Audioconferencing Services at Northwestern

Northwestern faculty and staff may now use Lync 2013 (Lync 2014 for Mac is not yet available) for free audio conferencing. Visit the NUIT Lync 2013 Online User Guide for more information, including training videos, on how to take advantage of this service.

Northwestern offers solutions for conducting telephone conference calls with participants both on, and off campus.  Most conference calls can be achieved by using traditional or IP-based desktop telephones or by requesting a permanent personal 800 number using Global Meet®, an audioconferencing service offered through Premier Global Incorporated (PGI), a preferred Northwestern vendor.

Traditional or IP-Based Telephone Conferencing

Secure, reservationless, self-initiated conference calls can be conducted from an on campus telephone line, at no additional cost using NUIT provided telephone services.  Both traditional and IP-based (powered by Voice over Internet Protocol and Session Initiation Protocol technologies) phone services are equipped with conferencing capabilities. 

Conferencing features, including the number of callers per conference call, vary by telephone type.  User guides are available for all phone sets available at NU.

Three-Way Calling

Conference calls with two numbers or transfer calls to another number can be made through a feature programmed by default with traditional and IP-based phone services.
Using traditional phone services:
  1. Call the first person you wish to have a three-way call with.
  2. Place that person hold on while you quickly press and release the switchook or use the Flash button
  3. Dial the third person for your three-way call.
  4. After the third party answers, quickly press and release the switchhook or press  the Flash button to combine the calls.
Using Nortel IP-based phone services:
  1. Call the first person you wish to have a three-way call with. The Action soft key will be available.
  2. Press the Action soft key to enter the In-Call menu.
  3. Select New Call/Conference to add a caller.
  4. Dial the number of the person you want to add to the call, then press the Send soft key; at this time, you can talk privately to the person you are adding to announce the conference.
  5. Press the Join soft key, then select Conference to merge the calls.

Please note: Instructions for making a three-way conference call using IP-based services are dependent upon the IP phone manufacturer and model.  Additional User Guides and online training videos are available for IP phones available at the University.

Global Meet® Audioconferencing

Northwestern University has established a preferred vendor relationship with PGI to provide an advanced teleconferencing option to the University community, called Global Meet®. Users can request a permanent personal 800 number that can accommodate up to 125 meeting participants per call. 

The cost is based on usage starting at 1.7 cents per minute, per connection for all departments.  Consider sharing connections with one or more call participants for maximum value.  Any incurred charges are the responsibility of the contracting department. 

Important Note: Usage charges begin once meeting participants are connected to the conference, regardless of whether the meeting host as joined the call.  To minimize charges that will occur as participants are waiting for a call to begin, PGI has enabled a feature that will automatically drop a participant from the call after seven minutes if the host has not joined the call within that time.

Visit the University Purchasing Services Web site to learn more about this PGI Conferencing Service and ordering requirements.

Additional Information

Support Contacts

Support Contact:

Purchasing Resource Services
For all questions related to the Global Meet Audioconferencing Service
Phone: 847-491-8120
E-mail: purchasing@northwestern.edu


IT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
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