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Call Center/CRM Management Scope
April 2004

Case Study: Accounts Recovery Corporation Gains Competitive Advantage From VOIP Call Recording And Monitoring Technology

By Robert Kapela, Telrex

Accounts Recovery Corporation (ARC) is a fast-growing accounts receivable management company based in Victoria, British Columbia, with branch offices in Vancouver, Burnaby, Winnipeg, Burlington, Montreal, Laval, Moncton and Seattle, Washington. ARC provides retail, commercial and government customers with a range of accounts receivable management services, including collections services, customized customer care programs and call center services.
In the accounts receivable industry, accurate record keeping is paramount, and ARC has continually sought out technologies to maintain and improve accuracy as well as improve overall customer service. One choice ARC has made in support of this objective is to implement Telrex's CallRex VoIP call recording and monitoring software to record and monitor telephone calls at ARC's headquarters and all of its remote branch locations in Canada.

Call Recording Has Become Affordable
In implementing the new call recording technology, ARC has taken advantage of an opportunity made possible by the widespread adoption of IP-based telephone systems. VoIP-based call recording and monitoring systems are significantly less expensive to deploy ' typically 50 percent less ' than legacy systems, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to benefit from sophisticated recording features that were previously available only to large corporations and call centers. In VoIP-based systems, voice traffic is packetized and travels across the corporate data network, requiring no additional hardware to record calls; whereas in analog or digital systems, voice traffic travels over the voice network, requiring trunk taps or expensive third-party telephony cards to record calls.

The Benefits Of 'Packet Sniffing'
CallRex works by monitoring the corporate data switch, actively looking for voice packets as they travel across the corporate LAN/WAN to and from ARC's IP phone system, a 3Com NBX. This 'packet sniffing' technology identifies and extracts only voice packets for recording or monitoring and does not interfere in any way with the phone system. The benefits of using packet sniffing technology to record calls became apparent to ARC during their product evaluation process when they compared a multitude of products, including a system that uses TAPI/WAV technology to record calls.

The TAPI/WAV product requires two WAV licenses to record a call and another to monitor it, therefore generating a license cost that multiplies for every call recorded and monitored. With VoIP call recording, an unlimited number of calls can be recorded and monitored with only one moderate upfront license fee for the IP phone system. In addition to this reduced licensing cost, VoIP call recording with packet sniffing technology delivers a number of additional benefits over the TAPI/WAV-based solution.

Simple Installation Process
To install the new software, ARC's network administrator, Travis Davies, worked with Telrex's technicians remotely. Using Webex, the Telrex technicians accessed ARC's computer to install the new software and to train Davies on how to set up users.

'It was a very simple process from start to finish,' said Davies. 'The installation process was straightforward, requiring only one server and a couple of data collectors, none of which were proprietary, and all the software ran on standard computers. It was an intuitive process and now that we are set up, there is very little management necessary on my part. Today, we are recording 150 agents
at our multiple locations and we haven't even begun to use up the capacity of the server.'

ARC's Mutlisite Implementation
ARC's implementation at its main headquarters location in Victoria, BC is comprised of a 3Com NBX SS3 Call Processor and a 3Com SS3 Chassis, which are connected to a 3Com 12-port 4900 GB data switch. The 3Com 4900 switch is uplinked to a 3Com 4400 switch. The 4900 switch is connected to the 'observe port' on the 4400 switch, and the call recording system's server is connected to the 'analysis port' on the 4400 switch. The switch is configured so that every packet going to/from the observe port (3Com NBX) is copied to the analysis port (CallRex Server).

ARC's remote sites are connected to the headquarters site via high-speed data connections. The remote site receives a dial tone either locally or from headquarters, depending on least-cost routing. At the remote sites, the NBX is connected to the data switch's observe port, on which port mirroring is enabled. The CallRex Data Collector is connected to the analysis port on the data switch. The switch is configured so that every packet going to/from the observe port (3Com NBX) is copied to the analysis port (CallRex Data Collector). The data collector is configured to record, compress and send calls back ' in real-time ' to the CallRex Server, where calls are stored for later retrieval.

Bandwidth Savings
The CallRex VoIP call recording system has efficient compression techniques that provide ARC with an unexpected benefit. In addition to being able to store an entire month's recorded calls (approximately 600,000 calls) on one DVD, it was not necessary for ARC to purchase more bandwidth to accommodate the higher volume of traffic created when the call recording system sends recorded calls from remote locations back to headquarters.

VoIP Call Recording Capabilities
The VoIP call recording system is full-featured. It saves detailed information about every recorded phone call. Calls can be recorded and monitored on an ad-hoc basis or via automatic triggers and can be flagged with additional information. Specific recordings can then be located via multiple search criteria such as date/time, user name, inbound number, caller I.D., recording group or flagged name or value. Multiple playback options allow users to listen to recorded phone calls through the phone or through computer speakers. Recorded calls can be viewed by day, week, month or custom date range. Managers can assign monitoring, recording and playback rights on a per-user basis and can also track calls from multiple remote locations through one interface.

Verbal Business Transactions Now Secure
ARC uses CallRex to record and monitor the telephone interactions of their agents and their clients' customers. Since a majority of business transactions take place over the phone and ARC acts on behalf of its clients in transacting business, clients have expressed a strong desire to have reviewable records of conversations in which business is being transacted. Now that ARC has recording/monitoring capability, the company can assure its clients that their customers are being treated well, and furthermore, can provide documentation of phone conversations between agents and customers, helping ensure that recorded calls can be retrieved at a later date in order to recover important information or to arbitrate disputes that may arise.

Today, more than three-quarters of major U.S. firms record and monitor workplace communications, and this number is growing as affordable technologies are becoming available. Businesses are finding that maintaining records of telephone conversations is just as important as maintaining records of any workplace interaction in which business is transacted. Businesses can use call recording and monitoring to improve customer service, ensure compliance with legal or contractual requirements and improve productivity.

Telrex is a developer and provider of workplace recording and monitoring solutions.

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