This article originally appeared in the Jan. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
Businesses across many vertical industries are facing regulatory compliance and oversight from government agencies that include a long list of regulations such as SEC 17a-4, HIPAA, SOX, PCI (News - Alert)-DSS, FSA and MIPPA. A major component of being compliant means that businesses need to record interactions with their customers. At minimum, recording voice calls provides a record of these interactions in the event that proof is required if a dispute arises. These recordings serve to demonstrate that all necessary regulations were met in a call between a customer service representative and their client.
A traditional call recording system allows voice conversations to be recorded as a voice file while a call is in progress. These call recordings are then stored and linked to data that identifies properties of the conversation such as date/time, CSR (News - Alert) name, length of the call; then makes it available for playback and verification through the call recording or analytics platform. Voice call recording has been widely deployed using circuit-switched technology in contact center environments, but the widespread adoption of SIP has expanded what can be recorded in a SIP-based communications session to include real-time communications including VoIP, instant messaging, unified communications, video communications, and collaboration. As a result, basic call recording becomes session recording in this open IP communications environment.
For many enterprises, replacing circuit-switched communications with IP communications also includes replacing a wide variety of legacy network infrastructure including messaging, IVR, ACD, and conferencing technology. There is a strong economic motivation for enterprises to reduce deployment costs and simplify operational complexity. The bulk of investments made by enterprises in IP-based session recording go along with upgrading these components found in traditional contact centers.
The SIP trunking deployment model is a key ingredient to achieving this technology shift. SIP trunking has a natural affinity toward centralizing IP communications for enterprises. Inside the enterprise private network, SIP-based communications is easily centralized and managed to route to a scalable session border controller that connects to external networks including the PSTN and the Internet. This network deployment model can readily encompass businesses that are decentralized because of markets served or remote workers, helping to reduce the costs of distributing call recording resources and PRI connectivity. This shifts the call recording model from line side to trunk side call recording.
This approach results in call recording resources getting consolidated and more easily provisioned. With session traffic consolidated at the enterprise SBC, all forms of session recording can be initiated for both incoming and outbound customer interactions. SIP trunk recording ensures the best recording quality and can be easily segmented for simple compliance recording or advanced speech analytics systems. For distributed businesses, session recording at remote locations can be consolidated back to a centralized enterprise SBC location where communication routing can be optimized to control externally routed communication costs.
This trunk side approach to session recording can also benefit service providers. Service providers can augment their hosted business VoIP service offerings with session recording capabilities on their MPLS network deployed SBCs. Small businesses are still subject to the same recording compliance regulations, and this gives service providers a way to reach the SME market that is complementary to their SIP trunk service offerings. Just as enterprises can consolidate their session recording around an SBC, so can service providers. This enables the service provider to further monetize their SIP trunk network infrastructure by providing value-added SIP trunk services.Ken Osowski (News - Alert) is director of service provider product marketing at Acme Packet (www.acmepacket.com).
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi