Archives - February, 2010

12 Feb 10

Unnecessary headaches and productivity losses. You get what you pay for.

By Michael T. McKibben, Founder & Chairman, Leader Technologies®

A large audio conferencing vendor is currently attempting to lure prospects to their services with pricing that seems too good to be true. In this case the maxim holds true: “If it seems too good to be true, it is!”

How can an audio conferencing user evaluate such offers? Here are a few tips.

Radical departures from traditional pricing usually occur for the following reasons:

  1. the vendor has a technological edge that dramatically lowers its costs to deliver the product,
  2. the vendor is attempting to lure prospects into contracts with promises they cannot keep,
  3. the vendor is hiding your true costs in a maze of add-on charges,
  4. the vendor is giving away one service in the hopes of selling you something else,
  5. the vendor has depreciated their old equipment and is milking the last minutes out of them before having to buy new equipment and raise prices, sell out, or simply close up shop,
  6. the vendor is preparing to sell the company and wants to show your contract on their books to boost valuation (read: they let their purchaser worry about keep the false promises they make), or
  7. some combination of Nos. 2 through 6.

A large vendor in our market is currently pushing unbelievably cheap minutes and promising a set of services that they (a) cannot keep, (b) do poorly, and (c) have slapped together so that they avoid truth in advertising violations. For example, they offer a record feature. However, what they fail to tell you is that the feature was cobbled together with super glue and duct tape and the feature set up is so convoluted that it takes 6 steps to accomplish. The set up fails more than half the time. When you are attempting to record a conference with 200 participants, that can be an expensive and frustrating failure. This story was told to us recently by a state government telecom director who was cursing the day he chose them as the “low bid”.

This vendor also fails to tell you that when you have a conference call for more than 15 participants, you MUST pay for an operator to be on the line for every 15 participants. In other words, even though you will pay their unbelievably-cheap per minute price for the participants, you will pay high prices for each operator on the call. When you do the math, the unbelievably-cheap per minute price suddenly gets very expensive.

Leader Phone® uses true technological innovation in its platform (No. 1) and the price is economical; allowing us to support customers professionally and properly, without excuses. With Leader Phone® there are no hidden charges and you don’t need operators on large calls if you don’t want them.

Being forewarned is forearmed. Avoid the cheap-price sirens luring you to rocky shores. Choose Leader Phone® Pro and join 21st century innovation! Click here to learn more.

11 Feb 10

Don’t be fooled: Productivity is more than finding the cheapest audio conferencing minutes

By Michael T. McKibben, Founder & Chairman, Leader Technologies®


Audio conferencing is an overlooked business productivity subject with potentially huge ramifications on profitability. Historically users only had one choice, so there were no alternatives to study. AT&T ran audio conferencing out of its call centers and you paid a dollar a minute for the privilege. Consequently, only large companies used the services. A decade ago several vendors built conferencing “boxes” that the telecos implemented that at least meant users could start calls without being forced to use expensive operators. Today, those box have been depreciated and we now see several dozen vendors offering cheap minutes… at least cheap until their technology boxes die and they will need to reinvest. With these boxes, you still have few options and have the added complexity of crazy billing practices to mask hidden charges. Studying productivity enhancement possibilities in this second wave of un-innovation was equally not a useful exercise.

Until Leader Phone® Pro there has been little innovation in audio conferencing technology, few features, and therefore, no reason to study productivity improvement options. However, the Leader Phone® features offer an array of productivity tools that can make your team meetings more efficient and effective because your people costs are generally your number one expense. Therefore, any time you can shave 10, 20, 30 minutes off a conference call involving 20 people, you can create enormous people-cost savings.

For example, how many times have you had people on a conference call and you had to sit their for ten minutes waiting for stragglers before starting the conversation? Leader Phone® Pro Star*1 can eliminate that wait. The host simply has to press *1 on his/her keypad, then the phone number of the straggler. While the conference has started, the system calls the straggler. No more waiting (and wasting valuable personnel time). With conventional conferencing, the on-time participants simply had to wait until the host went off line, called the straggler, and the host then came back on the call and everyone waited for the straggler to dial in. Very unproductive. The productivity improvements numbers can be mind boggling. Click here to read more about Leader Phone® productivity features and benefits.