Blog The latest product and industry news from the SpeakServe team

Posted By Jonathan Grant 20th January 2016

More than just a Conference Call

SpeakServe offer a fabulous Real Time Conference Call Portal for organisations that are serious about their conference calls – our service is designed for the busy office where people need to to have real time access to every aspect of these mission critical calls, in the knowledge that you are supported by a fabulous team of experts in their field.

We allow you to customise every aspect of the experience so that you can make it your own, while at the same time we are right here to help you with every detail and remove any frustrations you may have with your current provider.

If you work in the legal, financial, technology, retail, business services or other sectors and have national, transactional, multi branch or international interests then SpeakServe is for you.

Conference calls are very different from normal telephone calls – they generally involve several important people talking about substantive matters and it is essential that every aspect of the call is handled professionally. Your brand and the way you appear is at stake, notwithstanding the damage a poorly managed call can do.

With the SpeakServe Self Service Portal you can manage every aspect of the call at the click of a mouse, taking care of important issues ranging from Security, Scheduling, Diary Integration, the Branding, Email Invitation Styling, the type of Call, the level of Visibility you require during the call, the range of International Access, and allows you to order Wallet Cards for those that need them, and help make your office a far more efficient place.

SpeakServe removes the headache for you!

Of course, you can rely on us to provide a first class audio experience that allows your team to focus on what they do best.

We also offer features that allow you to give different access rights and permissions to the portal – whether an Administrator, or User - and gives access to the Call Recordings, Transcriptions, create Private Rooms and many other features designed to make your life easy.

For an organisation that needs detailed Billing records– either for internal departmental management, project, client, Matter Number or other billing purposes – we offer you an on line service that gives you instant access to call details as soon as it has finished, and the ability to integrate with your own billing systems in real time. Just have a look at our Statement page which even tells you who dialled in and when!

Posted By Jonathan Grant 7th December 2015

Kuwait and Malaysia Numbers now Live

We have now been able to source local dial in numbers from both Kuwait and Malaysia for our clients.

These and all the other international dial in numbers can be found at:

www.speakserve.com/numbers

Posted By Jonathan Grant 3rd December 2015

G-Cloud 7

Speakserve are delighted to have been awarded Supplier Status under G-cloud 7 (having been on the Framework agreement for 1 to 6 as well). We would like to thank our many Public Sector clients for their continued support and look forward to making new friends in the future.

Posted By Jonathan Grant 13th November 2015

Fast Track Investment Partners

We are delighted that Fast Track Partners enjoy using our Service - as one of the UK's leading Private Equity players and with some of the leading names in the industry on their Board ease of use and quality remain for them the biggest single issue.

http://www.fasttrack.co.uk/fasttrack/main/advisoryboard.html

Posted By Jonathan Grant 12th November 2015

Oman and Malta

We are delighted to announce that we can now provide our clients with Dial In numbers from Oman and Malta at extremely competitive rates.

For a full list of our numbers please do have a look at: www.speakserve.com/numbers

For any more information do contact us on 0800 980 5155.

Thank you, Jonathan

Posted By Jonathan Grant 12th August 2015

Calling 0844 Numbers now cost 17p (up from 5p) - Starting to Bite

The Ofcom Changes to the pricing of 08xx numbers is now a few months old. What better time than now to have a look at the changes to the costs of dialling an 0844 number?

Recent changes to Ofcom regulations mean that people are now unwittingly paying two per minute charges - an Access Charge (10p a minute) and a Service Charge (7p a minute) - Total 17p a minute.

A one hour call to an 0844 number will cost £10.20. In June it cost £3.00.

If you use an 0844 number for your Conference calls then the cost of a one hour call for say 6 people is £61.20 - and the bill is hidden deep in your landline or mobile phone bill.

For a Free copy of our Whitepaper on the subject do contact me at jonathan.grant@speakserve.com or call on 0800 980 5155.

Say No to 0844

Posted By Jonathan Grant 27th July 2015

Security and Trust in Finance and Law

Your Clients expect complete confidentiality.

Whether a Finance or Legal business you will have invested heavily in Security. From Recruitment to your IT systems, a lot of care is taken to ensure that processes are compliant, robust and secure to protect not only your own interests but also those of your clients.

Despite being a fundamental part of your day to day operation, Conference Calls are often overlooked when it comes to Security ? despite them now being an everyday part of the life of people working in Finance and Law.

Critical, price sensitive information is being discussed by senior people within the organisations involved and yet many firms do not have a clear policy that is aligned with the Compliance Standards set out by the business. A single slip can affect the deal and its value, massively.

So it begs the question ?

?When did you last review the security around your Conference Calls??

The areas you need to consider are:

  • What level of security do you want your Conference Call to have?
  • Could the Security of your ?Room? have been compromised in any way?
  • How do you know who is on the call?
  • Do you have a clear policy about the deletion of rooms?
  • What happens when someone leaves the business?

  • Do you have real time access to all this information?

  • Do you have the control you require to make these changes or are they in the hands of a third party?

  • What happens to the call recordings?

  • Who has access to them?
  • How long are they archived and is that in line with your other obligations in terms of storage?

It is important that you and your organisation takes these matters seriously. Your Clients depend on you to have done so, and by having done so you can rest easy at night in the knowledge that all your hard work has not been compromised by something seemingly as straightforward as a Conference Call.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 9th July 2015

The After Affects of Ofcom

It?s been a week since Ofcom?s changes took effect, and it?s good to dial a Freephone and not hear that message telling it?s going to cost you.

