The growing need for call recording as a result of compliance requirements, liability issues and demands for better customer service, naturally leads consumers to their IP/PBX Solutions provider or industry experts.
Voice over Internet Protocol is sending a voice conversation over a corporate LAN/WAN and/or the Internet. The voice signal is split into separate packets (RTP) and then transmitted over a data network to the desired destination. The separate packets are reassembled at the receiving end and the digital information is converted back into a duplicate of the original voice signal.
Recording in a VoIP system utilises a commonly found feature of IP network switches called port mirroring. This feature provides the capability to copy data packets from one port on the switch to another destination on the network. In a Cisco environment, this feature is called SPAN which is short for Switched Port Analyzer. Using this method, the switches in a network are configured to mirror data packets from a VoIP phone ports to ports on a VoIP call recording system.
VoIP call recording provides specific advantages over traditional telephony recording approaches. These advantages often justify the costs associated with migrating to a full VoIP recording system even in cases where there is a mix of VoIP and traditional telephony devices.
Some of these advantages include:
This type off recording is available on any type of PBX. Compatibility with the recording system is not an issue. The phone lines deliver voice and call data to the PBX. This recording method enables all calls to be recorded without investing in a record channel for each phone. For example, if you have 2x PRI ISDN lines (providing you with 60 call channels) and 100 phone extensions, you will only need to record the 60 call channels instead of the 100 extensions as is the case with Extension side recording.
Another benefit to this type of recording is the ability to record your entire customers call. Even if the call is put on hold, transferred to three different extensions and then sent to a manager – the entire call is captured.
The downside to this configuration is that no internal calls are recorded. Since the recording system is connected in front of the switch, it doesn’t see any of the extension to extension calls.
An Extension side recording configuration requires the ability of the recorder to interface to the existing extension phones. It is critical to identify the make and model of each telephone handset, as well as the make and model of the PBX that is in use. Call data that can be collected is specific to the PBX type and the instrument in use. Typically call data that is presented to your phone display, any button is pressed, and lamp appearances can be captured and indexed to the call. This allows the recorder to trigger the recording based on specific events on the telephone and to permit recording on certain extensions on a multi-line phone.
This recording type enables all calls to be recorded that are handled by the extension connected to the recording system – which includes inbound, outbound and extension-to-extension calls. Only calls handled by the phones connected to the recording system are recorded. As soon as a call is transferred out of the connected station/agent pool the call is no longer recorded. So you can record the internal calls, and within the recorded pool but unable to follow a customer call that is transferred out of the recorded pool.
With careful planning, system payback can be achieved within a few months. When reviewing how to calculate your return on investment, you should factor in the following areas:
There are many considerations impacting choice when selecting a recording system. The following points should help you identify the type of solution required.
Once you have a clear idea of the type of system you want to invest in, there are several ways that this can be acquired. For those organisations who prefer to have their systems onsite but do not want the upfront cost of acquiring it, some companies may offer innovative financial arrangements for rentals, leasing and managed services.
Rentals should be considered for short-term recording requirements or as a proof of concept when seeking to buy, but do not fall into the trap of turning the rental into a long-term practise which, when calculated, shows that the system could have been purchased at a lesser cost than the rental.
People and processes should not be overlooked and the technology should not be purchased in isolation from these users. To get the most out of any voice recording system there should be a dedicated product champion. This person or team needs to understand how they can leverage the technology to deliver true business benefits and implement effective quality procedures. Training and consultancy can often help hone in on this and get everyone focused on the result. If everything is done correctly at this stage, significant financial returns and value can be gained.