Lets break this down:
WebEx (saw that mentioned here...) charges for "PC Voice" (yeah, it's voip, but only in that your VOICE is on the internet... there is no quality of service, etc...) - between 0.03 and 0.06 per minute per connected user, and, depending on the version of WebEx, there are limits to how many can join your conference in this way.
WebEx only recently released the ability to Telephony partners to do "hybrid" PC to Telephone bridging. PGI, and I'm sure our competitors in the space, are working on how this best to be implemented.
Now that we're DONE with the webex talk...
Another thing I saw in this thread - Your PRESENTER is the most important person on the call - so WHY would you just throw his/her voice packets out on the internet and hope people get them?
If a listener on PC audio drops a packet, that's fine - the other 200 people probably did not. but if the PRESENTERS audio drops.. .that impacts all 200.... bad meeting experience. But that's just an aside...
Adobe uses the term "Universal Voice" for TWO DIFFERENT (but similar) things.
With Connect 7.5 they introduced the term - Universal Voice.
Universal voice lets you create a "provider" that any user can use (admin level), or, a provider at the user level, that can then create/spawn profiles with specific Dialing Rules.
This "Universal Voice" allowed you to create an audio profile that would 1)Record from the bridge audio line, and 2) broadcast that Audio conference to users listening only on their Computer.
Along comes Connect 8.
Adobe adds a feature that provides/supports full two way / Hybrid PC to Teleconference audio.
Not sure who made the choice, but this too is called "Universal Voice". *sigh*
At PGI, we welcome this new feature - PC Bridged Audio (as we call it for purpose of differentiation...) because it allows our customers the ultimate flexibility.
You see, this new "feature" works with the fully integrated Telephone conferences that you've come to love - the Call Me Back feature, audio controls on the Attendee list, call out to audio only attendee, etc.
So, you can have a meeting and let folks choose to listen by PC, dial into conference, get called by the bridge, etc. You know who's who in the attendee list due to the audio presence features, can mute those pesky callers who put you on HOLD - pumping in Celene Dion music or worse..., and so on.
But Adobe, again their code not PGI, created a small problem (and we're working with our partners at Adobe to resolve this - trust me...)
If this feature is enabled on you account, then EVERY CONFERENCE you have where you "Start Audio Conference" - gets called out to by the Adobe server.
What this means is, you and your friend George are doing a dry run. You start the audio conference and you get called back by the bridge. Adobe calls in to. So, instead of just 2 "audio calls" you're paying for 3. And this happens EVERY TIME you start the audio conference, when this feature is enabled.
What's the UPSIDE?
1 - the recording is pulled directly onto the Adobe server, so there is no waiting for the audio files to merge as there was before
2 - if you have 100 people on PC Audio, well, that's pretty cheap - pay for 1 dial in, get 100??
3 - there is no limit on the number of PC audio attendees, up to the capacity of the meeting license type you're using. So you can have a Seminar Room Meeting, use your PGI "on demand" GlobalMeet audio account, have full integration and "call me back" capabilities, and have 1000 people on the conference - if you choose.... 300 on phones, the rest listening / participating on PC.
What's the Down?
1 - That extra dial in. It exists. Even if you don't want to enable any of the advanced features (recording, broadcast, PC bridged audio, etc;)
2 - Sometimes Adobe does have issues with their "dialout" to our bridges. They've isolated this to one of their providers, and the issues have dropped precipitously in the last 4-5 months, but just like a telephone line can "drop", so can the adobe dial-in. (BUT - You can enable a backup recording with PGI - in the Administrative controls - when this "PC Bridged Audio" is enabled)
Since the debut of this feature we've been after Adobe product management to change the workflow of the dialout to the bridge. This dialout should ONLY happen if/when the HOST chooses "Broadcast Audio" or "Record"... This has been documented and submitted to Adobe for review for quite some time, and our understanding is that they are working on this for an upcoming release. When that happens, it will be a great thing for our customers.
In the interim, because PGI cares about our customers and never wants to be seen as "Padding The Bill", we don't turn this on by default.
Your sales rep should be able to provide you this same "commentary", and request that you agree to the extra dial-in. Because it's an Adobe work flow issue, we can't credit the cost of that extra ghost dialer back, but we can have the full "PC Bridged Audio" capability turned on for any customer who understands and agrees with how this all works.
@tamborine_man -please reach out to your PGI sales team. If you need a walk-through of all the different capabilities discussed here, we'll make that happen.
@hayward - you know how to reach us. Please do so whenever you have the need.