But for those of us dialing premium rate numbers this month is going to bring a surprise. The new call charges for 087 and 084 should be showing on your bill, if your online statement for your phone updates within 24 hours you?ll already be able to see the difference in your call charges. But for those who can?t we thought you?d like to see how it may look.

This section of a statement comes from an EE mobile phone contract, as you can see there is one call placed to one of our numbers prior to July 1st. This is only around 14 seconds long, as is the first call made after. This is for comparison?s sake.

Call Charges Table

As you can see on June 5th the call was 15 seconds, and cost 33p. With the new call charges this call is slightly more expensive at approximately 38p. However extend the call to a whole minute (just over in fact) and it is suddenly more like 80p. Based on these figures a 20 minute conference call to a number starting 0844 is likely to be as much as £16 for one phone call.

If you want to get an estimate as to how much you would pay per minute check out our calculator, designed to give you a per minute rate based on who your provider is and what number you are dialing. SpeakServe Calculator

For more information on how the changes to 087 and 084 will affect you, check out our whitepaper. This report not only explains the call charges but gives you breakdowns of how these changes will affect the cost of premium rate conference calls such as Powwownow and Conference Genie.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 1st July 2015

Do You Know Your Phone Providers Access Charge?

The new Ofcom changes that come into effect today are designed to make call charges clearer, and yet somehow they seem to be doing just the opposite.

With line providers charging an Access charge and the company you're calling charging a Service charge you now have to solve basic maths problems just to work out the cost of a call. Do you know what your Access charge is for your phone company? Well we found that not all companies had theirs easily displayed, some don't even mention them at all. So we put together a list of the major phone providers to allow you to compare the access charges by each.

Charges Table

Knowing these charges is half the battle won, but what about the number you are dialing? 08UK.co.uk has a very handy table with the cost of each number you would dial, so now you're armed with the information, what can you do with it?

As a Conference Call provider we feel this information is extremely useful for understanding how your call charges will look now that these changes are coming into effect. If you use a "free" Conference Call service you may find yourself with a nasty shock, especially if you're with one of the phone companies with a higher access charge. On our 08 Numbers page we give an example of how an 084 number charge might look after July 1st. See below.

For 0844 from a landline: Access Charge of 9.48p a minute (BT) Plus Service Charge of up to 7p a minute (up from up to 5p a minute) Total: 16.48p per minute £9.89 (per participant) x 5 participants = £49.44 (for a one hour conference)

But what if your telephone provider is Virgin? That's an Access charge of 10.25p a minute instead of 9.48, that's £10.35 per participant. Make that an 0871 number and you're looking at a call cost of 22.25p per minute, that's £13.35 per participant. Before these changes that same call was around £3.15 per participant, a huge jump in prices. Suddenly, with a hike in your phone bill, free conference calls don't feel so free after all.

For more information on how 08 numbers are changing and how we can help you save money, contact us today by email sales@speakserve.com or by phone 0800 980 5155

Sources

Vodafone Service Numbers

EE, T-Mobile & Orange, Changes to 08 Numbers

O2 Special Numbers

SkyTalk Tariff Guide

Three Number Changes

GiffGaff Pricing

Virgin Service Numbers

BT ? How will calls be charged?

Sainsbury?s UK Calling FAQs

Tesco ? Call Charges

Posted By Michelle Quinton 24th April 2015

Paul Roake Supports Trinity Hospice in London Marathon

This year is the London Marathon's 35th year, starting in 1981 with around 7,700 runners, it has grown to an astounding 40,000 runners in 2014. Every year men and women, able bodied and disabled, gather together to take part in the marathon, raising since 1981, an incredible £450 million. This year SpeakServe is proud to announce our very own Business Development Director Paul Roake is taking part, having spent the last 4 months training hard to ensure the correct level of fitness. Follow the link below to read Paul's story and join us in supporting Paul in this challenging endeavour.

Good luck Paul, we are with you 100%!

Help us support Paul today

Posted By Michelle Quinton 24th March 2015

Changing of the Times

For the UK and most of the Southern Hemisphere it is almost time for the clocks to change (the US changed on March 8th), the sun is setting later and spring is in the air. While you may lose an hour in bed, you get the reward of longer evenings, and hopefully better weather.

What this means for work is making sure that all your clocks are adjusted, that it doesn?t cause any problems with your online calendars, your conference call schedule or your meeting times. It?s also worth making sure that the calendar change doesn?t cause any issues for clients or co-workers, whether this is caused by confusion or a difference in time zones.

For clarification, North/Central America and the Caribbean put their clocks back on March 8th, while the UK and rest of Europe changes on 29th. That?s this weekend for those in doubt.

Lastly for those countries in the Southern Hemisphere, the clocks go back on April 5th. So make note and remember to change or check those clocks!

Posted By Michelle Quinton 24th March 2015

Fast, Efficient Bookings

Some Conference Call providers require you to book your calls through them, this can lead to delays in bookings while you wait for confirmation of your booking.

