JunctionVox: Teleconference 2.0
JunctionVox!? How could you do this to us? We know that we weren’t always there for you in the way you might have liked, but we thought you were different. We thought you would stay. Now you’re gone, forever.
Conducting business can be a tedious process. You need to communicate with clients and internal teams in order to meet your deliverables. Keeping everyone on the same page is important to make sure expectations are set correctly and that there are no unexpected surprises.
One way to keep everyone informed, is meetings. I once had a manager who called a meeting for every little thing. In that case meetings were an effective invisibility cloak, giving the illusion of productivity while hiding general incompetence. The antics of office work escape my comprehension at times.
A major improvement from having in person meetings is conference calls. Here you send out the dial in information to all parties along with meeting invitations. The first five minutes are always spent waiting for stragglers to dig up the invite and, by our closest approximation, press 146 buttons to access the call. To mute your line each system has a different, un-rememberable code so you can put them on speaker phone and get back to work. Even conference calls are a ritualistic chore that drains our time away.
Fortunately, someone realized that the status quo isn’t always the best way to do things. Somewhere along the way they took a look at their phones and pondered the fact that most normal phone calls involve dialing a phone number and connecting with another person. Why shouldn’t you also be able to dial a number and connect with multiple people, all with the same phone call? Thus, JunctionVox was born.
The way JunctionVox works is by creating a list of people and phone numbers that you’d like to call. These are dubbed Call Groups. Then from a drop down menu you select the phone number you’d like to associate with those numbers. So every time you dial that number all the people are contacted. You can see my first and only necessary Call Group, pictured below. On the receiving end people answer the phone like they normally would, with up to 15 of their best friends also responding at the same time. All the fuss your boss made you go through to dial in and ignore their dull, semi professional sentiments- gone. When meeting time comes, just wait for the phone to ring; this time you can use the mute button on your phone to escape their sluggish onslaught of mediocrity.
Since the JunctionVox people are the thinking type, (aka, disqualified from management), they also included a standard conference call system as well. This is a toll free phone number everybody can dial into and enter the requisite host or participant access codes. One convenient model would be to use the Call Groups for contacting internal teams and conference calls for clients.
Let’s envision one last scenario with the Call Groups. You’re supposed to receive a call from your boss, but you’re in the middle of actually getting some work done. You miss the call. To prevent this situation the system can be set up to text call-in information so you can dial in and (unenergetically), join the call after the fact.
JunctionVox provides a long needed reprieve from the hassle of conference calls. Setting up the call groups and selecting a phone number (you get up to three!), is easy. The only downside is now your manager has an instant way to access everyone on the team. It’s nothing that good use of caller-id can’t fix, which realistically, is the most we could ask for.