Are you 'GDPR Call-Recording Ready'?

Posted by Kevin Levi on May 16, 2018 12:08:20 PM

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect in 10 days, on May 25, and for any company in any industry that records calls, there are some thinks you really need to know. Here are several suggestions to carefully consider in order to become GDPR Call-Recording Ready. Plus, you want to do everything you can to avoid a fine up to 4% of your total annual revenue.GDPR-Compliance

  1. Create a new policy for gaining called-party permission (verbally to record). It's not enough to simply say "this call may be recorded" anymore. You need verbal consent. NOTE: There are a few caveats here in which you don't need consent, e.g. if the interaction is necessary to fulfill a contract or legal requirement.
  2. Train all of your agents on the new policy and track their compliance as a performance metric - using quality monitoring software. Remember, GDPR is for both landline and mobile calls.
  3. Put a process in place for granting customers access to their recordings if they request it. They have the right, and you must comply.
  4. Set a time frame to purge your recordings after a period of time. They cannot be held forever.
  5. Safeguard your recordings with file encryption - this may be built in to your recording solution.
  6. You must be able to identify all recordings of a specific customer and be able to delete them easily. Customers have the 'right to be forgotten' and can require you to delete any recording of them.
  7. Recordings must be portable and able to be sent to a customer in a standard industry format, upon request.

Learn about call recording compliance GDPR, MiFID II, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, Dodd-Frank


OrecX Protects your Call Recordings

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 23, 2018 10:52:15 AM

Call recordings can offer invaluable intelligence to an organization as well as provide critical compliance and dispute resolution support. However, those same precious recordings can also contain some very sensitive customer information which must be protected.

At OrecX, we take the protection of personally verifiable information (PII) very seriously. Our recorder features several levels of built-in security to help ensure data protection, including:
  • Web security – OrecX offers the only recording solution which is OWASP Level 2 compliant. Being OWASP Level 2 compliant means that OrecX underwent rigorous testing by a renowned third party security company, successfully clearing both automated and manual test suites (e.g. a real hacker trying to penetrate) designed for applications that contain sensitive data that requires protection. https-ssl
  • Encryption – Oreka TR (total call recording software) can be configured to automatically encrypt all recordings using the Blowfish 256 encryption algorithm. Files can thus be played back only through the web portal.
  • User authentication – password rules can be imposed to ensure passwords are difficult to hack. Passwords are stored with state-of-the-art bcrypt hashing algorithm, which protects them even if when a database is compromised. The system also automatically locks a user out after a given number of unsuccessful login attempts.
  • Tamper-proof – to identify file tampering (of a recorded call), a mathematical formula is computed at the completion of every recording (and stored in the database).
  • Secure access – Access to recordings is end-to-end secured (both at rest and in transit) and restricted to only logged-in users.
  • Audit trail – All important actions related to your recordings are recorded in the database. This ensures you can easily uncover who has accessed what and when.

 WHITE PAPER - Cloud Call Recording: Keeping Attackers Out


Is your Call Recording Software up to the Task?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 3, 2018 10:48:06 AM

Nearly 50% of businesses today have some form of call recording - some with full featured enterprise recording systems, others with one-off recording functionality as part of larger telephony systems, and those with call recording capability as part of their cloud contact center software. Regardless of your scenario, the utility a full-featured call recording software system can bring to your business is significant in terms of customer satisfaction, compliance, risk mitigation and sales revenue.  The question is, however, does your current solution offer the features you require to take full advantage of all of these benefits? How can you know if you have what you really need or if there is a better option for your business?question-marks

Here are several considerations to weigh:

