It’s a funny thing how an innocent statement at one time can become a misleading false statment in the future, as the technology context changes. A perfect example of this is the notion of how many lines are offered by a conference call service. Conference providers are throwing out statements about how many “dedicated lines” they offer as a part of their packages. But what does a dedicated line actually mean? That is the crux of the matter…
In the days of old (e.g. 2012) a company could say “dedicated lines” and it was sort of true.. You were given an access line to dial in some random area code, and given a pin number. If you dialed this number and your pin, you then had your “dedicated line.” But is it a stretch to say that the combination of a phone number shared by hundreds of companies, combined with your unique PIN code, yeilds a “dedicated line”? Probably. But noone was offering anything better, so in a sense you were truly getting the “most dedicated line on the market.” But times have changed!
What is a dedicated line today? It’s a phone number that is yours, for your company, your department, or even your group of friends. The number is not anyone else’s. It’s not shared. This is what everyone gets that is a customer of Branded Bridge Line. Some customers print their conference line on their business cards. It’s truly a part of their brand– in their own area code, representing their locale. There is much more that can be said about the degree of branding possible on a conference line, but let’s stick to the matter at hand: Dedicated lines. So given what you now know about what a dedicated line is, is it honest to say that the case described first is dedicated? Dedicated as opposed to what?
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A quick search of google for “dedicated conference lines” will help illustrate the point. At the time of writing, the top results included ConferenceCalling.com, Intercall, Instantconference and Freeconferencecall.com. A review of their sites indicate that they’re all only dedicated in the sense of having unique PINS, and lines dedicated to the cause of conferencing– but not your brand!
It’s likely that these providers aren’t trying to deliberately mislead their potential customers.. It’s just that the scene was different a while back, and you couldn’t easily get your own totally-yours-noone-else’s conference line. But the game has changed. You might say we’ve upleveled the status quo.