Communication is one of the most important tunnels to better interaction and understanding. However, sometimes communication can be quite difficult when distance divides people. Time can also be a factor. To mitigate this problem, telephones and cellphones came to be. However, cell phones and telephones have limited options in terms of communication, when it comes to group calls and conferences it can be quite difficult to call multiple people at once. Videos and face-to-face calls are also deciding factors. This is the main drawbacks of conference calls to many consumers today.
A conference call is basically that is addressed to more than one person. Today, there are
two methods as to how conference calls are done. It can be audio only or with video. In both cases, one person, mainly the main caller, calls one participant of the conference and add other participants to the call. All the participants can talk with each other without having to dial each other’s number one by one.
The main sway that conference calls have compared to the basic calls that can occur via phone
is its ability to supplant face-to-face meetings. This is especially good for multiple people who are living in separate locations but wants to meet regarding a specific concern. This is especially true for business meetings. Instead of having to fly from one country to another, business partners and investors can just schedule a remote conference at a specific time. This does not only cut the length of communication but cuts down on travel expenses as well.
One of the leading conference call platforms today is Skype. Skype conference calls are
popular because it allows both audio or video calls between multiple people. Skype also allows calls to phones through its landline and mobile call feature. If calling is not your cup of tea, Skype conference calls also support messaging through its instant messaging facility. These features make Skype as one of the leading providers of conference calls.
Advantages of Skype
Skype is popular for so many reasons. Here are the top three:
1. Video conferencing. The main reason why Skype is popular is that of its video calling features. Company owners use Skype for business conference calls. Skype for Business is also easily integrated into the new Office 365.
2. File sharing. Another convenience that draws people to Skype is its feature that allows people to send and receive files.
3. Remote calls. Skype allows people to call each other regardless of location. It allows people to call using Skype.
Disadvantages of Skype:
There are also downsides to using Skype. Here are the top three:
1. Internet connection. You can enjoy Skype for business conference calls if you have internet. If you don’t have a connection, you won’t be able to receive calls or anything else unless you are subscribed to the voicemail feature.
2. Subscription fees. Skype is generally free but if you want to enjoy all the features, you will have to pay for it. You need Skype credits to make calls to mobiles and receive calls without the internet.
3. Logging. If your connection is slow, you will still be able to use the video or audio conference features but expect logged sloppy and sometimes static connection.
Skype is a good conference call provider. However, the disadvantages, especially the
premium cost, that it possesses makes people want to seek for alternatives that
offer similar features but at less cost:
One of the leading alternatives to Skype for business conference calls today is ezTalks Meetings. ezTalks Meetings is an app that is mainly for audio and video conference calls. If you want to call multiple people without on a specific schedule, then you can do that. ezTalks Meetings has a distinctive feature that allows you to schedule calls regardless of the time zone. You can also use the built-in interactive whiteboard for presentations or your online sales. Another feature that makes the facility great is that even when the participants do not have the app on their phone, they can easily access the conference via the internet through the website, www.eztalks.com.
The free version allows 100 participants per session. Users can use the free version forever because it will never expire. Rich features are available for ezTalks users like interactive whiteboard, screen sharing, group video/audio chat and more. It is highly recommended for start-ups with limited budgets for their infrastructures.
Another app that is worth noting is Zoom. Zoom is also a conferencing app that is based online. Like all other apps in this, Zoom's main convincing feature is video conferencing. Aside from that Zoom also has a calendar system that allows you to schedule meetings and make calls to anyone with a single tap or through voice activation. Zoom also prides on its conference room integration which allows you to make conferences by groups and set up Zoom systems in all your conference rooms. One downside to this all is that you will have to pay for more if you need various functions for your organisations.
AT & T does not only provide phone telecommunication services it also provides audio and video conferencing through its Cisco WebX and BlueJeans integration. CiscobWebX operates via the clouds providing a great conferencing experience for those who want to make
calls via the web platform to cut off costs on facility upgrades and maintenance. The BlueJeans platform allows the integration of AT & T video conferencing in conference rooms with less hassle. Unlike others, the BlueJeans platform allows remote presentations in real-time and real-time file sharing. These great values though come at a cost. You will have to subscribe to a monthly fee to enjoy any of these features.
If you want an alternative for Skype conference calls then, GoToMeeting can be an appropriate choice. GoToMeeting is cloud-based conferencing that allows real-time video calls and file sharing via the web. The platform also allows the main client to choose which
apps and files can be viewed by another participant. GoToMeeting offers free and paid versions. If you want to enjoy the premium features, you will have to pay the monthly subscription fee for the plan of your choice.
Last but not the least, Blizz. One of the main points of Blizz is its ability to support video conferencing to up to 300 people. Blizz allows calls via VoIP and local dial which is great for those who rely on VoIP. Blizz can be free indefinitely but you will only be able to cater to utmost 5 people and can make calls for free to a maximum of 10 countries only. If you want more, you will have to pay a monthly subscription.
There are a lot of great alternatives to Skype. Some provide notable features for a small fee while some offer for free. All the alternatives in this list are great. However, based on the features that all these alternatives in their Free versions, ezTalks Meeting provides the most features at no added expense. You may have to go around the 40-minute limit per session though but overall, ezTalks provides the most convenience.