SpeakServe offer a web portal which allows for real time bookings, with instant confirmation. Removing the need to contact your provider can turn a 10 minute task into a 30 second one, freeing up valuable time to concentrate on other tasks.

schedule

Bookings can be immediate or scheduled in advance with emails being sent out to all contacts containing an iCAL file that can be added to their calendar. All the details of the call are within the email, making for a fast, efficient booking system, designed to save you time.

email

To find out more about how SpeakServe can help make your booking process more efficient, call us now on 0800 980 5155 or +44 (0) 207 785 1127 or email us at sales@speakserve.com

Posted By Michelle Quinton 17th March 2015

Improve Your Rebilling Process

A lengthy billing process can lead to delays, affecting your ability to recharge costs which can end up costing you money.

SpeakServe offer real time statements at any time of the month with instant access to individual call costs. This feature gives you real time reporting of all your conferencing usage, whenever you need it. With this information readily available, rebilling would become a faster, more efficient process and would increase your rebilling level.

billing

To find out more about how SpeakServe can help make your rebilling process more efficient, call us now on 0800 980 5155/+44 (0) 207 785 1127 or email us on sales@speakserve.com

Posted By Michelle Quinton 12th February 2015

SpeakServe In-Call Options

Want to be able to put your participants on mute while you talk? Maybe you need to mute yourself? Perhaps you forgot to set call recording and you want to turn it on mid call. All these features are available by dialing the relevant numbers into your phone keypad. See below for a list of in-call options.

In-call options

Posted By Michelle Quinton 4th February 2015

Your Account Security

Speakserve have measures in place to ensure the security of your Conference Calls and Web meetings, but it?s also important for you to ensure the security of your own account. Simple measures, like those mentioned below can ensure that your account remained safe and uncompromised.

Passwords

Passwords are a feature of almost every site out there, this means remembering a lot of passwords and still keeping them secure. It might seem easier to have something highly memorable and just use it across all of them, but once one is compromised, the rest can easily follow. Choose a password that is simple to remember but not a word that is easily associated with you. Current systems can use dictionaries and letter substitution, so simply swapping letters for symbols such as a for @ and I for 1 are no longer secure. You could use your children?s names and dates of birth, but in a manner not as easily worked out. For example, you have two daughters, Lily and Mary, born in April 2003 and January 2008, you can use these details to create a stronger password, such as LILMA04030108. Once you have a secure password, it is important to keep it secure. Avoid giving your log in details to other people or writing them down. If you are using a public or shared computer then don?t save your details and be sure to log out before you leave. If possible empty the cache and remove cookies from the computer.

Emails

Emails are tied to any online account, if your email becomes compromised other accounts can be as well. Occasionally you will receive emails claiming to be from companies or websites you have registered with, the key phrase frequently used is ?Account Confirmation?. Common mistakes seen in false emails will be spelling mistakes, no name or greeting other than hello (a genuine company email ? other than a newsletter should greet you personally). If you hover over any links and glance at the bottom left hand side you often see the link address ? especially if you log into outlook.com ? if the email is fake the web address presented will have nothing to do with the claimed email originator. For example, if it claims to be from Amazon ? it will say amazon.com or co.uk. If you receive an email asking you to log into your account, go directly to the website to log in ? avoid doing so via any links within the email, if you are suspicious of an email, forward it to our support team at support@speakserve.com so that we can investigate whether the email is legitimate.

SpeakServe will NEVER email you asking for your log in details (and neither will any other safe and secure site), if you ever receive such emails they should be forwarded to the relevant party?s phishing department. In relation to SpeakServe, please forward any potential phishing emails to Support@speakseve.com.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 29th January 2015

Cold Weather Alert!

The Met Office are warning of snow this week, but even if you aren?t in the areas affected, you are likely still experiencing some very low temperatures. Keeping safe and warm is vitally important, don?t travel if you don?t have and to and keep wrapped up. Your health is always your priority.

Keep Yourself Warm

? Wear lots of thin layers ? thin layers trap the heat between them, this is more efficient than one or two thick layers.

? Use natural fibres such as fleece, wool and cotton ? natural fibres have been shown to retain heat well while still allowing the skin to breath. This means staying warm without overheating.

? Eat well ? your body burns carbohydrates to stay warm, so at least one hot meal a day is important in the cold, and plenty of warm drinks, to help keep you warm throughout the day, this is a great excuse to dig out the hot chocolate.

? Keep moving ? movement keeps the blood pumping, even just a little movement is better than sitting still when cold. Whether it?s walking around the building or maybe a few star jumps when no one is looking, avoid staying still for long periods.

? Keep your feet up ? heat rises, so the closer to the ground you get the colder it can be, wear socks or slippers (or both!) and if possible keep your feet up.

Keep Your Home Warm

? Draw your curtains ? as soon as the sun sets the temperature starts to drop, so close the curtains and retain the heat.

? Keep windows and internal doors closed ? it is easier to retain heat with internal closed, stopping drafts and keeping heat in.

? Draught excluders ? these are a great way to keep the chill away from your ankles, draught excluders can be fitted around doors and windows. Draught excluder tape is about £7 for 5 metres (depending where you buy) and you can create makeshift excluders from old pillow cases and towels to stop draughts under doors.

? It?s also worth considering fitting a curtain over your front door, especially if you don?t have one of the more efficient UPVC doors, as this can stop draughts getting in and the heat getting out ? just be sure that you can still get out easily if there is a fire.

? Additional blankets and a hot water bottle are a great way to ensure that your bed is not cold when you get it, if you have an electric blanket, then remember to turn it off before you get in and don't leave it on for too long due to fire risk.

Keep Your Business Moving

? Emails ? make sure everyone has email ? it?s understandable that you may be concerned about security, but at the same time can you risk losing work hours if people can?t get into work?