  • Pulling data from 3rd party systems into the call recorder - The ability to automatically pull customer, financial and analytics data into your recorder from CRM, SFA and other systems is critical to gain a full picture of every customer and to uncover ways to optimize your sales relationship with them. Call recording data, when combined with 3rd party system data, dramatically enhances your understanding of a customer's needs, motivations, challenges and more - and therefore, also your ability to cross-sell and upsell them.  
  • Ability to add speech analytics - Speech analytics software enables you to quickly and surgically analyze recordings for keywords and phrases that can spawn immediate customer rescues (from imminent defection), insight to thwart potential compliance or litigation issues and more. Your call recording ought to have the open API functionality necessary to easily and seamlessly integrate third party speech and omni-channel analytics systems. 
  • Centralized recording, storage, replay and reporting - Mid-size to larger companies in particular tend to have employees, call centers and branches spanning multiple geographic areas, especially following a merger or acquisition. You want to be sure you can centrally capture, store, replay and report on your customer interactions across all of your locations. This grants you the ability to standardize on quality assurance, compliance protocols, sales reporting, etc.
  • Quality monitoring - Your call recording system's ability to score and review past interactions with agents to demonstrate improvement areas and best practices is important to boosting skill sets and improving customer satisfaction scores - both of which can lead to higher customer retention rates. 
  • Recording portability - Recorded interactions can be used by call center supervisors to train agents, by compliance officers to prove compliance, by sales and marketing to better understand customers and by product development teams to uncover R&D needs. The easiest way to do these things is to have portability with your call recordings. You need to be able to easily share recordings with relevant team members without having to worry about proprietary playback formats. The calls should be shareable in standard MPEG or .WAV formats so staff can easily share them (even with customers if necessary) when they need to.

If any of these considerations triggers a desire to explore a new call recording system that checks all of these boxes, please give OrecX a try.

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

The Power of Stereo (vs. Mono) Call Recording

Posted by Kevin Levi on Mar 8, 2018 10:14:11 AM

Stereo call recording (aka dual channel call recording) offers many advantages over mono call recording, primarily in the quality of the voice recording upon playback. Simply put, with stereo call recording, the two call participants (likely your agent and a customer) are recorded on separate channels. This means that upon playback, you will hear one voice on one side of the speaker and the other voice on the other side. Similar to stereo music, the dual channel playback dramatically enhances the sound and quality. The result is a higher fidelity call recording.

Imagine a call in which the agent and the customer are speaking over one another, perhaps during a dispute. Upon playback, you need to be able to separate the two voices to understand who said what. This could be particularly important if a discrepancy arises or if a potential HIPAA or PCI compliance infraction may have occurred. You need to be able to prove who said what, and when.Dual channel.png

Recording in stereo vs. mono also helps increase the accuracy of automatic call transcribing, which is popular in many of today's speech analytics solutions.  In fact, stereo call recording improves speech to text, key word and phrase spotting, speech analytics, and voice biometrics. The phonetic quality and accuracy that comes with stereo call recording can make the difference between accurate and false analytics results.

"When you take that (stereo) audio recording and pass it to VoiceBase (speech analytics), you can then instruct VoiceBase to process those two channels separately so that you get perfect 'who said what' information," said Bryon Mathias-Fuqua of VoiceBase. "You can imagine that if a caller says a competitor's name first, it means something a whole lot different than if an agent says a competitor's name first. There are huge benefits to using Stereo (dual channel) recordings versus Mono recordings for transcription, keyword spotting, agent monitoring/script adherence and training predictive models."

High fidelity playback in stereo also allows your call center managers, quality supervisors and even business users to focus on just the customer or just the agent when analyzing calls. This saves time when trying to identify skills weaknesses or customer discontent.

Not all call recording software offers both stereo call recording and mono call recording. When selecting or upgrading your call recording system, be sure to inquire about stereo call recording.

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial



How Call Recording Helps you Perform CPR 

Posted by Kevin Levi on Feb 19, 2018 12:05:51 PM

Three primary areas in which call recording helps businesses include (C) Compliance, (P) Performance and (R) Risk. Everything else recording does really falls in one of these three areas. With the right call recording solution in place, your contact center can engage in both proactive (preventing future issues) and reactive (remedying issues) CPR.

