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InfobITS logo, volume 8, number 1, spring 2002.

 

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Conference Calls Made Easy with the Meridian Integrated Conference Bridge
by Harry Morita

You need to talk to seven people, some are on the neighbor islands, others are on the mainland, and still others are in different countries. How are you going to accomplish this? These types of conference calls are now possible using the UH Manoa phone system and can be made from the comfort of your office. ITS is pleased to announce the Meridian Integrated Conference Bridge, a fully integrated, all-digital, audio conference bridge. This unit is housed in our campus telephone switch and is designed to provide quick access to an in-house conference bridge, thus eliminating the need to contact conference service bureaus. Our conference bridge currently supports 12 ports and will be expanded to 32 ports in the future.

The Conference Bridge offers the following features:

  • Meet-me style conferencing (conferees join the conference at a pre-arranged time)
  • Password protection
  • Entry/Exit voice announcements
  • Chairperson commands
  • Dial-Out capability by chairperson (local calls only)
  • Lock/Unlock conference
  • Forced conferee disconnect
  • Up to 10 simultaneous conference calls

Faculty and staff across the UH system can use the service as long as there is one person from the Manoa campus participating in the conference who will be responsible for the phone charges to the department. To use the conference, a participant dials a pre-assigned phone number, enters a password, and is prompted to "speak their name." A conference can begin or end two minutes before the specified time. Individual participants may leave a conference in progress at any time. Ten minutes before the end of the conference, an announcement alerting the participants that the conference will terminate in 10 minutes is issued. Conferences can be reserved in 15-minute increments from a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 12 hours. The conference call needs to have a minimum of four participants and can currently handle up to 12 participants. In the future, the system will be able to handle up to 32 participants in a conference call.

The Conference Bridge has been in testing over the past six months and will be ready for general use starting April 1, 2002. To introduce the service, we will not be charging for the use of the Conference Bridge during the month of April.

If you have questions or would like to discuss this service, please call Harry Morita of ITS Telecommunications at 956-6080.

 

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Updated: April 10, 2002