Voice over IP

Call recording/ call logging using an IP PBX

This section is about the call recording facility of the PBX, how analog systems handled the same, how IP PBX handles the call recording, what are the options available in the IP PBX for recording calls, can the user record calls by themselves, can the call recording be scheduled by an administrator and Of course, why call recording is exciting.

Why is call recording feature of an IP PBX exciting?

¤ In some companies, a lot of commercial transactions happen over phones and hence you may want certain calls to be recorded on a legal point of view. The IP PBX enables you to do that.
¤ In certain other companies, like small call centres, help desk associates etc. calls need to be recorded either compulsorily or for improving the performance of the executives.
¤ It always helps to record the calls with clients. You may have missed the important things that they wanted you to do – unless you take notes, that is.
¤ It will avoid the employees from misusing the office PBX for personal reasons for long times when they know that calls might be recorded.

How does analog PBX (and even certain IP PBX models) handle call recording?

There are the Call loggers. They come in all sizes and all ranges. This has to be integrated with the existing analog PBX set up (through extensions I guess) and they perform the basic call logging with a lot of options available for call retrieval. In fact, some loggers used by professional call centres rely on these external loggers to retrieve a call based on certain behaviourial patterns of the clients – like getting only those calls where the client shouted at the executives. But that is for professional call centres whose business is dependant on only voice. But for normal companies, this solution could prove expensive and there were always vendor specific issues like restriction in the duration of the calls – No. of hours, No. of concurrent calls that can be simultaneously recorded etc.

How does IP PBX handle Call recording?

Certain IP PBX vendors have the call recording facility built into their basic PBX software/ functionalities itself. This is very useful for small call centres and normal companies, whose requirements are not that exhaustive. The employees themselves can record calls (that they are currently in) or others (juniors) calls. They get a GUI interface, to make it simple. There is a second option too – Scheduling the calls for recording by an administrator. So, a no. of calls could be recorded on a pre-determined basis (based on extension numbers etc). Let us see both in detail.

Call recording by the user (Employee):

Some IP PBX solution give an interface based on GUI for each and every user where the user can do all the basic activities like voice mail retrieval, call recording etc. by himself. Since it is a GUI application, it is simple for him too. Generally the users can record ‘on the fly’ by pressing a button when ever they want to record a particular on-going call or they can also record other calls by themselves. That is simple, and there is no upper limits for time (As the .wav files get stored in the server, and the amount of storage depends on the server space available). Since the files are in .wav, they can be played using any media player.

The options available for retrieval of recorded calls is important. So, the users can search for the recorded calls based on the following parameters:

¤ Date of the call – This shows all the calls recorded by them on a particular date.
¤ Recording tags – This shows all the calls recorded by them on a particular parameter like ‘User initiated calls’.
¤ Time limit – This shows all the calls within a certain time limit.
¤ Caller ID – This shows all the calls that were recorded from or to a certain phone number.
¤ Accounts – There could be some extensions grouped as an extension list or certain specific call queues. So, calls can be retrieved based on that too.

All this, the users (Extensions/employees) can do it by themselves with out the admin actually needing to intervene.

Scheduled call recording (By the administrator):

For the administrators, the following options are generally available:

¤ All the calls from a certain extension, extension group or call queues can be scheduled for recording.
¤ They can also schedule the calls to be recorded based on the type of calls – Incoming calls, Outgoing calls etc.
¤ The scheduling of recording of calls can also be based on date, time number of calls etc.
¤ They can choose if they want to delete all the recorded calls, after say 3 months and each call can be labelled.

Also note that certain IP PBX models allow you to back up all the recorded calls via an FTP account on a different server. Isn’t it exciting – so many options available for call recording in an IP PBX itself?

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