Guide To Identity Conferencing

With most audio conferencing services, pairs of host and participant codes are allocated to a business customer account, and the customer assigns those code pairs to individual employees.

Challenged with remembering these codes — often multiple codes for various accounts, departments, etc. — employees find them difficult to manage and frustrating. Confusion and mistakes can lead to serious security compromises within an organization.

ZipDX offers two alternatives to the traditional “codes” approach utilized by the majority of business conferencing services today. These options can be used separately or in combination, resulting in a simpler, less stressful and more secure conferencing experience.

Option #1

Option #1:

For those ZipDX members accustomed to the traditional approach to teleconferencing, it may be easiest to start with ZipDX’s Enhanced Conference Codes. Our terminology is a little different from what users have experienced with other services, but the basic operation will be familiar.

The Account Administrator should follow these steps:

  • At ZipDX.com, click on the Accounts tab, and then select your account.
  • Multiple people can be authorized to ORGANIZE (also HOST) a ZipDX conference. Just add each e-mail address as an “Organizer” in the account. Click SAVE after all the email addresses have been entered.

Then the Organizers can proceed as follows:

  • Each newly designated organizer will receive a ZipDX invitation E-mail and can then follow the easy instructions below to set up conferences right away.
  • Each new organizer should follow the link inside the e-mail to customize a ZipDX profile and select a new PIN. We recommend each member choose a number that is private, but easy to remember. (Hint: Try using your childhood home phone number.)
  • Be sure to keep your PIN confidential; no one else ever needs to know it. If someone else learns your PIN, log in at ZipDX.com and pick a new one.
  • When completing your online profile, fill in your phone numbers in the “dial-in numbers” box on the profile tab. Then, whenever you call in to ZipDX, the system can “auto-identify” you using Caller-ID. If you call in from an unregistered number, ZipDX will NOT automatically recognize you, but will as soon as you enter your PIN.
  • As a ZipDX organizer, you can have multiple 6-digit Conference Codes reserved for your use. When you schedule a conference, you can assign one of your Conference Codes to it. You can also start a conference spontaneously (at any time, over the phone) with one of your Conference Codes.
  • Tell your colleagues to join your conference by dialing into ZipDX and entering your Conference Code. (Remember, don’t give out your PIN; that’s only for you.)
  • You can use different Conference Codes for different purposes. For example, you could use one code for calls with your external suppliers and another for calls with your internal project team.
  • You can customize the conference features associated with each code in the associated Conference Template at ZipDX.com.

You can re-set your Conference Codes at any time to enhance security.

The table below shows several ZipDX sample users and their associated PINs and conference codes:

ID-Conf-Table-1

Our three organizers (hosts) in the chart, Susan, Dave and Alex, can use their conference codes two ways.

1 Schedule a call through ZipDX.com. The Conference Code becomes “active” at the scheduled time, and anybody knowing that code can join the call. ZipDX will call the host at conference time if the host selects this option in their profile.

2 Initiate a conference over the phone. Simply dial in to ZipDX and the system will recognize you (either automatically or by entering your PIN), and start a “spontaneous conference.” Others can then join the call by entering the corresponding Conference Code.

Per the chart above, note that Susan has specified that “anybody” can start her “Project Team” meeting. This means that ANYBODY can access ZipDX and enter code 404404. A conference call will be started (if there is not already one in progress) and everyone else who enters that code will join the bridge. However, this set-up is subject to abuse, because anybody that knows or guesses the code will be able to use the bridge, and all charges will be billed to Susan’s account.

Option #2

Option #2:

Identity-based conferencing is ZipDX’s specialty. It is one of the features that sets our service apart . This is especially useful for groups of people with which you conference frequently. It is convenient and more secure.

  • The account administrator should follow the same steps as option #1 to authorize one or more organizers within a company. ZipDX will send an e-mail to each new organizer, inviting them to complete their registration.
  • Every ZipDX organizer follows the same initial steps (as option #1) to select a PIN and complete a member profile.
  • To enter the email addresses of conference participants, schedule the call and enter participant email addresses at ZipDX.com. Or use an online calendaring program, such as Outlook or Notes. Just include meeting@cal.zipdx.com in your meeting invitation.
  • No matter how you enter participants’ details, ZipDX will generate an introductory email to each person and will assign a temporary PIN if they don’t already have one.
  • TIP: If you know one or more phone numbers for your participants, you can PRE-REGISTER them before sending your invitation. This way, ZipDX can call them at meeting time (or they can dial in and be recognized) without them having to set it up for themselves.
  • Some key advantages to inviting via e-mail address:
    • Eliminates the need to keep track of different codes for different conferences.
    • Provides increased call security; only the invited people can access the calls.
    • If a user chooses, no codes are needed; ZipDX’s caller ID can recognize participants with pre-registered phone numbers when they dial in.
    • In registration, participants can configure “call-me numbers.” With this, ZipDX will call them automatically at conference time. Your conference is much more likely to start on time when participants use this feature.
    • Participants will be able to access an online conference dashboard (unless you specifically disable this feature).
    • Participants will be able to participate in WebSharing sessions (once you start the session).
    • Participants will not have to re-record their name each time they connect to ZipDX; the name recording will be “remembered” with the rest of their personal settings.
    • Participants will be properly identified by name in the online displays you see as the organizer. You will also see their names and email addresses in the conference call summaries.
  • You can always see a list of pending (future) conferences at ZipDX.com. Both the conferences you are hosting, and the ones to which you have been invited as a participant will be listed. As the organizer, you can modify the participant list at any time.
  • If you scheduled your conference via an electronic calendar program, you can add or remove participants using that same program. Just be sure, when sending updates that you specify that your update be sent to ALL participants — that way ZipDX can learn about your changes and make the necessary modifications to its database.