? Phone Conferencing ? if people can?t get into work then phone conferencing allows for meetings to still take place.

? Cloud storage ? allowing you to share your documents with staff as necessary, consider something like Microsoft Cloud or Google Drive.

Even with these things available it?s important to have a person or persons designated leader, they are in charge of deciding when the weather is bad enough to close up shop and when it?s safe enough to come back in. How you let you employees know is also important, do you have a texting system or can you send out a companywide email at short notice? If you expect staff to continue to work during the weather then make sure they are aware of this, consider having a ?snow day? plan that everyone has access to, that way they know what is expected of them and less time is wasted.

For more useful tips:

NHS - Live Well

Age UK - Staying safe and warm

And to check the weather warnings for your area: Met Office

Preparing For the Cold

Posted By Michelle Quinton 27th January 2015

Freephone Number Shake-up

At present calling a Freephone number from a mobile phone can mean a large, unpleasant surprise on your phone bill, but not for much longer. Back in 2013 Ofcom announced it planned a shake-up of how Freephone and non-geographic numbers (such as 0844) were going to work. The date that this change was to be fully implemented is almost upon us, July 2015.

News to you?

Well for more information on both the Freephone and the non-geographic numbers and what changes are occurring read on.

When it comes to Freephone and non-geographic numbers we?re all aware that prices vary, it is a phrase seen and heard on many commercials ?costs may vary for non BT phone lines? or ?calls may be charged for mobile users? etc. The variations, differences in costs and the all the different forms of numbers available to call has made the world of telephones a confusing one for consumers. Ofcom claims that this confusion has led to people going out of their way to find alternative methods for contacting companies, often in ways that end up being less cost effective and more time consuming. When consumers are calling from mobiles, the costs are often detrimental, especially to those on a lower income who may not be able to afford such high call charges. This led to a complete rethink on the way phone numbers such as the 0844 and 0800 numbers and how they work.

So how will things change?

For Freephone numbers, Ofcom wanted to end call charges entirely, they argued that mobile phone companies needed to stop charging for these calls, after all, they are Freephone numbers, that cost a small fortune to call from a mobile phone. Seems a little counter intuitive. So this would mean all 0800 , 0808 and 116 numbers, whether dialed from a landline or a mobile phone will carry no calling charge for the person dialing the number.

All numbers starting with 01, 02 or 03 will be charged at a local rate, no real change here, but a point worth making, that an 03 number is charged at the same rate as all other local rate numbers and should be included in your mobile phone minutes or your phone package.

How 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are charged will be made more transparent, this should allow a greater understanding of the cost of the call. Adverts will no longer simply be able to announce that "costs may vary from other networks" as costs must become more easily understood.

The Mobile provider O2 has already published an extensive list of currently Free 0800 numbers (which you can see here) as well as a guide to how the costs will look after July this year (click here for more info) in addition to their normal call costs.

The Telegraph - Freephone Calls Extended To Mobile Phones Ofcom Says.

Ofcom - Simplifying Non-Geographic

The Guardian - Ofcom Free 0800 Mobile Telecoms Overhaul

This Is Money - Now Freephone Will Mean Free Says Ofcom

Posted By Michelle Quinton 2nd January 2015

Conference Numbers

When dialing into a Conference Call you use various types of numbers, but what are these numbers?

01, 02 and now 03 These are essentially geographic numbers, although 03 does not relate to a specific location, they are charged as local rate prices and usually included in Landline price plans or mobile call bundles.

0843/0844, 0871/2/3

These are premium rate numbers, they often cost a lot of money, ranging from 5p to 40p a minute, depending on whether you are calling from a Landline or a mobile phone, these are the numbers you'll see on your "Free" Conference Call sites. They may not charge you a monthly fee or a set up charge but the phone bill associated is often quite a large one.

0800/0808 - Toll-free/Freephone These are free from all Landlines, including public phones but carry a charge of on average 20p per minute from mobile phones. This is set to change however, around mid 2015 when they will become free from mobile phones.

For a breakdown of all the numbers available in the UK and to see the average charges, check out Ofcom's Call Cost Guide

Posted By Michelle Quinton 29th December 2014

Network Upgrade

As part of our continual development and recent customer feedback, we'll shortly be upgrading a range of access numbers on the SpeakServe platform.

This change will deliver higher levels of resilience across the network, further improving the service we offer to our clients.

Some of our 02 numbers are now being changed to 03, all customers should receive an email confirming their new numbers. There is no need to change your rooms as all numbers will be automatically updated.

This work will be carried out between 9pm and Midnight on the 31st of December 2014. For continuity all legacy numbers will carry the relevent announcement and action to be taken by callers.

If you have any questions or concerns regards this work, please email support@speakserve.com

What is an 03 number?

Posted By Michelle Quinton 24th December 2014

It's Christmas Eve!

This is our final offer in our advent giveaway, but we still have something up our sleeve! Email by December 31st to claim this, or yesterday's offer!

In order to get this offer you just need to phone or email and book a meeting for January with a member of our sales team. Let us help you find the perfect solution for your Conference Calls.

Just call us on: 0800 980 5155 / 0207 785 1127 and select option 1 or email Sales@SpeakServe.com

Posted By Michelle Quinton 12th December 2014

Issue with Freephone Numbers in Singapore

A submarine fibreoptic cable between Perth and Singapore has been damaged, leading to connectivity issues across a large number of telephone and internet providers in the region, this also has meant that the Freephone numbers for Singapore that we offer are currently not working, so we recommend switching to using the Singapore landline numbers. iiNet state that the cable has had a fault since Sunday, with traffic taking an alternative route via Sydney to Hong Kong.