CPR.pngCompliance - recording customer calls and agent screens to ensure internal and external compliance. Are agents following company protocols for handling customer complaints, for example? Are they saying and doing the right things in compliance with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, Telemarketing Sales Rule, Truth in Lending Act, MiFID II, GDPR, etc? If not, they could be putting your organization in jeopardy of receiving fines or penalties, not to mention litigation and liability. Sample use cases include:


  • Replaying a sampling of customer calls in which credit card data was provided to ensure those portions of the interaction were masked or muted.
  • Listening to a recording of a call in which the FTC is claiming your agent violated the Truth in Lending Act by saying something they weren't allowed to say.


  • Replaying a past interaction with the agent to go over any established ethics violations which occurred and discuss how to remedy them during future interactions.
  • Replaying recordings for staff to demonstrate compliance best practices by high-performing agents. 

Learn all about compliance recording

Performance - assessing past customer interactions (audio recording and agent screen recording) to uncover weaknesses in delivering service and identify areas for skills improvement.  These captured calls can also serve a number of other purposes for the contact center, such as:


  • Generating customizable performance reports to assess agent performance.
  • Identifying root causes of issues so immediate action can be taken to remedy the problem.


  • Understanding how effectively your processes and technologies support customers so enhancements can be made.
  • Identifying areas to improve operational performance and customer interaction workflow and improve business processes.

RiskLeveraging recorded calls to settle he-said/she-said customer disputes, prove compliance, understand why a customer defected and how to prevent it from happening in the future, and more. Recorded interactions do more than give you a glimpse into what happened during a call - they provide the full interaction exactly as it happened. With this data, you can mitigate risk on many fronts by providing the recording as evidence of precisely what occurred (and what did not occur). 

Use cases include:


  • Replaying a past interaction for a customer to disprove their claim that your agent stated that a full refund would be offered.
  • Using a recorded call to show regulatory bodies how proper protocols were in fact followed.


  • Sharing best-practice calls with all agents to demonstrate proper interaction performance so they can echo those best practices moving forward.
  • Sharing poor-performing customer interactions with staff to demonstrate how not to fall into any risk-related traps.

These are just some of that many, many ways in which call recording software can empower a business.

 Download  "Empower the Enterprise  with Call Recording" ebook

3 ways to use your call recordings to increase productivity

Posted by Kevin Levi on Feb 14, 2018 10:44:42 AM

by Dr John Yardley, Managing Director of JPY Ltd, London, England


These days, business call recording is still seen as a grudge purchase. An insurance. Something to fall back on when things go belly-up and you need to know who actually said what. But call recording can also be used on a daily basis to greatly improve your company’s productivity. Here are our 3 tips to achieve this:

1. Make your calls easy to find

Although the process of recording calls has become mainstream, the process of finding those calls can be difficult or costly. Recording your calls is no good if it takes you an age to find the call you want or you have to involve the IT department in the process. And although simply listening again to calls can be a major benefit, being able to search them for keywords, can give you a step improvement in productivity. Just think how useful it is being able to search your emails? By transcribing your recorded calls using automatic speech recognition (ASR) you can search them just as you would your email.

2. Make you calls shareable

You may have already heard about the benefits of email transparency, well call transparency can prove just as valuable. Recording calls is not just about taking people to court, but rather to share conversations internally - and that includes sharing them with yourself - and avoid the miscommunication that often happens when you are relying on your memory or scribbled notes. Whilst many organisations invest in expensive CRM solutions, they only tell a part of the story. By intelligently sharing your call recordings and linking them to your CRM, you can foster a culture of transparency in your organisation and ensure that everyone is being kept in the loop - without sacrificing privacy.

3. Combine your phone calls AND your emails

Bringing together your phone calls and emails in one shared inbox brings even greater efficiencies. Seeing the entire thread of a conversation with a customer or supplier in one place avoids the need for countless updates from one team member to another trying to work out who was involved with or what the last communication was. New team members can instantly get up to speed with a project or help with that handover when someone is off sick or on holiday. Furthermore, the context information available from emails can massively improve the ability to find relevant phone calls.

