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Is Audio Conferencing A Thing Of The Past?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Video conferencing is getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason, but audio conferencing is still relevant. That’s partly because audio conferencing and video conferencing solutions aren’t necessarily replacements for each other. Instead, for many organizations, they are cost effective complements. As useful and engaging as video conferencing can be, there are times where an audio-only conference is not only sufficient, but preferred. For example, it’s still a common communication choice for educational departments, for technical discussions, for sales calls and more. There are many settings where audio is enough.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Three Reasons Why Audio Conferencing Can Still Play A Vital Role

Many organizations may wonder why they should bother investing in audio conferencing if a video conferencing solution can deliver both parts of the AV equation. Isn’t audio conferencing a redundant piece of technology if video conferencing is present? In most organizations, the answer is no. Audio conferencing offers a few advantages that make it worth considering, including these three reasons:

1. It’s simple to use and control - One of the reasons why older technology remains relevant is because it’s proven. Conference calls have been around for decades, so people of all generations are familiar with them. Therefore, it’s generally easy to get people to adopt an audio conferencing solution and utilize it regularly. Further, because audio conferencing technology is pretty basic from a control standpoint, your IT personnel will spend less time responding to issues with the technology.

2. It provides unmatched voice quality - Modern video conferencing solutions leverage the internet to facilitate calls and deliver excellent audio quality, as long as your organization’s network can handle the data. Audio conferencing solutions can either use the internet or participants can be patched into the call individually. In either case, because audio is the only data being sent, fewer network resources are needed to ensure the data arrives intact.

It’s easier to guarantee strong audio quality when utilizing an audio conferencing solution. Video conferencing is still extremely reliable, but when network hiccups do occur, they can interfere with audio integrity. Audio conferencing, then, tends to maintain better audio in the aggregate.

3. It is affordable - Audio conferencing solutions are among the most affordable AV technologies available. This affordability advantage is especially true now, as video conferencing solutions are in demand around the world. Audio conferencing is often seen as an inferior option if video conferencing is available, but if your teams can communicate effectively with audio conferencing technology, then the technology can be too cost-effective to pass up.

However, there’s no need to reject either video or audio conferencing in favor of the other, as both can serve in different roles for an organization.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Audio conferencing? Video conferencing? Why not both?

There’s room for most organizations to fit audio and video conferencing into a single AV solution. It may not be immediately clear why businesses and schools would consider such a move, but here are a few reasons why it makes sense:
  • Audio and video conferencing offer complementary strengths - Video conferencing may seem like the superior choice in every situation, but plenty of communication between team members can be handled without video. In these instances, audio conferencing solutions can be a viable alternative because for many people, they can set up a conference call faster than a video conference. There’s an efficiency advantage, and audio conferencing is also a good option when discussing technical material or data, as it offers excellent audio quality and clarity. Video conferencing has its own obvious advantages. The only way to get a true face-to-face conversation remotely is with video conferencing, and people respond well to such communication. During a video conference, it’s also easier to keep track of who is speaking. Also important, modern video conferencing solutions are designed with a lot of useful features, including the ability to connect additional devices and share content. Together, audio and video conferencing can do more than either one can on their own, and with both, your teams can effectively communicate the way they prefer.
  • Audio conferencing is an affordable backup plan - Even if your teams rely solely on video conferencing, an audio conferencing system ensures that they can communicate should network, hardware or user issues interfere with plan A. As audio conferencing is affordable, it makes for a low-cost, high-reliability backup when it’s needed.
  • An integrator can package together for extra cost efficiency - Audio conferencing is cost effective, and even more so when a certified integrator makes it part of a larger integration project. An AV integrator can design a larger solution where audio conferencing is just one component, and an experienced integrator can make hardware selection, placement, installation and configuration decisions that reduce the overall operational cost of audio conferencing solutions.
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A Certified AV Integrator Can Build A Complete Communication Solution

Audio conferencing is still relevant and still effective, but like all AV solutions, it is most effective when it’s properly integrated into a larger AV solution and into an organization’s existing technological infrastructure. Certified AV integrators are the experts in this area and can improve your project’s outcome in the following ways:
  • By streamlining the process - Even the simplest AV solutions are rarely that simple. The system must first be visualized and designed, then obsolete technology and cables must be removed, new hardware selected and procured, and everything installed and configured. Some of these steps include additional parties that must be communicated with, like equipment vendors, and it’s inevitable that delays or roadblocks will present themselves. With a certified AV integrator overseeing the project, though, these obstacles can be mitigated without anyone in your organization wasting their time dealing with them.
  • By meeting your organization’s exact AV needs - Before embarking on an audio conferencing project, or any AV project, a certified integrator will first work to understand what their client needs from the technology. Experienced integrators place a lot of importance on planning and communication with the client because the system’s design must fulfill the client’s objectives. That’s why system design comes after consultation and not before. This way, your organization’s needs are prioritized before any design or installation begins.
  • By providing ongoing support and training - Following system integration, a certified integrator will train your people on how to use the technology to its full potential. Training introduces users to the system, and during this training, the user’s role relative to the technology is considered, so training material is developed with the audience in mind. This makes it easier for users to understand and access only the features they need, which improves user adoption and reduces the intimidation factor that comes with a new process. Further, AV integrators can provide ongoing support and maintenance for the solutions they implement. This includes preventive maintenance, which can identify and solve performance issues before they cause downtime.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]AV moves faster than most industries, but time hasn’t passed by audio conferencing. It’s still an effective communication tool, particularly when it’s paired with other AV technologies. It’s reliable, it’s affordable and it’s proven - so it’s a worthwhile consideration for most organizations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]