This chart shows several ZipDX calls:

ID-Conf-Table-2
Susan has two meetings planned. Ed and Joe are the only ones invited to the 2 PM meeting; no one else will be able to join that call. Susan, Ed and Joe will dial in and be recognized automatically, or they can use their individual PINs. Or, ZipDX will call them in advance of the call, if they have enabled this feature in their profiles. Each individual gets to choose.

Dave also has a call scheduled at 2 PM, with Harv and June. They will be in a separate ‘virtual’ conference room, and there will be no conflict with Susan’s 2 PM call.

Bill is invited to Susan’s 3 PM meeting. What if he dials in to ZipDX at 2:55, while Susan is still talking to Ed and Joe? Because Bill is invited to a different conference, he will be placed in a separate conference bridge, where he can wait for Alex and Susan. Bill will not interrupt Susan’s other conference.

Alex is invited to Susan’s 3 PM call, and is also hosting his own call at 3 PM. When he dials in and is identified, ZipDX will announce BOTH meetings to him, and he can choose the one he wants to join.

Note that Alex has assigned a conference code, 456456, to the 3 PM meeting he is hosting. This means that he, Phil, and Sam will be able to join that conference, and so will anyone else who enters the code 456456.

Options for Using ZipDX from Conference Room Phones

Frequently, several people will gather in a (physical) conference room to join a call. You can use a conference code and have the group dial in to ZipDX and enter the code. But if you use Identity Conferencing, ZipDX gives you a couple of additional choices:

1) Invite all of your participants, including those who will be in the conference room, by e-mail address. At conference time, one of them will simply call into ZipDX from the conference room, and enter their own PIN to be automatically placed into the bridge.

2) Set up a new e-mail address for the conference rooms in your office (confroom@myco.com, or conf1@myco.com, conf2@myco.com, etc.). “Register” these conference rooms at ZipDX.com, like you would a person. If the conference room speakerphone has its own phone number, fill that in as a “dial-in number” and even as a “call-me number.” Then, when planning a conference in a specific room, include the appropriate e-mail address in your participant list. At conference time, anybody can call into ZipDX from the conference room phone; the room will be recognized and the bridge will automatically be connected. Or, if you’ve selected it, ZipDX will call the conference room.

Some things to know about the ZipDX Call-Me Feature

You can elect to have ZipDX call you for scheduled meetings. To enable this feature, fill in one or more “call-me numbers” in your ZipDX Profile. Use the drop-down boxes to turn on the call-me feature when you are the host, and/or to turn it on when you are a participant.

ZipDX will call you at the number(s) you list according to your specifications. It will call about 2 minutes before the scheduled start time.

If you list more than one number, ZipDX will dial all of them simultaneously. When you answer, you’ll hear a brief announcement. Press “1” to acknowledge and be connected to your call. Once you do this, the other ringing phones will stop. Requiring that you press “1” prevents voice mail from becoming part of a ZipDX conference.

You’ll briefly hear details of your conference, and after a few seconds, you’ll be placed directly into the bridge. If you are scheduled for more than one conference at the same time, ZipDX will list all of them, and give you the opportunity to choose which one you want to join.

If you do not answer any of your phones, ZipDX will wait three minutes and call you again. If you still don’t answer, ZipDX will give up and wait for you to dial in.

If you don’t want to join the conference when ZipDX calls, you can answer, press “1”, and then hang up. This will stop the ZipDX calls, and you’ll still be able to dial in later, if you wish.

When ZipDX calls, the Caller-ID will be 888-ZipDX-88. If you don’t immediately take the call, all you need to do when you are ready to join the bridge is press SEND or TALK, and you’ll go right into the conference.

Tips for getting the most out of ZipDX conferencing

Your 7-digit PIN is used to identify only you; it should not be shared with others.

Whenever you access ZipDX and the system does not automatically recognize you, identify yourself with your PIN. This is especially true if you are HOSTING a conference call.

Once you have been identified, ZipDX will announce the conference(s) to which you are invited. If there is more than one, you can choose which one you want to join.

If you dial in to ZipDX and it recognizes you incorrectly (perhaps you are calling from somebody else’s phone), press *3 to log out as that user, and then log in with your PIN.

Conferences using a conference code are less secure than those with no code that list participants individually by e-mail address.

You can use your PIN to access the same conference from two phones simultaneously, but you will hear a warning on each phone when this occurs. For example, you can join a conference initially on your mobile phone, and then dial in from your desk phone when you get to your office.