We’ve all participated in conference calls and many of us have organized them. You dial in and enter the pin number. While handy, a lot of the conferencing services – especially the free ones – are pretty basic and give organizers limited control over the call and participants.
A new calling service called Calliflower from iotum offers some extra tools for organizing and managing calls, without any additional cost (beyond the long distance call charges).
- Caller visualization: See names, pictures and caller status in real time as everyone joins, participates and leaves the call.Callers are identified as they join the call, with their names and (if desired) pictures.The status of their lines (mike open, closed, hand raised to ask a question) is also visible to everyone.
- Intuitive conference controls: Participants can access conference controls, the live wall and more from a simple Web interface. (We recently covered another conferencing solution from Vapps that has a web-based interface.)
- Interactive chat: Participants can engage in a group chat before, after and during the call to share information without interrupting the flow of conversation. From sharing a link or an image to asking a relevant question, the multiparty IM opens a second channel for participants to have richer and more engaging calls.
- Call archives: Handouts, agendas and links to files can remain accessible to the right people, long after the call is over.
- Easy calendar integration: Manage call invitations, updates and RSVPs with an attached iCal that integrates with any major calendar solution.
- PINless connectivity: The participating caller’s phone number becomes the personal PIN, which seamlessly connects callers to every call from anywhere.
- MP3 recordings: Moderators can record any call from the Web interface or from the phone. Recordings are available to every participant as MP3 files seconds after the conference is over or the recording is stopped.
I think that the dashboard control allowing you to see who is on the call plus the archive/recording features definitely make it worth checking out.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com
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