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How to: Teleconferencing

 

Overview of teleconferencing

You can use Chorus to talk to multiple people in two ways:

1. You can dial more than one person at once, or add another person into an existing call. This is known as an Ad hoc conference. In this people, all people who answer the phone are connected to the same phone call.

2. You can generate a unique PIN that can be used by participants to dial in to a conference at a prearranged time. This is known as a Persistent or Scheduled Conference and can be used to replace BT conferencing and other telephone conference systems that are in use. This method would be used for if you want to set up a meeting and have people from other locations dial into it. Once created, the PIN for a persistent conference does not expire, so it can be used more than once.  You do not need to add all the participants to the conference, as long as people know the number to dial (01865 289000).

If you have a Polycom phone, set up a conference in advance and dial into the conference from the Polycom phone.  You do not need to add the Polycom phone to the conference.

If you have a number of conference phones, set up a persitent conference for each one and then the details for that conference can be kept with the phone.

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Dialling multiple people / Ad hoc conference

1. Hover over the name of the person you would like to dial (from a directory search, contact list, call history) in the web portal.

2. Click on  from the buttons that appear.

This will add that person to the action bar at the top of screen.

3. Repeat until you have selected all the people you wish to dial.

4. Click on the Call button to the right of the action bar to dial.

To close the action bar:

1. Click on the x to the top right of the action bar.

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Creating a conference

Setting up a conference generates a unique PIN. Attendees use this PIN along with the conference bridge number 01865 289000 to dial in at a prearranged time.  You can also schedule a conference which will start the conference at that time and also automatically call anyone who is set as a call out participant.

NB: A conference bridge is functionality that links multiple calls together. The Chorus conference bridge number is 01865 289000, and the PIN then determines which calls are linked together into one conference.

1. In the web portal, click on the ‘Conference tab’ on the left side of the screen.

2. Click on the + to set up a new persistent conference.

3. Give the conference a title.
    TIP: Attendees will hear this title when they dial into the conference.
    Your choice of title may depend on whether you intend for this to be a specific one-off conference or for general conferences.  
    You can create multiple persistent conferences (each with their own unique PIN) if you would like to use different conference names.

4. Tick ‘This conference is moderated’ for a moderated conference, or leave unticked for an unmoderated conference (see below).

5. Tick 'Set time for conference' if you want it scheduled, and pick a date and time.

6. Click on the Save button at the top right hand of the screen.

7. The conference will now appear in your conference list and will show the details, including the PIN, that people will use to dial in:

8. You will also receive an email with the log in details. 

9. You can now send these details – the bridge number and the PIN – to the people you want to dial into the teleconference along with the meeting invitation. The PIN is unique and does not expire until you delete the conference from your list. You can therefore consider this your personal teleconference bridge and use it for future conferences that you wish to run.

10. If you want people to be called, rather than that they call in, add them as participants and change them to being Call out rather than Call in.

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Moderated or unmoderated?

A persistent conference can be moderated or unmoderated:

  • A moderated conference will not start until the moderator dials in (using their Chorus number), and will end thirty seconds after the moderator leaves. Anyone dialling in before the moderator will hear a holding message and music until the moderator is connected. Use this option to make sure the conversation only happens when the moderator has dialled in. 
  • An unmoderated conference will start as soon as the first person dials in with the appropriate PIN and will end when the last person hangs up. Use this option if the moderator is dialling in from a meeting room (and not from their Chorus number).

The default moderator of a moderated persistent conference is the conference creator. If the creator is not planning to dial into the conference (for example, when setting up a conference on behalf of someone else), another person can be added as a moderator (see below).

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Adding further moderators

You may want to do this if you are creating a conference on behalf of someone else but do not intend to dial in yourself. This will allow the conference to start when the designated moderator dials in.  To do this:

1. Click on ‘Add new participant.

2. Add the person who will be a moderator.

3. Hover over their name and then click on the moderator check box that appears.
TIP: If this does not appear, make sure the ‘This conference is moderated’ check box is ticked.

4. Click on save.
They will receive an email to say that they have been invited to a conference.
The conference will also appear in their persistent conference list for their information.

Note:  If you add them as 'Call out' participants, then their phone will be called whenever a conference is initiated.

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Initiating / entering a moderated conference session

A moderated conference will start when the moderator dials in from their Chorus number. Anyone dialling in before the moderator will hear a holding message and music.

