Help Help Me Rondee Schedule a Conference Call - Free Conference Call ServiceYou want to organize a conference call. You want it to be easy as pie. If the conferencing tool you use is going to have bells and whistles, you want them to be transparent to you. You just want the darn thing to work well and help you work well.

Enter Rondee, designed for quick and easy conference call set up, coordination, management and tracking. And it’s free.

According to company CEO Andre Vanier, the real competition to coordinating any conference call is the Reply All feature in email. But with all the back and forth messages from multiple parties, at some point, this solution is no longer productive or manageable. Rondee addresses the email madness of call coordination.

Some features I immediately liked about the site:

You don’t have to register to either initiate a call or participate in the call. Just enter the date and time of the call (with an elegant calendar drag down feature to block out the time), name the call, add a message to partipicants, enter participant emails, and hit Send Now.

You have more features you can use that are still free. You can make the event recurring, opt to receive emails when participants reply, choose to allow participants to invite others, ask to receive a copy of your invitation, and record audio of your Rondee call. Coming soon will be the ability to set up a toll free number for a fee and the ability to import emails from your address book as well as some theme templates to gussy up your call invite.

You can manage your Rondees at a glance. Whether you organize or participate in a Rondee call, you get a page listing both types of calls – both future and past – so you always have a record of all the calls. This feature does require registration

You can personalize your pin. So many conferencing systems send out a random pin number that you have to keep track of and find when you need it. If you’re registered, Rondee let’s you choose the pin of your choice using at leat 5 numbers (not alphanumeric).

You always call in the same number. Not having a different conferencing conference call numbers every time is one less thing to have to remember. (619-2-RONDEE, by the way)

Rondee also has started offering Reservationless Calling for those very last minute or emergency conference calls. While Vanier says this feature isn’t the most used on the site, he feels there are still people who want to coordinate a call the “old fashioned way” instead of using an entirely Web- and email based integrated system. Plus, the competition has them so they needed to complete their suite of conferencing tools. - Call InviteSome things I didn’t like about Rondee:

A bit of confusion early on. When you receive an invitation to participate, it isn’t clear how you are going to get the dial-in number or pin. (Hint: Click Yes and then click Done and you will see it on the subsequent screen). Vanier said this will be made more obvious ASAP.

Rondee may not yet fully support Macs, particularly the latest OS. But they are working toward more Mac compatibility as you read this.

A big surprise for me was hearing that the company has seen their conferencing system used for teleseminars and trainings, utilizing a “Listen In Only” pin so people can participate as an audience while a speaker instructs over the phone. I don’t know why I never thought of conference call systems as potential distance learning tools!

Another interesting use of Rondee? Podcasting! Vanier said some people are embracing their system to record a call, generate the MP3 file from the call and use it as their podcast file.

Rondee will continue to roll out new features based on user feedback. So give Rondee a try and don’t hestitate to give them a piece of your mind. They’ll listen.