extremely reliable for disaster recovery.
- Quality / Dial paths: For any communications platform, reliability and network connectivity are imperative. Making sure there is coverage in your desired region, and reviewing any geographical restrictions are important in items to consider. AVOXI recommends using local carriers to maintain a high quality voice experience for your users.
- Cost / Pricing: Pricing structures differ based on the selected provider. Most services charge a small fee for the number billed monthly, as well as a per minute charge for usage. Using a bundled set of minutes is an option. However, the volume of conference calls are variable, and possibly not controlled by your department. Your best bet typically is to select a plan that allows you to pay for exactly what you use with no expensive overages from an excess of bundled minutes.
- Publishing of Your Number: Communicating the new number is key to gaining adoption and eliminating any user frustration when dialing. E-Imagine suggests adding the conference line number to your cellphone contact list. This trick keeps you from calling the old number and expecting it to still work: http://eimagine.com/how-to-save-a-conference-line-and-passcode-as-a-cellphone-contact/
The use of virtual or VoIP numbers expands your conferencing reach as you grow your company. You can also take advantage of advanced VoIP software tools such as number/SIP forwarding, call logs, usage reporting, and call recording services. For example, with AVOXI’s user portal, you can easily manage all of your toll free numbers and their settings, from our interface. Additionally, AVOXI’s international toll free number service offers full hosted PBX functionality and comes with a collection of over 40 business-class VoIP phone features. Moving from a traditional time division multiplexing/analog number to a virtual phone number service ensures that you reduce costs and gain expanded availability.
With over 16 years of VoIP industry experience, and ITFS numbers available from over 140 countries, AVOXI has the answers to all of your virtual number questions. Talk to a VoIP specialist today to determine the best solution for your business.