Welcome to Cogeco's Hosted PBX Audio Conferencing service. You now have the latest technology to connect your business to your colleagues, partners and customers. This handy guide will show you how to seamlessly and quickly set up your conference calls. We'll also cover such features as accessing the Web Interface, managing ongoing calls, and recording calls and sharing them with your colleagues. There's also a Quick Key Reference at the end. Let's get started.
To start a conference, dial the access telephone number for the Conferencing service.
If your telephone does not have a # key, you can still use the interface. After entering the code or recording your name, simply wait for a few seconds until the interface responds with the next prompt. The interface allows you 30 seconds to enter the moderator code, and 10 seconds to record your name.
If you do not dial the moderator code correctly within 30 seconds, you will hear an error message stating that the conference is not scheduled for this time, and you are prompted to redial the code. You have a total of three attempts to dial it; if you do not provide a valid code on the third attempt, your call will be dropped and you will need to dial the access telephone number again.
If there is already an active conference that was started using your moderator code, the error message informs you that the conference has already started. This may indicate that an unauthorized user is using your moderator code; this can occur if you have provided the moderator code instead of the participant code by mistake. To check this, use the Web interface, or join the conference using the participant code.
The announcement saying "conference code is not scheduled" normally indicates that you have dialed an incorrect code, as above. However, it may also indicate one of the following.
When you have successfully logged in using the moderator code, you may hear an announcement that one or more conference recordings (stored from your earlier conferences) will soon be automatically deleted. You can check these using the Moderator Web Interface as described in section 2.5 and download them to your local computer if you need to store them for future reference.
At this point you are in the conference, and can start to manage it using the functions described in the remainder of this chapter. If no participants have already dialed into the conference, you hear on-hold music if you have configured the Conferencing application to use it, as described in section 2.6, Options (either the music that you have uploaded for use in your conferences, or the default on-hold music for the server). If you have not configured this function, you hear silence.
When the first participant dials in, the on-hold music stops. Depending on the conference options that have been enabled, you may then hear a series of tones announcing the new participant, which may be followed by an announcement of the participant's name.
If one or more participants have already dialed into the conference before you, you do not hear on-hold music. Instead, you will be connected directly into the conference. You may hear the joining tones and your own recorded name before being connected if these options are enabled. For more information, see section 2.6, Options.
This section explains how to use the Moderator Web Interface to set up and manage conferences.
To access the web interface, you will need the following information.
You will need both of these codes to log in. Start your web browser and enter the web address in the address bar. You may see one or more security dialogs; choose OK or Yes to accept these.
You should then see the web interface logon window, which asks you for the participant and moderator codes.
Type the two codes in the appropriate edit boxes, then click the Log On button.
When you have logged on successfully, a list of options for managing conferences appears on the left-hand side of the screen.
When you first come into the interface, the Current Call option is selected. This option allows you to manage a conference, as described in the following section.
The Current Call window allows you to manage a conference. If this window is not already shown on the screen, click on the Current Call button to display it.
If you have not yet started a conference, the screen shows the message "There is no conference at this time".
When more participants join the conference, the window appears as shown in Figure 3.
The panel at the top right provides information about the current conference. To the left of this are two buttons to control recording and locking the conference, which are described later in this section.
Each participant in the conference is represented by a panel with a telephone number at the top, as shown in 3.
The panel corresponding to each participant shows the participant's name, if the Conferencing server can determine it. This is taken from a directory entry matching the calling number, if there is one. Otherwise it is taken from the caller name that the server received when this participant dialed in.
If there is no name displayed or it is not correct, you can change it. Click on the name, or in the blank space below the word "Name" if no name is displayed, and type in the correct details.
When you move away from the participant panel and click on another part of the Current Call window, the new name that you have entered is saved in a directory entry. This means that the updated information is available for future conferences: anyone who dials in to a later conference using this calling number will be identified by this name, in both the Current Call window and the Conference History lists.
Depending on the purpose of the conference, you may want to set up the conference so that all participants can talk in the conference at any time, or you may be the only speaker in all or part of the conference. If you are the only speaker and do not need to allow other participants to speak in the conference, you may want to mute a participant's phone to prevent background noise picked up by this phone from being played into the conference.
If a participant whose phone is muted wants to speak, he or she can indicate a request to speak using the telephone interface. You then see an exclamation point over the "person" icon for this participant.
You can control the volume level for each conference participant individually, so that the different speakers are balanced in the conference. You may need to do this if one or more participants are calling in over poor-quality lines and other participants are having difficulty hearing them.
In the panel for each participant, the gain control appears as a set of seven vertical bars, with a number of these coloured green to indicate the gain being applied to the incoming sound level. For example, one green bar (with the remaining six coloured black) means that this participant's sound is turned down low, and five green bars (with the remaining two coloured black) means that the sound is turned up just above a medium setting.
To change the volume level for a participant, click on the bar representing the level that you want.
To start a recording of the conference, click on the Record button in the moderator controls. If your service provider has not permitted you to record conferences, this button has no effect.
An announcement may be played into the conference each time you start or stop recording, to inform the participants that the conference is being recorded.
If you are the only participant in the conference and so on-hold music is playing, the music stops when you click on the Record button to start recording. This allows you to record introductory information about the conference (for example the date of the meeting, its purpose, and the expected participants) before the other participants have joined.
To stop recording, click on the Record button again. The recording is saved on the server. You can download it later, either to listen to it or to save it to your local computer, Recordings, for more details.