About Threads

Threads is what we call an intelligent message hub and when used with Orecx, is the perfect way to utilise our tips. You can imagine Threads as a multi-channel collaborative inbox that enables users to share both emails and phone calls while automatically building your CRM. The difference is that the user changes nothing. No special apps, training or change of working practices. In Threads, emails and phone calls are fully searchable and are intelligently organised to index information by contact, company or project ensuring that you can find the information you need quickly and more importantly, see it in the context of your company rather than just yourself. Try Threads for free today.

About the author

John Yardley started his career at the National Physical Laboratory, England - home to Alan Turing, the Pilot Ace and arguably the world’s first packet switched network. John gained his PhD while at NPL working on automatic speech recognition. After many years away from research, Threads became the perfect vehicle to use his original work on the use of context to improve the transcription of human speech.


Selecting the Right Recorder to Power your Speech Analytics

Posted by Kevin Levi on Feb 12, 2018 11:21:58 AM

Speech analytics can help your contact center and business garner invaluable customer intelligence which you can use to dramatically enhance service, increase sales conversion percentages, understand buying behaviors, rescue defecting customers and so much more. The applications are truly endless.

But first, however, you must consider the call recorder that will enable your speech analytics solution. There are many recording applications available, and therefore there are specific aspects you want to look for to ensure you wind up with the most accurate and actionable speech analytics data. The quality of the recording itself can have a profound effect on the quality of the speech analytics output.

Important Call Recording Components to Consider for Speech Analytics

  • Stereo recording
  • High quality codec
  • Access to multiple codecs
  • Ability to add meta data to a call
  • Metadata filtering
  • Portability of recorded call and data
  • Open API for easy interoperability

A Word on Stereo Recording

A recorder which features 'stereo recording' capability will lead to much higher quality audio upon playback. Improved quality translates into a better listening experience and also improved speech analytics.  Oreka TR records each individual on a separate channel to produce high fidelity voice recording.  High fidelity improves speech to text, key word and phrase spotting, speech analytics, and voice biometrics.  The voice recording and meta data is available to any third party speech analytics tool, including IBM Watson, Tethr and CallMiner.

When selecting a call recording solution, it is best to inquire about the company's speech analytics strategy and capabilities to ensure you'll have what you need to run high quality speech analytics. 

View phrase-spotting demo

Merits of Unlocking your Contact Center

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 16, 2018 3:12:37 PM

Utilizing open source technology into your contact center brings added control, cost reduction, speed and flexibility (among other advantages) over proprietary solutions. In essence, open source technology unlocks your contact center and gives you the latitude to control your own destiny, so to speak. unlock.jpg

  • Control: You are in control of the design, deployment and future development of the software. "You also have full visibility into the code base, as well as all discussions about how the community develops features and addresses bugs." (opensource.com
  • Cost: It costs far less to acquire, operate and develop enhancements.
  • Speed: Without the need to crack proprietary code or develop complicated APIs, the speed with which you can customize, test, deploy, and support the software is dramatically improved. "Because open source solutions are openly available and can be explored for free, it's often much faster to investigate options and get solutions off the ground." (opensource.com
  • Flexibility: You can utilize virtually any CRM system, databases, PBX switch, speech analytics, IVR analytics, workforce management, surveys and more. Open source is also operating system, hardware and database agnostic.
  • Security - "Open source software's code is often more secure because it is much more thoroughly reviewed and vetted by the community (and any issues that do arise tend to be patched more diligently." (opensource.com
  • Reliability - "Because there are more eyes on it, the reliability of open source code tends to be superior as well. With a worldwide community supporting a code base—rather than one team within one company—code is developed on online forums and guided by experts." (opensource.com

“When businesses turn to open source software, they free themselves from the severe vendor lock-in that can afflict users of proprietary packages. Customers of such vendors are at the mercy of the vendor's vision, requirements, dictates, prices, priorities and timetable, and that limits what they can do with the products they're paying for” (PCWorld).