In order to use the Singapore landline number, remember to log into the portal - go to rooms, add the landline number into the rooms you want access to.

If you need help please call us on 0800 980 5155.

The following sites are available for more information, as well as information on coverage, and we will let you know when the issue has been resolved.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 5th December 2014

Rooms: Creating and Using

In our Web Portal we offer the use of Rooms, these are essential Virtual Conference or Meeting Rooms, that allow you to use the same dial in and room numbers for each Call.

One of the advantages of this is that you could have one Room for your clients and another for your co-workers, with no risk of people dialling into a call they shouldn't be on.

In order to show you how useful the portal can be to you and your company, we are going to show you how these features are set up, allowing you to see the potential as you learn how to use your Portal.

Creating a Room

Dashboard tabs


When you click on the Rooms tab at the top of your dashboard you will be presented with a list of the Rooms you may already have, if you ever need to check back to see what numbers are allocated to the room (so that you know what numbers to send to your participants if they are abroad), you can simply click on the room number and the details will open for you.


Rooms


If you want to create a new room, simply click on the Create Conference Room button on the right hand. You will then be presented with your options, the dialogue box is shown below, and will be broken down into it's parts.

When checking back for details on number allocations this is the box you are presented with, the box on the right will show you which numbers are available for dial in to that room.

dialogue box


Once you've named your Room, you need to choose a call type, if you aren't sure about these then take a look at our earlier Blog for more information.

Options


Next you add your numbers, clicking the plus sign allows you to see all the valid numbers you can use.

allowed numbers


Simply click on the number and it will move it across to your allocated numbers list. When you book a call, these are the numbers you give out for this Room.

allocated numbers


Final Points

Don't forget that you have the options of adding Call Recording, Room PINs and Participant Announcements, if you forget to add call recording just press * 3 to turn it on (or off) during your call

Posted By Michelle Quinton 1st December 2014

On The First Day of Christmas, SpeakServe Gave To Me.....

To celebrate the opening of our new Winchester office, we are giving you the chance to win your own Christmas turkey along with a range of other Conferencing and Christmas prizes as part of our Advent Giveaway.

For more information call us on: 0800 980 5155 / 0207 785 1127 and select option 1.

2500 Free Minutes for UK Conference Calls

Posted By Michelle Quinton 28th November 2014

Advent Giveaway

Starting from Monday we are going to be offering a different prize everyday. All you have to do to claim yours is sign up to a SpeakServe Invoiced account and we will do the rest. Phone Us to claim your prize!

Coming Soon! Advent Giveaway!

Posted By Michelle Quinton 14th November 2014

More To Conference Calls Than The Call

Conference Calls with SpeakServe ? Part 1

When is a Conference Call More Than a Conference Call? The answer is when you are in charge of organising it. For many a Conference Call is a short term concern, making sure you dial in on time, that you stick to the agenda and that a conclusion is derived from the discussion. After all, no one likes to have an unproductive meeting. But in truth there is a lot more involved that just dialling, especially if you are the one attempting to organise it.

Many organisations use managed or assisted Conference Calls, in these instances the organiser contacts the relevant company or a company secretary who then arranges the Conference Call and then confirms with the organiser. This can be a fairly drawn out procedure but it is the way many still deal with their calls. In this situation doing things this way because ?it?s how we?ve always done it? is potentially detrimental.

At the minimum it can waste a lot of time. Consider instead, the idea of switching to a self-service or unassisted Conference Call Solution, one that affords you greater control over how you choose to Conference Call. Arranging your own Conference Calls as you see fit, sending out your own invites to the participants of your choosing. Either for a Conference to start immediately or scheduling one in advance. Not only does this give you greater control but it allows you to use your time more efficiently.

So you?ve got your SpeakServe account up and running, in order to use this service to its fullest you need to look at each of the features and how they are able to help you do your job more efficiently. If you are a frequent user of Conference Calls then you will likely find the ability to create Rooms very useful. Each Room comes with the ability to give it a name, determine what Dial In Numbers can access it and the ability to set a Pin to restrict access only to those who have been invited. Below is an example of a selection of Rooms:

SpeakServe Rooms: Normal, Lecture, Chairman and Moderated

You?ll note from this that there are more than one type of Call, these are:

? Normal ? For immediate or scheduled Calls, with optional PIN. When you dial in you are placed on hold until a second person enters the Call.

? Lecture - These are great for larger events and come with a Q&A side room. Just dial *4 to enter a Break Out Conference Room. This option has 2 PINs, 1 for the students and another for the lecturer.

? Chairman ? This is the same as Normal, a simple Room only this time with a Chairman?s PIN and Participants PIN. Participants will be kept on hold until the Chairman arrives ? giving the Chairman complete control over the start of the Conference.

? Moderated ? This works the same as Lecture, the key difference however is that you can bring in a SpeakServe Moderator to manage the whole call for you, allowing you to focus on your Conference Call.

You can create as many rooms as you need to, using different rooms for different clients, as well as creating groups to help make setting up your rooms easier.

