Over the past eighteen months I have often reported on iotum’s Calliflower voice conferencing service as it has evolved and matured. For the first time in a few months I had occasion to use it once again yesterday evening. Connecting 11 participants in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle, New York and Virginia, I can report on an excellent quality, two hour and ten minute call with no interruptions where everyone was clearly understood. (Even the dogs co-operated by not barking in the background although someone’s cell phone did ring at one point.) And it’s archived for access by all members of the group, including those who could not participate in the call.
However, not only has the overall consistency of call quality improved but calls hosted by a Premium Service subscriber ($50/month for two organizers, unlimited calling and participants) can now be accessed “locally” from over 100 cities in 30 countries:
Calliflower flat-rate conferencing services are now available in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
If there was one improvement that could be made it would be to make it more obvious on the invitation emails that a participant should RSVP whether they will/may/will not attend. As demonstrated with recent enhancements to Tungle, the meeting scheduling service, invitation emails must clearly explain all the steps to be taken to respond to the invitation appropriately. In my case yesterday, I was sending invitation emails to “newbies” unfamiliar with the service; some did not know how to respond. As a result I had to send separate emails to non-responding participants to ensure they knew how to access the service. The issue has been reported to iotum personnel who now have this issue as a “ToDo” item on their action list.
And how much of a value is this service? Ten years ago, using Bell Canada conferencing service, the 11-party call I mentioned in the introduction would have cost $787.00 with additional minutes at a cost of $0.55 per minute per participant just for the voice service. How business models change! But with Calliflower you can also see who is on the call, manage participation through muting and hand raising, share documents, augment the conversation through a chat window and record/archive the call.
Bottom line: with a rewording of their email invitations, Calliflower certainly delivers on its offering of unlimited calling from over 100 cities worldwide along with tools that enhance the conversation. During last night’s call, Calliflower went into the background and was transparent to the discussion; we accomplished our meeting agenda and objectives uninterrupted by the technology.
Overlooked: Calliflower conference calls can also be scheduled, accessed and moderated via their iPhone application.
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- Calliflower expands: Flat Rate International Conference Calls now available from 30 Countries. (saunderslog.com)