There are many factors that can affect the performance of a business phone system conference phone. The biggest factor is the acoustics of the room where you are using the conference phone. While conference phones have echo cancellation and background noise filters, if the room is largely wide open, the sound quality will be poor. Things such as large windows, glass walls, hard floors, and bare walls all reflect sound and will make the room echo. Some tips to make the room echo proof are to hang pictures on the wall, use fabric chairs, and scatter rugs if you have tile or hardwood floors. Another tip is to put a piece of fabric, such as a cloth place mat underneath the conference phone. Remember that you need to ask all callers to mute their lines unless they are currently speaking. This will reduce background noise and other disruptions from attendee’s lines that can interfere with sound quality.
If you need to have many people on the conference call, then either a conference service or a conference bridge is required. A conference service is a hosted application that you subscribe to which allows many people to call into a single number and be bridged together. A conference bridge is an on premise piece of equipment that lets you bridge multiple lines. Large conference bridges induce their own problems with audio quality, so you really need a phone in the conference room that has exceptional speaker clarity and can effectively pick up the conversations from the panelist sitting around the table and mute the unwanted noise and background.
There are SIP conference phones that will work on IP PBX as well as on IP business phone systems. Usually, you just need an IP station license and a network cable in the location where you need the conference phone. IP conference phones can have better audio performance than the analog conference phones.
Most phone systems support call recording. If not, there are add on devices that allow you to record the conference call. The recording is an audio (.wav or similar) file that can be stored and archived, played with a media player, or sent to the attendees for review. It is important that you let everyone know they are being recorded though.
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