Teleconferencing Can Help Save State Tax Dollars
By Sandy Saunders, OIT
Perhaps you have heard of teleconferencing? It's also known by other names such as conference calling, con calls, audio meetings or the common slang term used in the cellular world is a three-way call.
What is teleconferencing and how can it save us money?
A definition of teleconference is: The live exchange and mass articulation of information among persons and machines remote from one another but linked by a telecommunications system, usually over the phone line.
In practical terms, teleconferencing is the technical ability to call and speak with two or more persons simultaneously. For example, John needs to have a conversation with Beth and Glenn. John picks up his telephone and dials Beth's phone number as usual; Beth answers her phone and the traditional “one to one” phone call begins. John now needs to join Glenn into the call. He does so by simply pressing a button on his telephone (the “Conference” button), listens for a dial tone and then dials Glenn's phone number. Glenn answers his phone and there is a call linking John and Glenn. Now, the next step is for John to once again press the “Conference” button on his phone and viola'! All three are conferenced in; the three can speak to and hear one another.
Now, if John realizes during this three-way conference call that he wants Becky, a fourth member, involved in the discussion, he can also join her in.. While Beth and Glenn stay on the line, John again presses the “Conference” button on his telephone, waits for the dial tone and dials Becky's phone number. When Becky answers, John presses the “Conference” button and now a fourth, Becky joins the conversation with John, Beth and Glenn.
Please visit this website for manuals for each phone model containing conferencing instructions: http://inet.state.me.us/communications/PhoneManuals/default.aspx
According to OIT telecommunications staff, the majority of basic State issued telephones are capable of connecting up to six other phones. Certain phones can conference in 8 or more, with no additional costs . We can economize by reducing overall call volume and saving on travel expense.
In addition saving tax dollars by reducing travel cost with the use of teleconferencing, OIT is further investigating and will recommend other practical solutions that will improve communications. OIT has begun to focus and research Audio and Videoconferencing solutions. As saving solutions are discovered, OIT will reach out again with another newsletter article, which will discuss implementation, use and where to find audio and video conferencing solutions.