To read our guide to using the service, check out the SpeakServe Wiki or come back here next week for a more in detail guide to creating rooms and groups.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 17th October 2014

Keeping Your Team Happy, Motivated and Engaged

For a company to be truly successful, it needs happy and motivated employees. Employees that feel dissatisfied are less productive and more likely to take higher levels of sick leave. Happy employees are shown to have an average of 31% higher productivity and produce on average 37% more sales.

Not only this but unhappy and disengaged employees can have a detrimental effect on the co-workers, their negative attitude can start to bring down others, reducing morale and overall team productivity.

So keeping employees, happy, motivated and engaged is extremely important in helping a company grow, allowing a company to flourish, going from strength to strength. Here we have compiled some tips on how to increase overall well-being and motivation within your company.

Empowerment and Ownership

Allow your team to interact with other team members, and possibly other teams, giving suggestions for improvements and making individuals feel they are making a difference. This empowers them, giving them a feeling of ownership and responsibility for the products they work on. This increases their drive to do better and be more successful, after all, no one wants to see something of theirs fail.

Avoid Boredom

There are two ways to do this, the first is to let employees test out new ideas, stepping out of their comfort zone or area of experience. It keeps creativity flowing and avoids burnout while giving the team new challenges and when they succeed their confidence and motivation is boosted.

Secondly encourage interaction outside of work related subjects, involve the team in non-work related tasks during breaks, such as games or friendly competition, or perhaps a bake off for charity?

Reward and Acknowledgment

This isn?t necessarily about money but employees feeling that their efforts are being recognised. Of course money will always play a part, employees who feel they are underpaid may also feel they are undervalued and seek employment elsewhere. But recognition, not only of success but of effort made, will help boost confidence, increase motivation and employee loyalty to the company. Talk to your team and see what kind of reward scheme they would like to see implemented.

Communication

Whether it?s about potential company problems or changes, or just about what your employees need, it?s important to talk to your employees. Communication is paramount for the efficient running of any company and employees who feel out of the loop or that they aren?t being heard will lose motivation. Keep communication lines open, especially if the company is struggling a little ? the rumours that build up in absence of your communications will often be worse than the truth so talking to them will put their minds at ease.

Build Relationships

A good working relationship within a team means better support and communication, which in turn leads to higher morale, productivity and overall engagement. This can be done through light hearted competition (within the team itself or competing against other departments) or challenged, helping your team to learn to work together and support each other. You can also involve the team in celebrating the achievements or events of other team members, this fosters friendships which will strengthen the team and also increase employee?s loyalty to the company.

Attainable Goals

Giving your team?s goal to aim towards can be a great motivator, but if you choose goals that are too easy or too hard to attain then morale will plummet. A goal that is too easy, will make a team feel you don?t believe they are capable, they will become bored and disengaged. A goal that is too hard, or unattainable will drop motivation as the team start to see it as a pointless endeavour. Instead try to keep goals within reach, perhaps setting one main goal, with smaller more attainable goals as stepping stones.

For more ideas on how to keep your team motivated, check out this article by Bryan J. Zaslow on Forbes.com.

Posted By Michelle Quinton 22nd September 2014

What is Web RTC?

The world is moving fast and the world of Voice is being transformed by a new protocol called Web RTC - RTC stands for Real Time Communicator. Essentially, your web browser is being turned into a phone.

At the moment people are familiar with VOIP to enable their laptops and other devices to make phone calls. These calls are essentially free, but require a software download or other distractions to make the service work.

Web RTC is different in that it enables any device to become a phone using the Browser that runs on it. You have Google Chrome, you have a phone. The exception at the moment seems to be Microsoft (who are likely to produce their own version of Web RTC) but FireFox, Chrome, Safari and Opera all support it.

So...

A businessman is in Taiwan on his Smartphone and is invited to join a conference call. The invitation arrives and there is a link to ?dial in? from the smart phone. Not a roaming charge in sight.

The call uses your data network (3G or wireless) and therefore the 'cost' of the call is included in your bundle (until you exceed that!). Web RTC also supports video so someone using a laptop or possibly iPad type device would be able to use the camera to support video.

The difference between Web RTC and VOIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol) is that Web RTC does not require a separate software ?Client? to be enable the calls to be made. With Web RTC, if you have a browser, you have a phone.

This is where the worlds of Telecoms and the Internet collide - there will be many casualties.

No one knows whether the decline of the traditional Telephony Service providers will be gradual, or ?Kodak like? in their demise, but the survivors will be those (from both the Web and Telecoms camps) that can innovate and grab market share.

SpeakServe are on it! Watch this space!

Posted By 23rd October 2013

White Papers - Download Free Now!

Speakserve offer a range of Free White Papers on how to make best use of Collaboration, Web Meeting and Conferencing tools - Open a Free Web Meeting Account Now and get access to our library of White Papers on how to make best use of collaboration, web meeting and conferencing tools. Our library includes White Papers on specialist the following Subjects: Training, Sales, Human Resources, Marketing, Employee Communications, Finance Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and others.

Simply Register at http://www.speakserve.com/web-meeting-plans/ for your Free White Papers.

Enjoy!

Posted By External API 22nd October 2013

Moderated Calls Made Easy

Moderated Calls are the high ground in the conferencing industry. These are high value calls, where controlling the participants and conversation are extremely important. These are traditionally done using technologies where the participants have to queue to be included in a call, all of course trying to enter the call at the same time.

Speakserve offer a radical alternative to the status quo, enabling participants to join a Moderated Call without necessarily having to speak with a human being so the organiser of the call can retain complete control. Invitations can be sent from your online account for absolute convenience, or you can send out a registration email to anyone who needs to be on the call.

