Nimans’ Conferencing Business Manager, Chris Smith, says there are three main players in the UK – Polycom, Konftel and ClearOne. Each offers a wide product range which is specifically designed for a host of different environments, from just a couple of users to potentially dozens in small meeting rooms or large board rooms.
“Audio conferencing allows companies to eliminate distance between different parties because it provides a quality of sound as if the people are in the same room together,” said Smith.
“Resellers should first establish with the end user what types of people they do business with. That’s not just the people they sell to; it can also be their suppliers as well. Start collectively putting them together in groups and identify how each one interacts with the other. Then start costing all this together. It’s not just in travel and hotel expenditure, it’s lost time in the office as well. There’s a significant cost on the business in lost hours.
“Conference calling is about increasing productivity and providing the platform for effective communication on a global scale. Audio conferencing is not a cost on the business, it is an investment. You can quantify the returns almost straight away. Dealers should emphasise that a simple conferencing unit could pay for itself with one saved business trip. Every customer no matter whether they are a home worker or a CEO of a large conglomerate can make use of a conferencing unit.”
• Constantly talk to customers about the benefits of conferencing whenever the chance arises. Conferencing is about low cost solutions which are easy to implement and generate lucrative margins for dealers.
• Be aware of the environmental benefits of conferencing, particularly in today’s ‘green conscious’ business world.
• Use a common sense approach to get messages across
• Emphasise that conferencing is about business investment, saving major travel costs
• Conferencing is another tool in the business bag both for dealers and their customers
Chris Smith added that the recent launch of the Konftel 300 is further evidence of the way the market is heading – with stylish design combined with a host of user friendly features such as call recording, a line selector for several different connectivity methods and also a built -in conference bridging feature.
“New products coming onto the market will make it even easier to sell conferencing,” says Smith. “Despite the emergence of increased bridging facilities in systems we still see the desktop unit as being at the heart of conferencing communications. Sales of these units are growing the most.”
He concluded: “Conferencing is a fast-growing and developing market. Approximately one in 10 meeting rooms have a conferencing unit, so that’s 90% that don’t which means there are massive opportunities out there for dealers to exploit.”