About Conference Phones

Concordia University has a special speaker phone that can be used for conference calls. In addition to this, the Cisco IP Phone at your desk also shares some basic conference features. The instructions for that are found here. A conference call can be arranged two different ways: one, where the attendees of the call dial in to the conference phone number (this is only acceptable on a special conference specific phone) or two, the attendees are called from the conference phone. In either instance, once all the desired lines are connected and on hold, whoever is managing the conference then uses their phone to join the lines together.


Using Desk Phones

Although the official conference phone is generally preferred for larger meetings (the speakers are better), the Cisco desk phones are all capable of the same essential functions, and are perfectly fine for smaller spaces. You can also use either the conference phone or your desk phone for inter-departmental calls using 4 digit office extensions, or a mix of inside and outside numbers. Only interested in using your desk phone? Click here to skip ahead.


Using the Conference Phone

If you do plan on using the conference phone, you first need to confirm that there is an active port in the room you plan to use. You can do this by specifying the room in your equipment reservation, which can be made here. Once that is done and you have picked up the conference phone, use the instructions below to find out how to use the phone:

1. To turn on the phone, simply plug it into the data port in your conference space. The phone will take 10-30 seconds or so to power on, at which point it will look just like your desk phone, with a number pad, soft buttons, navigation buttons, and call/end-call buttons.
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Now that the phone is up an running, you can use one of the many options for holding a conference call. Review the information below to find out how.



Attendees Dialed In

There are two options for having attendees dial in.

Option One

1. Dial your first number, and connect. Hit the soft button below Hold to place that line on hold.
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2. With your first call on hold, hit the soft button below New Call.
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3. Dial your second number and connect, then put them on hold as well. This can be done for as many lines as you need to conference in.

4. Click the soft button below more to open an extended menu.
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5. You will see two more menu options: Select and Join. Use the navigation buttons to check every phone line except the first. When you get to the first line, click Join to link all the calls together.
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6. All lines will converge together and will read as one line: To Conference.
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Option Two

Below are instructions for an alternative way to hold a conference call. This method also works on a Cisco IP Phone that an employee would have in their office.

1. Call your first number, and put them on hold.

2. Use the soft button to select more.

3. Select Confrn. for Conference, then dial your second number.
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4. Once your second call connects, use the soft buttons to select Confrn again to join the two calls.
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Attendees Calling In

Another way to hold a conference call is to have the attendees of the conference call in to the conference number. The conference phone available for checkout from the Tech Center has a specific number and can be used in such a way. There are other dedicated conference phones on campus and though the number to dial in to is different, the process for connecting calls is the same.

1. The number for dialing in to the conference phone is 503-493-6450.

2. When your first caller dials in, answer, then use the soft buttons to put the line on Hold.
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3. When your second caller dials in, use the soft buttons to Answer.
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4. Both calls will appear on the phone screen as connected. Put the second caller on hold as well.

5. To join them, click the soft button below more to open an extended menu.
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6. You will see two more menu options: Select and Join. Use the navigation buttons to check every phone line except the first. When you get to the first line, click Join to link all the calls together.
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7. All lines will converge together and will read as one line: To Conference.
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Ending the call

Ending a conference call has a few considerations. Unlike a single user to user call, simply hitting the End Call with the soft buttons will only hang up your line. It will leave the rest of your users still in a conference until they each hang up as well. On the special conference phone, you can end the whole call by hitting the red "Hang Up" button, or, you can just hang up your individual line by choosing End Call.


Updated by Steven Quirk 10/22/13