Both you as the organiser and the moderator (these can be the same person) have access to a web page with a complete suite of features that give both visibility and control. This includes seeing who is on the call in real time and their status, enabling people to ask questions, muting and even blocking people that you do not want to hear from!

All calls can be recorded free of charge, and the call recording is available securely within your online account just minutes after the call.

Another leap forward with SpeakServe!!

Posted By 21st October 2013

Outbound Conference Calls? The New Dimension

We are all familiar with traditional conference calls- dialling a number, using a room or security code to get in. It can be frustrating and have you ever known a call start absolutely on time with everyone there? It is pretty rare despite people's best efforts!

With the advent of web based platforms such as ours, there is now a far better way of making sure that everyone is on the call at the right time - get the service to call them!

It sounds so easy and is now the fastest part of the conferencing market with rapid adoption with many of our clients.

When you set up the call, invite your participants and when the time comes our system will call them. Your name will show on their phone if you want it to, so they will take the call, and they will automatically be put in the room.

If they are on the phone or we can not get hold of them after a couple of attempts we will send them a text message on how to dial in to the room and an email with all the appropriate details.

What could be easier? Conference Calls have a far greater chance of starting on time with this new service - give it a try and see what you think?!

You can also use our revolutionary new App that integrates with your iPhone contacts to do the same thing - sign up and try it for Free!

Posted By 16th October 2013

Why not what? Why Speakserve?

Too many companies tell you what they do, not why they do it.

At SpeakServe we offer services that make life easy for you - we try and make them as instinctive as possible and look great, so that your life when you are communicating with your colleagues, partners and business associates is as seamless an experience as possible, whether on the phone, video or chat.

We want your meeting to start on time with the minimum of fuss, a technology that you do not notice, like a good umpire, referee or goalkeeper, as you have complete faith that it is working for you and with you, not against you, as so many competing services seem to do. It is easy.

We also realise that you have a choice. We have people available on the phone and chat to help guide you through your meeting, live.

When we say our services are Free, they are, we want you to try us and if you like us then we will be utterly transparent in our pricing and expect you to be able to turn round at any point and challenge us over any rate, local international or global.

We are a David in a world of Goliath's, but we care about our clients and we take it very personally if things are not perfect.

Just thought I would let you know!

Posted By 25th September 2013

SpeakServe sees Rapid Adoption of its new Web Meeting Service

We are delighted with the rapid adoption of our new Web Meeting service since its launch. Web Meeting incorporates all the best of video and audio conferencing, screen and document sharing, along with chat, complete recording of the whole experience and a wealth of other features.

Our aim is to make it as instinctive as possible for business people to use, without proprietary downloads and accessible by anyone, and put people in complete control.

Our Free service is transforming the market and we are seeing people switch to our business friendly tool and away from the legacy vendors such as WebEx, GoToMeeting and Skype, but more importantly we are empowering a whole new breed of user who are changing the way they work to work smarter, manage their time better and save a lot of money.

You can choose whether or not to use your computer as a phone or use the traditional dial in services where we offer unlimited use as part of the service.

CEO Jonathan Grant, commented: ?being a Cloud player in this rapidly growing market gives us an unrivalled advantage against the legacy players who have had it too easy for too long. We are delighted with the response to the launch both from existing clients and new ones globally.?

Posted By 16th July 2012

Cogent Saves Money On Conference Calls from Mobile Phones!

Cogent is the UK's industry skills body for the science based industries, and they also have a key role in meeting the skills needs of emerging technologies.

The Challenge

Cogent were frequently making conference calls with many participants phoning in from their mobiles as they had to be out of the office. With mobile calls to 0844 numbers costing 35p a minute and Cogent?s average conference call lasting 60 minutes this meant that they were running high phone bills in order to conduct necessary business.

Cogent were unaware of the costs as they were distributed over many different mobile and other bills. By centralising the service and using Speakserve?s cloud-based web portal, they can track and monitor every call.

The Solution SpeakServe?s mission is to keep things cheap and simple for people and their businesses, while allowing you to have total control over your conference call, from call scheduling to call recording and more.

Invoiced Billing and Geographic Numbers

SpeakServe were able to help Cogent by providing them with an invoiced billing system for their conferencing needs. Staff at Cogent often hold internal conference calls, with many of their participants calling in from their mobile phones.

By providing geographic numbers for both mobile and landline callers, the cost of internal conferencing has been greatly reduced. Mobile callers are now able to use the free minutes that they receive from their mobile providers or pay landline rates, instead of the extortionate mobile rates.

Cogent also have access to great international rates, and with automatic call scheduling and invitations, organising a conference has become as simple as clicking a button.

Kate Hutchins, Information Manager at Cogent says: ?We?re pleased at the savings that we are making. Prior to this we were unaware of the exact cost of a conference call, as costs were distributed amongst many different mobile bills. Now we are able to save a great deal and simultaneously centralise our conferencing costs?.

Jonathan Grant,CEO at SpeakServe adds, ?We?re delighted that by moving on to our new and highly competitive model of audio conferencing, Cogent are making such huge savings!?.

Posted By 11th July 2012

Help Your Business Go Green!

While the concept of being environmentally friendly has long been established, ?Going Green? has become increasingly more important to society as a whole in the last decade or so.

