Our lives in terms of communications have changed to a great extent because of the Coronavirus. Video calls are now the way of life. We nowadays conduct meetings and conferences virtually. Although conference calls existed even before corona, their use was limited to a few companies. Conference calls have proved critical in delivering instructions to a group of people. The calls can be audio or video calls. Unlike previous years, there are many conference calling software available today, making their adoption increase significantly. Some of this software is proprietary, while others are open source. With such, we have cut the calling rates down to a great extent. In this post, we will look at the conference calling software and the best systems today. But before that, let us understand what conference calling software is and how it is used.
What is conference calling software?
It is a software platform that allows businesses to set up video, web, and audio conference calls with customers, executives, and employees. With a professional conference calling software, you can perform the functions below;
- Create events online and manage the process of registration
- Manage secure connections between the attendees and hosts within an audio and video conferences
- Collaborate with multiple attendees and hosts via Questions and answers, live polling options, and live chat.
- Provide employees and customers with customized URLs and login credentials to join a web conference.
- Offers a web conference portal where the clients and customers can join the calls.
Factors to consider when buying or subscribing to a conference calling software.
Features of a conference calling software
Understanding the software features is the first step towards choosing the right conference calling software. With the right features of conference calling software, your business can have the maximum return on investment on the software purchase. You do not have to buy any other solution to make up for the lacking features. In this section, we will look at the essential features that a conference calling software should have. These are the features to check when you are on a hunt for a solution for conference calls.
The conference calling software should allow multiple parties to host a meeting. The organizers will decide who the different hosts will be and their respective sessions during the meeting. They should also transfer the screen and audio-sharing controls accordingly. It allows you to set up multiple conferences at the same time without unnecessary interference.
The next essential feature of a good conference calling software is the capability to share screen content. It helps in relaying instructions and methodologies to the attendees visually. If you have a video, imagery, or a PowerPoint presentation, you can easily share it with the attendees by sharing your screen.
A live chat
The conference calling solution should also have a live chat section. It enables collaboration between the attendees and the organizers or hosts without causing unnecessary noise in the meeting. Questions, feedback, and contributions can be given on the live chat part of the conference calling software.
A mobile application
Many people today surf the internet using their smartphones. It, therefore, makes sense that the video conferencing software has a mobile application. It allows smartphone users to also access the solution without having to go to their browsers.
Analytics and reporting
The conference calling solution should also provide reports on the conference calls. How many participants were there? What was the duration of the conference call? These are some analytics and reports that the conference calls should provide.
The conference calling software should also allow for post-calls and in-call surveys to capture the participants’ opinions. You can submit these opinions as a poll, where the participants vote in favor or against them.
Last, the conference calling software should allow the attendees to join the conference when they dial a specified phone number. The organizers may also set some conference codes that the participants can use for connecting to the call.
What type of buyer are you?
We can broadly categorize conference calling software buyers into two; audio conferencing software and audio and video conferencing software buyers.
Video and audio-conferencing software buyers
These buyers, in most cases, belong to or own businesses having offices in multiple locations. They may be the buyers seeking to collaborate with external clients and stakeholders. It is also a brilliant solution for businesses that need to offer product demonstrations and those who work with freelancers.
Audio conferencing solution buyers
These are the buyers that seek voice calling software that has conference calling capabilities. Small businesses with single-location offices commonly use it, and those do not require video conferencing functionality.
Potential uses and benefits of a conference calling software
Does your organization conduct a lot of webinars, web conferences, and online events? Investing in conference calling software helps you organize these functions more efficiently. Below are the benefits of conference calling software.
With conference calling software, users can join calls using various options. It can be cloud applications, desktop applications, dial-in numbers, and mobile applications. Using the attendance tracking feature, the event organizers can track the applicants present on that call. Hence the attendance at the business meetings improves.
With conference calling software, you can access the calls over the internet. Thus, it offers a cost advantage compared to making the same calls using a landline or mobile network.
There are multiple features in a conference calling software that provides improved collaboration in a meeting. The users have an option of selecting multiple hosts to present various sections within the meeting. Using the screen sharing functionality, users can share their presentations with other participants. The attendees can live chat and take part in polls to engage with others.
What are the emerging trends in conference calling software?
With the growth of technology, there are various trends in the conference calling software markets. They include;
Taking notes using Natural language processing (NLP) and AI (Artificial intelligence)
NLP and AI make taking notes more efficient within a business. They are complimentary. NLP transcribes calls to text while AI sifts through the generated transcripts to summarize meetings and find relevant items. Hendrix and Wrapup are some products that are on the market. However, we expect the conference calling software technology to expand even more in the coming days.
VR is the future of webinars
Virtual Reality (VR) is used to offer the users a better meeting experience. With VR, the participants and attendees can convey their gestures and opinions effectively and efficiently. It makes the conference calls more engaging and effective.
By 2025, we expect VR to be core functionality in conference calling software.
Conference calling is the norm today. It is imperative to know conference calling software and its features before subscribing or buying one. Check for the features above in a conference calling software and ensure that it has all of them. If some are missing, you may have to incur some cost in the future to buy a solution to make up for the lacking feature. Conference calling is a growing industry, and you have to stay abreast with its current trends.