Re-imagining your conferencing RFP

01 October 2017

Steve Flavell, co-CEO, LoopUp

Steve Flavell, co-CEO, LoopUp

There’s been a wealth of technology thrown at the conferencing market over the last 20 years. Yet most of us have ignored it all and carried on dialling into calls with numbers and codes.

How can conferencing RFPs be re-imagined to change this stubborn status quo and give more people a better experience when they need to meet remotely?

Ask conferencing users in IT and training departments what they need from a conferencing product, and they’ll come up with a laundry list of job-specific features. Ask pretty much everybody else, and they’ll say they want something simple that works every time without any fuss.

Conferencing RFPs should dispense with a one-size-fits-all approach. A product fit for relatively specialist users will be quite unsuitable for the mainstream majority. They need a product built especially for them – they are the majority after all.

Most companies have implemented comprehensive security policies and are investing considerable sums in security technology. And yet, for some reason, we rarely consider the innate lack of security on basic dial-in conference calls.

Surely it’s time that this was no longer considered acceptable. Conferencing RFPs should stress the need for a solution to fill this security hole and ask for adoption data that show the solution is actually being used.

While ‘dial-in’ remains dominant, it’s hardly surprising that decisions are made primarily on price. After all, one dial-in number and access code is pretty much like any other, so may as well buy the cheapest.

Forward-looking companies are putting a greater premium on user experience. For example: RFPs should ask whether attendees can join meetings by having the meeting call out to them rather than dialling in; whether you’re alerted when your first guest joins; and whether you always know who’s on your meeting and who’s speaking. And better still, make shortlisted vendors participate in an end user pilot.