1. Dial the conference bridge number 01865 289000.

2. When prompted, enter the PIN followed by #.

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Initiating / entering an unmoderated conference session

An unmoderated conference starts as soon as anyone dials in with the bridge number and PIN. They will only hear the holding message and music until the second person joins in (Enter '*9' to silence music).

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Conference controls

Once you are in the conference there will be a number of conference controls available for use on the Action Bar. The left-hand side of the Action Bar will display the number of moderators and participants and how many are present in the conference. As a moderator you will have access to the three options circled below:

  • Click the microphone icon  to mute your microphone
  • Click the Web Collaboration icon  to start a Web Collaboration
  • Click the speaker icon  to mute all participants’ microphones

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Ending a conference session

A moderated conference will end thirty seconds after the moderator leaves. Other attendees will hear a voice prompt to tell them of this.

An unmoderated conference will end when the last person hangs up.

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Delete a conference

To delete a persistent conference:

1. Hover over the conference entry until an ‘x’ appears on the left-hand side.

2. Click the ‘x’ to delete the entry.

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Adding participants to a conference at set up (optional)

The instructions given above describe how to set up an ‘empty’ conference and circulate the telephone number and PIN in order for participants to dial in. This is the simplest way to set up a persistent conference.

Alternatively, at the time of setting up (or editing a conference), you can add participants. Doing this will:

  • Send an email to all added participants with the telephone number and PIN for the conference.
  • Add the persistent conference to the conference tab for each participant, which they can then use to dial into the conference.
  • Allow you set some or all of the participants as ‘Call out’ participants, meaning they will be called when the conference is initiated. 

To add a participant:

1. Click on ‘Add new participant.

2. Locate the person in the list of contacts that appears or by typing their name into the search box.

3. Hover over their name and click on the  button that appears. Their name will appear at the top of the window. 

4. Repeat for each person you wish to add.

5. Click on Done. The names will be added to the list of participants.

Call In / Call Out participants

For each participant, select Call in or Call out from the drop down box.

a. Call in – This is the default setting. Participants set to Call in need to dial the telephone number and bridge number in order to join the conference.

b. Call out  - Participants set to Call out will be dialled when the conference is initiated. When they answer the phone, they will hear a message inviting them to the conference, and with a choice to accept or decline. If they miss the call, they can use the telephone number and bridge to dial in manually.

Click Save

The participants will receive an email to say that they have been invited to a conference. The conference will also appear in their conference list for their information.

 

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Initiating a conference from a meeting room

If the person who would be the moderator of the meeting intends to dial in from a different number, such as a meeting room:

1. Make sure the conference is not set as moderated (leave the ‘This conference is moderated’ box unticked).

2. Dial into the conference using the meeting room phone.

For small numbers of people in a meeting room, the speakerphone function of the phone should prove sufficient. Otherwise, Polycom devices are available to purchase.

Alternative Method

There is an alternative method of joining a meeting room phone to a conference. 

If a speakerphone needs to participate in a conference, then add the speakerphone to the conference in the web portal, and mark it as 'call out'.  Initiate the conference by phoning into the Conference Bridge number (01865 289000) using a different telephone and entering the conference PIN.  The conference bridge will then phone the speakerphone and automatically join it to the conference.

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View Conference Details and Contact Options

Whilst on a conference, you can see details of who is on the conference and also communicate with them in different ways.

To view all the participants:

1. Click on ‘Show Details’ on the right-hand side of the Action Bar.

2. This will expand the action bar and display all the participants.

3. Hover over participant picture frames to view whether or not they are currently in the conference.

4. To communicate separately with a participant, click on their picture frame. A contact options menu will appear.

    a) If the participant is not present the options will appear as below:

  • Chat: Will allow you to send an Instant Message to the participant
  • Redial: Will redial the participant so that they can join the conference

b. If the participant is present the options will appear as below:

  • Chat: Will allow you to send an Instant Message to the participant
  • E-Mail: Creates a New Email in Outlook to the participant
  • Mute: Mutes the participant’s microphone
  • Disconnect: Disconnects the participant from the conference
  • Add as moderator: Gives the participant moderator rights in the conference

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Communication Options

Clicking the   button will give you the communication options as below:

Chat with Group: Creates an Instant Message to all the participants

E-Mail: Creates a New Email in Outlook to all the participants

Drop conference: Ends the conference instantly

Lock conference: Prevents participants from joining the conference if they have not already done so

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 26 June 2018