Stay Connected:
August 2012

Archives
ClearValue NewsWelcome to ConferTel’s quarterly newsletter providing conferencing tools, tips and other information to make the most of your business communications.
Conferencing Tip – Need a Wallet Card?
Moderator Wallet Cards are now available online with a vCard option.Moderators and Administrators can now reprint wallet cards whenever
needed. This new feature is a great solution for those needing
replacement cards or when creating new moderators.In addition to the print option, you can choose the vCard option to
store moderator access codes in your email contacts.  The moderator’s
conference bridge, PassCode, and PIN will automatically load in the
Notes field.  The vCard can be saved as is, or modified before being
stored in your Contacts for quick reference.To print cards, follow these easy steps:

  • Go to ConferTel.net, choose Customer Login  (green tab/ upper right)
  • Enter PassCode and Moderator PIN
  • Choose Account Profile  (black button/ upper right)
  • Choose Wallet Card   (blue button /left) and Print or Download vCard

Take a Closer Look – Section 508 compliance required for governmental agencies and their contractors.ConferTel can provide closed captioning service for your online
meetings with our Section 508 compliant service which provides real-time
streaming text of spoken dialog during conference calls, webinars and
other live or recorded events. In addition to the live captions, a
transcript file is available following the event, and the captions are
also synchronized in your recordings.Section 508 regulations made it a requirement for many organizations
to provide text captioning services for impaired participants of online
or recorded events and presentations. The goal of Section 508, an
amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is to eliminate barriers
encountered by people with disabilities when accessing or using
electronic devices and information technology.
Although the act currently applies to federal agencies and entities
receiving federal funding or contracts, Section 508 standards have been
widely adopted by states, cities, and corporations.Until recently, captioning services have been expensive because they
required the specialized services of a professional stenographer capable
of real-time transcription of up to 200 words per minute. Fortunately,
improvements in speech recognition software have provided reduced costs
with equivalent accuracy. Speech recognition can be used on a direct
translation basis for single speakers or through a human shadow speaker
where there are multiple or ad hoc speakers.Whether your company is currently required to be 508 compliant or you
want to be a best practices/early adopter and serve the largest audience
possible with your online presentations, ConferTel can handle all the
details.  We provide a seamless, integrated solution that will suit your
needs and budget.   To read more about our captioning services, click
here:  Closed Caption Service. Or, speak directly with one of our webinar specialists by calling 866-930-4500.
Coping With Technology: – Staying Ahead of the CurveContinuing advances in telecommunications have resulted in a slew of
new features, cost savings and greater accessibility for companies as
well as individual consumers.  As a byproduct of these benefits, we all
have experienced a few obstacles and unintended consequences along the
way.The common Achilles heel of technology is the invariable conflict
produced by introductions of new products and software enhancements
that conflict with current infrastructure: corporate firewalls, legacy
programs and third party applications. A typical example of this might
be a software update that conflicts with your network rules or a new
browser release that conflicts with 3rd party websites or web
conferencing platforms.The adoption of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, which
have seen widespread deployment, has opened up worldwide accessibility
and lowered telecomm costs. But there have been tradeoffs with audio
quality, connection stability, calibration compatibility, and
bandwidth/traffic allocation. In a race to embrace, quality is often
delegated to take a back seat. For this reason, ConferTel continues to
provide TDM/Voice grade connections and our audio quality and stability
is readily apparent.  Still, even our platform is subject to the
‘weakest link’ based on conference participant equipment, like VoIP
originating connections, wireless phones, speakerphones, etc.Moderators can avoid frustrations, expedite troubleshooting, and
resolve call quality issues by recognizing the causes of common voice
and data communications problems. Here are the most common scenarios
that could interfere with your conferences, and how to avoid or resolve
them.ECHO might be obvious from the start of a call, or
could appear later.  Once it begins, an echo can be very disruptive to
your meeting. Typically, the caller creating the echo is unaware that
they are the cause because they only hear echo from the other callers.

 

Solution:  If the conference call is small, try to identify
the echo culprit.  Have them hang up and call back in (they will return
on a different originating line and present to a different port within
the conference).  If the echo is difficult to isolate, callers can mute
their phones (4# or mute on their equipment), then sequentially un-mute.
If possible, start with the callers who entered when the echo was
first noticed.  For larger calls or a more disruptive echo, you might
want to end the session (9#1) and have everyone dial back in.  The 9#
termination is essential because many times the echo is caused by an
unattended line or one that has flash-hooked. With 9#, all lines are
terminated simultaneously and a new session can then be established.

 

ACCESS ISSUES are most often caused by human error
(wrong PassCode communicated, digit transposition, fat-fingering, etc.).
In some instances, it may be due to equipment failure. In order for
you and your participants to access your secure conference room, our
bridges must recognize your PassCode credentials through your telephone
DTMF (touch tones). Some speakerphone key presses (including
mobile phones) can create a feedback loop that duplicates DTMF inputs.
Additionally, some VoIP equipment and connections are poorly calibrated
and do not deliver the correct DTMF and timing protocol.

 

Solution:  If you receive continuing invalid PassCode or PIN
messages, mute or take your phone off speaker mode until your
credentials are validated.  Similarly, mobile phone callers sometimes
exceed the time window to respond to a system prompt due to the delay in
switching between handset listening and inputting. In this case, enable
speaker mode (mute or cover the microphone, if necessary) to listen and
input without delay. As a reminder, if a participant continues to have
difficulty accessing your room, you can dial out and bring them into
conference (1#).

 

We continue to evaluate the impact that changes in technology may
have on our services and to adapt our systems to ensure the highest
quality of service to our customers.  We are currently evaluating mobile
applications for phones and tablets as well as voice recognition access
options.  Please look for upcoming announcements about these features
in the near future.

 

SLOW/UNRESPONSIVE WEB PERFORMANCE can occur due to
incompatible equipment and software, firewalls, available network
bandwidth resources and the volume of internet traffic. We strongly
encourage you to check system compatibility prior to your first online
presentation.

 

Solution: When conducting online presentations, shut down all
unnecessary applications and test your slide latency prior to the
meeting. Whenever possible, always use a wired connection for the best
connection stability and throughput and disable your wireless
connection. A web session can stall or hang when using a wireless connection, especially if your equipment has both wired and wireless connections enabled.

 

We hope these tips will help your conferencing sessions to be effective
and professional, and minimize disruptions.  As always, an operator is
available to you and your participants by pressing 0# while in
conference or pre-conference. You can also use the post-conference
survey, email or a phone call to share your feedback. Each conference
call is an occasion for us to make sure we have served you well.