We are certainly more conscious of the necessity to recycle and care for the environment than our parents? and grandparents? generations were.

Businesses are now having to consider their Carbon Footprint and how they can improve their Corporate Social Responsibility and this is where conference calls really come into their own! Not only do conference calls significantly reduce the cost of a meeting (no transportation or accommodation costs) they also completely remove the related fuel emissions.

For companies that are frequently presenting to customers, or have presentations as part of their pre-sales process conference calls will help the sales team to increase their efficiency, by having more time in the office and simultaneously saving money.

If you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint and using the most simple and low cost conference call provider in the UK, then take a look around and don?t be afraid to ask questions!

Posted By Michael Hay 30th May 2012

Curious Conference Calls

?Christmas Party Conference Call with No Panic?

Conference calls are normally pretty routine. Talking about the matters of the day, whether sales, marketing, legal, or of private or public interest.

At Speakserve we have a client, No Panic, that regularly uses conference calls, but in doing what they do are stretching the boundaries of what can be achieved and having a lot of fun at the same time.

No Panic is a Worldwide Charity that is now run by the Management Committee and CEO Joanne Garvey,that supports people who suffer from anxiety disorders of various types. On a regular basis, sufferers have conference calls with a Group leader, specifically trained for the charity on a programme endorsed by the London Institute of Psychiatry, where people with different complaints can be treated at the same time (known as Transdiagnostic therapy).

The real fun started last year when they decided that they would have a Christmas party on a conference call as many of the sufferers do not enjoy travel or even leaving the house. The Christmas Party Planners created a programme for the party with all the events listed and sent this out to all the people on the programme, along with a book of Bingo tickets so that everyone could join in. At the appointed time, people dialled in and as well as playing games such as Bingo and the Yes and No game, and Wink Murder, they sang Carols and had a wonderful 2 hours.

As Joanne said ?Everyone had a wonderful time - it was great fun and made Christmas last year a very special one for a lot of people on the programme who may not have been able to enjoy it in a more traditional manner?.

Jonathan Grant of Speakserve commented ?I am delighted that No Panic had such a great party. It is amazing what you can achieve in a Conference Call!!?.

No Panic provide worldwide support for sufferers of Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, General Anxiety Diosrder and Tranquiliser Withdrawal. www.nopanic.org.uk

SpeakServe is a UK Conference Call provider, offering Pay as you go conference calls, conference calls on your mobile as well as the option of a web based portal. SpeakServe is one of the first cloud based conference call providers, offering conference call services internationally. What can you do with a conference call?

http://uk.prweb.com/releases/speakservesponsorscharity/nopanic/prweb9641789.htm

Posted By 16th April 2012

Pickerings Laws ? and what does that movie ?Warhorse? have to do with Conference Calls?

All telephone engineers have been inspired over the years by a curious phenomena called the Erlang to calculate how to make sure that they have sufficient capacity for the traffic that will occur.

Erlang was, in fact, the mathematician employed by Napoleon to tell him how many horses a month he should purchase, so that he had enough each time he went into a battle. Witness the recent scenes in the Warhorse movie!

The same mathematics can be used to support any truly random events such as predicting the number of simultaneous phone calls when a given number of people make an average of x minutes calls a day, but at random times.

The problem is that people do not do things totally randomly- they make phone calls during the TV adverts, they make phone calls after they have arrived in the office, they make mobile calls when they drive home at night etc.

The problem with conferencing is that it is exactly the opposite of random, most calls are planned to start on the hour or half hour.

More calls are planned to start at 9.00 am and 2.00pm than at 10.00 am or 3.00pm. Few are planned to start at 4.30pm and virtually none are planned to start at 2.15pm (let alone 2.23pm!)

Richard Pickering, one of the world?s leading telephone engineers and visionaries, created the following laws, known of course as Pickering's Laws:

Pickering?s First Law on Conferencing:

"The more people involved in the conference call, the more likely it is to be planned for a specific time".

Pickering's Laws

?The biggest morning and afternoon spikes of the week will be on Mondays, and that Mondays at the start of the month will be bigger than the other Mondays.

Finally, Pickering's third law states that:

"For really large calls it is more likely it will be outside office hours, probably on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening around 7.00pm.

Warhorse, conferencing, Pickering ? an insiders guide to the world of telephone engineering!

Posted By Jonathan Grant 15th March 2012

SpeakServe and the G-cloud

Speakserve Limited is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a Framework Agreement for the provision of G-Cloud Services to the UK Government.

Jonathan Grant, CEO, commented: ?We are delighted to be in a position to deliver Conferencing and other Cloud services to the Government Sector. The G-Cloud initiative is an important one and has been driven by visionaries in Government who can see the benefit that Cloud companies can offer, as against the traditional incumbents. As well as the massive cost savings that the Cloud offers, and lack of any need for capital expenditure, the centralisation of services cannot happen using traditional technologies with the same agility and control.?

Rob Macleod, Framework Manager for the G-Cloud Initiative commented: ?We are delighted that so many dynamic businesses decided to join the G-Cloud initiative and congratulate those that succeeded in getting through a rigorous process. I wish all the companies involved every success.? About Speakserve

Speakserve is a Cloud based Audio and Web Conferencing and Collaboration business with clients in every sector of the economy, as well as being sold by both major global Telco?s and specialist resellers. For further information please either visit http://www.SpeakServe.com or call 0800 980 5155.

http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9264844.htm

Posted By Michelle Quinton 25th March 2011

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