The panic of what I am about to do has escalated. Couldn’t sleep and was in my coffeeshop office by 6:20 am. Each time I do something I think how will I be doing this a month from now. I was asked last-minute to join a conference call yesterday. I had to call a phone number – no computer connection option like I have with UberConference. What will I do when this happens in my virtual world?
I brought it up on the call. The business travel savvy group chimed in…”I use Skype to call-in and it’s fairly cheap.” The magic words, “cheap,” because my virtual world is not directly funded by a large global company expense account.
I found even greater comfort and inspiration from a woman who has worked virtually for years, a veteran. Nora Dunn has been “Traveling the world full-time in a financially sustainable way since 2007 “
She had an easy to follow plan with frugal ways to stay in touch on the road. She too recommended Skype.
Thank you for choosing Skype. A representative will be with you shortly. If you are not using Skype for business, please be aware that our representatives can provide information but will not advise you on your purchase decision.
You are now chatting with ‘Virtual Person’
Virtual Person: Thanks for contacting us today, you’re through to a Skype representative. How can I assist you today?
Robin: I am the Managing Partner of a boutique consultancy and will be managing virtually for three months in South America and Central America and then relocating to Prague. (I am blogging about this at The Global Mobile Worker Project).
Virtual Person: Okay
Robin: I want to understand how I can use SKYPE to call in on client conference calls. I will have a monthly subscription
Virtual Person: were you looking for video or audio/phone conferencing?
Robin: both and also I need to have a phone number as I will be discontinuing US cell phone service
Virtual Person: for the audio/phone portion, which country will you make calls to?
Robin: I will be calling from Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Columbia, Panama and Belize – to the US
Virtual Person: okay, then here’s all you need
Virtual Person: 1. Premium (allows the group video/audio conferencing portion) is $9.99/monthly or save 50% off if you go annually, $59.88 ($4.99 x 12 months = $59.88)
Virtual Person: 2. Skype number is $18/3 months or $60/year (only $12/3 months or $30/year with a calling sub)
Robin: Perfect. One final question. Will I be able to call landlines and cell phones from Prague to the US?
Robin: One final final question. There is a team of four – would everyone be able to access the group conferencing features?
Virtual Person: yes, you can
Virtual Person: only one person is allowed to
Robin: Got it. Thanks.
Virtual Person: You’re welcome
Virtual Person: Is that all?
Robin: That’s it. Thanks, you really helped confirm what I thought I knew but wasn’t sure…
Done. I will have a phone number and can call into a conference call via Skype, and video call when I need to emerge from my virtual shadow. And there’s an app for that; Skype Mobile.
There are other options I may explore later. These can be big money-savers with a Wi-Fi connection compared to pricey international cell networks. Johnathan Blum in Entreneur.com likes Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tango‘s app, because it offers a free video phone service. And, I was glad to hear there was an option that emerged from my soon to be new homeland, Czech Republic-based Acrobits‘s Softphone app. The app is designed to work with more company-oriented internet calling technologies and should provide a more professional experience than other services.
Read more: Entrepreneur.com
Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.
UberConference is the bomb! in the meantime I have started joining all my UberConference calls by computer and the HD audio is great. I sound better than my colleagues. It does highlight the value of having Bluetooth in the travel computer I select. (Upcoming blog).
UberConference is thinking ahead for me – they have a way to call in from the virtual world
Now if they only had screensharing.
And where can I get my HTC AMAZE unlocked or should I just unlock my T-Mobile Samsung Walmart special I have kept around for emergencies, like when my daughter’s phone bit the dust? Did I get that charger back?