Do you ask advice from an expert before making a purchase? That’s what Mike Mack of X5 Management did when he was comparing conference call services.
Eric Fontaine completed a comparison of conference call services when he was Operations Manager at Finder Financial Services. When Mike asked him “what is an easy and economical way to host a conference call”, Eric had a ready reply!
Fortunately for us, they copied a friend of ours. Our friend forwarded us the email so we could see what was said. We wanted everyone to see a real-life comparison of conference call services. Mike and Eric kindly consented to us disclosing their email exchange. Here is the unedited content.Sent: October-21-10 9:30 AM To: Mike Mack From: Eric Lafontiane Subject: Conference Call Solutions
Good Morning Mike,
I’ve used quite a few conference call and webinar systems and there are 2 different methods to go about this.
The first method is you provide a Toll Free number to all your contacts and you are charged a fee per minute for each attendee. It doesn’t cost the attendees anything as they dial in toll free and you absorb all of the costs for that.
The second method is that you sign up for a recurring monthly plan which provides unlimited use, however it is a toll-based number where each meeting attendee is charged their regular long-distance calling rate (the numbers are usually based out of Ontario) just as if they made a regular long distance call.
By far the simplest and easiest to start with is onConference. http:www.onconference.com They operate strictly using the first method and will provide you with a Toll Free number which can be used immediately. The costs are $0.19 per minute per participant for audio only, and an additional $0.20 per minute per participant if you are doing a online presentation (all costs paid by the meeting host). The major benefit with OnConference is there is no software to download and fiddle around with for anyone, it “just works”. The downside to OnConference is that if are you doing a heavy volume of long calls and webinars, the costs can add up quickly as there is n o unlimited option. However if you are just doing it occasionally, and don’t want the hassle of figuring anything out, it definitely is the easiest.
The second option is GotoMeeting http://www.gotomeeting.com They provide unlimited toll based phone and web conferencing for $50 per month for up to 15 users or $99 per month for 100 users, where each user would call long distance to connect into the call. You can also add a Toll Free Package on top of that ($0.15 a minute or a package of $50/500 Minutes, $142/1500 Minutes, $225/2500 minutes, $700/10,000 minutes). GotoMeeting has a very cost efficient pricing structure but it does require you to download software and do a little bit of setup & prep work for each call, and the learning curve is definitely higher than OnConference.
The decision for which solution to go with will depend on what your needs and budget are and how often you see yourself using it.
Please let me know if you need any more information or clarification on this or anything else you are thinking of implementing.
Eric Fontaine.Sent: Oct 21, 2010 at 4:38 AM From: Mike Mack To: Eric Lafontaine Subject: Conference Call Solutions
I hope that you are well.
Jeff continues to speak very highly of you and your skills.
He suggested that I contact you as I am trying to organize a conf. call with a few key contacts and you may know of a simple and economical way to go about this.
I thank you in advance for any assistance that you can offer.
Mike Mack, MBA, FICB
X5 Management Inc.￼
“Helping you to the Next Level”