conference bridge

Teleconferencing Bridge

Teleconferencing Bridge vs. Conference Call Service

There has been teleconferencing equipment, called teleconferencing bridges, available for many years.  And like teleconferencing pricing, the teleconferencing bridges have gotten cheaper all the time.  So does it make financial sense to buy a bridge or should you use a conference call service?

There are a number of issues to think about if you think that you do enough conference calls to think about buying a bridge.  The main reason to consider buying a teleconferencing bridge is because you chink you can save money if you do it yourself. So, let's examine the things that comprise the cost of a bridge and see if buying one makes any sense.

Cost of the Bridge - The cost of a bridge can be anywhere from one thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The equipment used by conference call providers, like Zip Conferencing, is hundreds of thousands of dollars.  But if you want to try to do-it-yourself with a lower cost piece of teleconferencing bridging equipment you will pay at least a thousand dollars for it.

Telecom Cost - The largest cost to providing conference calls is the telecommunications cost.  You have to get telephone circuits terminated to the bridge and there is a monthly cost to having those connections and you pay the cost of the calls as well. Even if you don't use the bridge in a month you will still pay a monthly cost to have the circuits connected to the equipment.

Maintenance Cost - Once you own a piece of teleconferencing bridging equipment you will need to maintain it. You will need to pay a maintenance fee to the manufacturer of the bridging equipment to stay up to date with the software that runs the equipment. Just like other computers, you will need to keep the computer up to date if you expect to have the latest security, patches and features to keep the bridge up to date.

Personnel Cost - You will also need someone in your company assigned to maintain the bridge. Even if the bridge is self service, you will need to maintain it and administer it.  Even if the person in your company doesn't do it on a full time basis there is a cost to you.

Operator Assisted Conference Calls

If your company plans to have a large number of participants on a call at once than an automated conference call will not work for you. You need operator assisted conference calls to handle the high profile conference calls and large events so buying your own bridge will not help you.

If you pay $.01 per minute for your long distance telecom cost as a company you may think you can save some money with a teleconferencing bridge.   The circuits for the telecom connections are at least $1,000 per month for a T-1 which only provides 24 circuits.  So if you want more than 24 total conference call connections at a time in your company you will need more than 1 circuit.  Maintenance on the equipment is going to be at hundreds or thousands of dollars a year depending on the bridge and then someone in your company is going to need to administer it.

It is not hard to imagine how your per minute cost for conference calls can quickly get over $.05 per minute.  It is hard to do better than if you hire a conference call service when you get the latest features, no maintenance and 24/7 support for less than $.05 per minute.  A conference call service provider like Zip Conferencing is a better, less expensive choice than buying your own bridge. So, leave the conference call service to the professionals and stick to what you do best and you will be glad you did.  

Zip Conferencing provides high quality, reliable conference calls for less!


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