It’s the classic conference call fail: You join a very intense company-wide call to discuss business earnings. The call connection may start off pretty solid, but soon enough C-level executive voices start cutting in and out every couple of minutes. The result is four more people talking over each other, trying to point out that others are cutting in and out.
While the best of us try to stay focused through the confusion, this scenario often results in lost time and productivity, and participants struggle to listen to and understand what is being discussed. Is this really what we’ve become accustomed to?
As a human species we have successfully landed a spacecraft on a moving comet, yet we still struggle to keep a strong connection during daily conference calls. While the problem is not uncommon, the answer still remains a mystery to many companies. Do we need a better phone network? Is it the other end? Who’s the culprit?
Thankfully, high definition voice, a key benefit gained by upgrading to SIP trunking, may help answer (and solve) the whole issue. One often-overlooked benefit to upgrading to an IP communications system with SIP trunking is high-fidelity voice communications. While most of us have a grasped the benefits of HDTV, we are still in the dark when it comes to HD voice.
Why should companies that are fed up with interrupted calls start to take notice? HD voice (also called wideband audio) refers to the high-definition voice quality for telephony audio. The reason why people can hear more clearly via HD voice, compared to traditional telephone calls, is that wideband audio can extend the audio frequency to a broader range than what traditional telephone calls can provide.
Within the telecommunications industry, the buzz around HD voice has been quite prominent, but the conversation didn’t really take off until VoIP communications and services like Skype (News - Alert) came along. This is because HD voice can easily be put to use via VoIP communications. In the past couple years, advanced SIP trunking providers have taken the plunge and offered HD voice as an additional feature to their hosted packages.
HD voice is an ideal choice for enterprises that are looking for a communications system with better voice quality, lower cost, and higher reliability. It also provides significant benefits to organizations that rely on conference calls in their daily business process. With HD voice, that distinctive robotic and distanced sound associated with a standard call is eliminated and replaced with a clear, crisp and more natural sounding audio. Not only does this solve most conference call fails, it also allows employees to better understand non-native language speakers. The broader audio range can capture more content and speech, which helps eliminate misunderstandings and helps connect companies with a global presence. Conference call participants can easily recognize each other’s voices via HD voice and figure out who is talking – even when voices rise over each other – a wishful solution to those still putting up with classic conference call flubs.
In turn, HD voice improves employee productivity. With its superior audio quality, people don’t have to struggle to listen or feel fatigued deciphering who is talking; as a result, they stay engaged and continue to progress through a conversation more efficiently.
Early adopters of HD voice are witnessing its benefits in enterprise communications and have left traditional communications in the dust. Additionally, they’ve bought into HD video, which takes Skype conferencing to a whole new level. As telecommunicating and working remotely have become more common in the U.S., videoconferencing, supported by SIP trunking, has also emerged as a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. Like HD voice, HD video provides users with crystal clear pictures and adds an important personal touch to meetings – the ability to see people. People prefer having conversations with someone they can see, which results in closer emotional connections than just talking to a machine or device.
HD voice (with the optional addition of HD video) is set to take the unified communications industry by storm. If the benefits discussed appeal to you, maybe it’s time for you and your company to consider ditching the old desk phone, the lost time deciphering who’s talking on conference calls, and implement HD voice connected with high-quality SIP trunking. You’ll be surprised how easy and cost-effective it is to deploy.
Charles Studt (News - Alert) is vice president of product management and marketing at IntelePeer.
Edited by Maurice Nagle