As it stands now, the madness of congested roads is costing the British economy over £15 billion while the price of motoring itself is increasing drastically.  Inevitable motorway tolls, record-breaking fuel prices and the dreaded array of endless Workplace Parking Levies all contribute to the cause and the pain jabbing consumers right in the pocket.

With important business matters at hand, employees are being set off into gridlocked streets, venturing off on missions that could take up to three times longer than they expected because of the hectic commute alone.  Those who have been sent off on these unpredictable journeys will attest that its enough to send you into a mental uproar.  One might assume that technological advancements would have long been introduced to facilitate these meetings in a more professional and efficient manner.  It would also be great to conduct this business without incurring too many expenses, time consuming adventures and releasing more emissions the world simply doesn’t need.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were such a solution?  There actually is - audio conferencing.

Major Cutbacks

Although audio conference phone systems are becoming increasingly popular, only 30% of British businesses are taking advantage of this cutting-edge technology.  Aside from enjoying cost-effective conference calls, these organizations are missing out on so much more.  Audio conferencing increases responsiveness, as important meetings can be set up and conducted much quicker.  Without having to travel all over town, participates can immediately report back to their desks or where ever it is they need to be.

While we shouldn’t expect conference calls to entirely replace face to face meetings, they sure will help to eliminate a lot of them.  A survey of the British Telecom staff showed that 67% of users revealed that their last conference call either more than likely or definitely replaced a meeting.  53% said that it saved them at least 288 miles and three hours of commuting.  Each meeting that was replaced helped avoid cost in the amount of £271, numbers 10 to 15 times more than what it would cost to implement audio conferencing systems.

What’s Available

You will find that there is a wide range of audio conference phone systems to choose from.  Standard models are suited for conferences in small meeting areas with only a few participants while high-end models offer more advanced features for larger conferences with more participants.  In between the basic and advanced model is an extensible version that gives you the ability to make the upgrade to a better system.  For example, you can incorporate additional microphones to support extra participates.
This flexibility allows the audio conference phone system to grow right along with your business.

VoIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol) or IP telephony, refers to making phone calls over the internet opposed to an ordinary phone line.  This helps a business significantly reduce costs as most VoIP to VoIP calls are free.  As more people discover the benefits, the concept of VoIP conference calls is becoming a viable alternative for many businesses.  Manufacturers like Polycom are keeping up with the demand by releasing VoIP compatible systems to satisfy the market.

Save While You Can

As the EC is predicting that traffic on the road might increase by half in the next 50 years, one can only assume that the cost of congestion will soar long before then.  It looks as if the audio conferencing concept grew popular at the right time.