It's Not the '80s, Dude

By  Rob Bellmar, Senior Vice President of Conferencing and Collaboration at InterCall — December 26, 2012

Glam rock videos, Miami Vice and mullets — all things that were popular in the 1980s but are past their prime. To that list you should add traditional conference calls where everyone gathered around a table and shouted into the phone. And, if you're still punching in endless strings of numbers, too, it's time to improve productivity by leaving the time warp and unifying your meetings.

Cloud-based unified meetings offer a number of productivity advantages. Employing a 360-degree approach, unified meetings let users convene meetings, send invites and manage these events across multiple devices.

How it Works
Joining a unified meeting is simple. Instead of having to call a phone number and enter a PIN, leaders and participants can simply click on, or tap, a link. The user interface makes it far easier to manage the flow the meeting. Instead of having to memorize a series of number commands to record the conference, mute participants, or request operator assistance, you can simply point and click. Plus, everyone can see who is on the call and identify the active speaker, eliminating roll calls every time someone joins. That alone improves the productivity of everyone involved.

Instead of having to pre-arrange a call and then have all the participants find a phone on which to call in, unified meeting users can start or join a meeting from anywhere, at any time, on any device that has an Internet or mobile connection. This flexibility provides huge productivity gains, especially for participants who are constantly on the go.

Another big productivity advantage is the ability to share documents and graphics and collaborate as needed. If another participant has information or data to share with the group, the leader can easily pass control of the conference's visual element to that person rather than having to schedule another meeting.

We've all been on conference calls where three or four people are trying to talk or ask questions at the same time. What you end up with is a cacophony of sound that is hard to decipher and doesn't accomplish anything. With a unified meeting, those chat questions and side conversations can occur within the web interface without distracting heavily from the main purpose of the meeting – and even be captured for future reference.

To maximize your productivity, you can also tailor the tools or capabilities based on user profiles. For example, if C-suite executives need to hold company-wide town hall meetings, they can have profiles that allow larger numbers of users to join the meetings. Others can be restricted to different maximums.

Cloud-based meeting platforms offer a solution for maintaining productivity for today's mobile professionals.


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