To lock the conference so that no further participants can join it, click on the Lock button in the moderator controls at the top of the window. You may want to do this if you want to restrict the number of participants on a first come, first served basis.
If you lock the conference and then perform a soft exit, you will still be able to join it by dialing in as the moderator. However, nobody will be able to join it as a participant.
To unlock the conference so that further participants can join it, click on the Lock button again.
You may need to remove a participant from the conference, for example if he or she has obtained the participant code without your permission and is not authorized to be in the conference. To do this, click on the Drop button in the panel corresponding to that participant.
You are prompted with a Yes / No pop-up to confirm or cancel removing the participant. If you choose Yes, the participant hears an announcement that the moderator has removed him or her from the conference, and the participant's telephone call into the conference ends. The panel representing this participant disappears from the Current Call window.
The Directory window allows you to manage the names that were stored for conference participants in the Current Call window for a past conference. These names are stored for future use, so that anyone who dials in to a later conference using the same calling number will be identified by this name, in both the Current Call window and the Conference History lists.
Click on the Directory button to display this window.
When you edit the name of a conference participant in the Current Call window, the name that you specify is associated with the participant's telephone number and stored in a directory entry.
The Directory window allows you to manage these entries while you are not in the conference. The list of existing directory entries is shown at the bottom of the window.
The History window allows you to view a list of past conferences that you have managed. Click on the History button to display this window.
For each conference, the following information is displayed.
To see more information about who took part in the conference, or about rejected participants, click on the number in the Max Participants or Rejected Participants column. The screen shows the following information for each participant:
If one or more participants withheld their telephone number when dialing in, there will be a single entry "ID withheld" in the list of participants. If two or more participants dialed in using the same telephone number, there will be only one entry for this number.
The Recordings window allows you to view & manage conference recordings you have made.
Click on the Recordings button to display this window.
The screen shows the start time and duration of each recording. It may also display a message to inform you that one or more of your conference recordings will be automatically deleted after a specified time. You can download these recordings to your local computer if you need to store them for future reference.
The Options window allows you to view and manage options that control how your conferences operate. Click on the Options button to display this window.
The Log Off button ends your use of the web interface. Click on this button when you have finished using the interface. If there is a conference in progress, logging off does not end the conference. You can continue to manage the conference using the Telephone Admin Interface, or log on again to continue using the web interface.
This chapter describes how a participant accesses and uses Conferencing. It describes the telephone interface as it appears to the participant, so references to "you" in this chapter indicate a participant and not a moderator.
The Conferencing Telephone Interface allows you to access conferences using your telephone. You join a conference by dialing into this interface and identifying yourself by dialing a participant code.
To access the Telephone Interface, you will need the following information, which your conference moderator should give to you.
If the conference account is permitted to use HD audio, and if you have compatible phone hardware, you will benefit from greatly increased audio quality across all aspects of the service: when listening to other HD participants, prompts, announcements, greetings and on-hold music. If you are in a conference with a mixture of HD participants and non-HD participants, you will only hear other HD participants in high-definition, while you will hear non-HD participants in standard quality.
To join a conference, dial the access telephone number for the Conferencing service.
If your telephone does not have a # (pound/hash) key, you can still use the interface. After entering the code or recording your name, simply wait for a few seconds until the interface responds with the next prompt. The interface allows you 30 seconds to enter the participant code, and 10 seconds to record your name.
After dialing your participant code, you may hear a message indicating one of the following:
When you have successfully joined the conference, you may hear a greeting message recorded by the conference moderator. After this, if the conference has not yet started, you hear on-hold music if the moderator has configured the conference to use it, or silence otherwise.
The conference typically starts when the moderator dials in. The on-hold music will stop and you’ll hear a series of tones announcing the start of the conference; depending on the configuration, this may be followed by an announcement of the moderator's name. (In some cases, the conference can start as soon as two participants have dialed in, even if the moderator has not yet joined, but the conference starts in the same way.)
You can then start to take part in the conference, and to use the functions described in the remainder of this chapter.
If the conference has already started when you join it, you do not hear on-hold music. Instead, depending on the conference options that have been enabled, you may hear any of the following.
If none of these options are enabled, you will just be connected directly to the conference.
Figure 8 provides an overview of the telephone interface.
Depending on the purpose of the conference, your conference moderator may set up the conference so that participants can talk in the conference at any time (for example in a discussion meeting), or may mute participants' phones so that normally only the moderator can talk in the conference (for example in a lecture or presentation). If the moderator mutes your phone, you hear an announcement to indicate this.
If the moderator has muted your phone and you want to talk, press *9 on your telephone keypad. This alerts the moderator, who can then unmute your phone to allow you to talk in the conference. Again, you hear an announcement to indicate this.
In addition to the moderator's control of your phone as described in the previous section, you can also mute your own phone so that no sound is played into the conference. You may want to do this while you talk privately to someone in the room. To do this, press *2.
To unmute your phone so that you can resume talking in the conference, press *2 again.
Depending on how the conference is set up, or on actions taken by the moderator, you may hear one or more of the following announcements when the conference starts or while it is in progress.
Leaving and Returning to the Conference
To leave the conference, simply hang up the phone. If the conference is set up to announce participants joining and leaving, an announcement will be played to the remaining participants, indicating that you have left.
If you want to return to the conference while it is still running, dial in again as you did when joining the conference for the first time. If you hear on-hold music or silence when you do this, it generally means that the conference has already ended and you can no longer join it.