The word tele derives from the Greek word, meaning “far off.” Conference refers to a formal meeting where a group gets together to discuss or consult important matters. Thus, a teleconference is a meeting among people in different locations. Many Denver translation services companies report that this form of conference is quickly gaining favor as a means of interpreting costs for companies needing translation services. In fact, ARCO projects a $60 million annual savings in travel costs by using teleconferences.
Methods for holding conferences
A number of conferencing methods are lumped under the term “teleconference.” Most providers of Spanish translation in Dallas claim that the oldest and best-known method is the telephone conference. Here, usually two-to-four people are connected by phone lines for a conference. Although quite useful, this method has limitations since it does not allow for the face-to face exchange often necessary for business meetings.
A second method involves a group of people meeting via electronic mail links for a computer conference. They establish a prearranged meeting time and hold their conference using computers. Like phone conferences, these are inexpensive, but they lack the immediacy of face-to-face meetings. One major advantage of this method over a telephone conference is that those “attending” the conference have the full resources of their computers at hand. They can therefore call up any necessary data and check figures without having to interrupt the conference. Businesses are using computer conferences increasingly to write reports where information comes from different offices and people at those various locations share responsibility for generating reports.
The tele meeting or Picture Phone Meeting Service developed by AT&T is a third method of holding a teleconference. According to Portland translation services, Aetna, EXXON, Westinghouse, Bechtel, along with other large companies use their own in-house systems. But most companies either use AT&T’s picture phone Meeting Service or an internet based solution. Conference participants gather in specially equipped conference rooms at different sites (usually a maximum of two). The room is equipped with incoming and outgoing camera monitor units. The conferees, wearing individual microphones sit at a table facing a large wall monitor where they view the conference at the other location.
Whenever someone speaks, the camera automatically focusses on that speaker. Other equipment in the conference: room includes: a-hard copy machine for sending or receiving documents during the conference; an easel with its own multipurpose camera for displaying and projecting text, graphics, illustrations, charts, etc.; a video cassette recorder for recording the meeting for future reference; an encryption (code-scrambling) terminal to insure the meeting’s privacy; and an audio add-on telephone that allows people to join the meeting via telephone.