Unlocking your contact center with open source, standards-based call recording software brings additional, very specific advantages. Here is a list of key features and benefits:

  • Open data model – ancillary features and processes along with enhanced meta data for pre and post call processing. This helps you generate the most value from your recordings with the richest set of data points.
  • Open API – the software can be controlled by third party applications. This extends the capabilities of the system by having the recorder serve as an engine for data aggregation and analysis.
  • Open file formats – customizable formats to match desired use case(s); data portability within and without the framework of the customer data management system(s); leverage third party applications in WFO and Speech Analytics for ‘best in class’ for customer requirement. The open nature of exported data makes it possible to share recordings with business users and others outside of the contact center.
  • Open web interface – support for all browsers, including mobile platforms, and internationalization. You can access your recordings from virtually any smart device, anywhere in the world. 
  • Modular components – removes complexity and costs associated with bundled applications. You are not saddled with (or having to pay for) capabilities you will never use.

Downloaded for free, the Oreka GPL basic call recording solution from OrecX is the only free voice recording software on the planet that can be downloaded in just 30 minutes and requires no maintenance.

30-Day Free Trial  of OrecX Software





'Total' or 'Selective' Call Recording Software?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 12, 2018 10:57:23 AM
Total or Selective Recording.jpg

When it comes to call recording software, you have two options: 100% total call recording (capture every single call) or selective recording for quality assurance which captures only a small sampling of calls to gauge customer service levels. Which approach is best for your needs? What do you need to know to make this determination? Are there other advantages to capturing every call? What about compliance, risk management and dispute resolution?

Here are some of the differences between selective and total call recording:


Total Call Recorder Selective Call Recorder
100% capture of all calls (audio of agent and customer) Recording of only a sampling of calls (audio of agent and customer)
100% capture of all agent screen activity (optional) Recording of only a sampling of agent screen activity – to coincide with the selective audio capture
Recordings archived for months or years Recordings typically not retained long (perhaps a month or two at most)
Calls are securely stored and sometimes encrypted to ensure their integrity and to restrict access Sampling of recordings determined according to pre-set variables (only 3 calls per agent per week, e.g.)
VALUE: Recordings used to settle disputes, verify order approval from customers, and verify PCI/HIPAA Compliance, e.g. VALUE: Recordings used to assess agent performance, identify workflow issues and monitor customer satisfaction


Ideally, a contact center has both a total call recorder and selective call recording. Together, you have the tools needed to effectively monitor customer satisfaction, assess contact center agents, ensure compliance protocols are followed, and have the ability to resolve he-said/she-said disputes effectively.  This combination is becoming more and more prevalent in contact centers today as it gives managers and business users the flexibility they need to get the most value out of recorded customer interactions.


Compliance Recording AND Quality Monitoring ebook



Using Call Recording to Build Buyer Personas

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 3, 2018 12:32:57 PM

You can use recorded customer calls to help you build your sales and marketing buyer personas

One of the hardest things for sales and marketing professionals is to identify and clearly articulate who the target buyer(s) is/are. This is about more than just their job title. Buyer personas should include a full understanding of the following characteristics of each individual buyer (at the least):

  1. Job title
  2. Roles and responsibilities
  3. Challenges
  4. Hot buttons
  5. Risk aversions

Think about the customer conversations your sales team and your call center representatives have with your potential bu

yers every day. They are speaking directly with these individuals already, and by sharing select recorded conversations, they can provide a wealth of knowledge to the sales and marketing teams to help them understand the characteristics like those listed above.


"I don't have any free time." "I'm strapped for budget already as it is."

These are just a couple examples of the types of challenges your target buyers face, and many of these will likely surface during your customer calls - whether it's during an initial sales call to introduce your company and its products/services or it is a call in which the customer called for technical or product support. Either way, your buyers' challenges will come up, and when they do, you can share those insights (or the entire conversation) with the relevant sales and marketing folks in your company to help them get into the mind of your potential customers. 

Hot Buttons

"My team doesn't have time to learn about a new product." "My team needs to be producing, not learning about some new solution."

When your sales and customer service professionals are speaking with your target buyers (or existing customers), these hot buttons will surface. The customer will react to something your company representative says with a comment indicating one of their hot buttons. For example, your salesperson mentions that the new widget you are offering can save the company thousands of dollars a month, but it takes time to learn how to use. If the would-be customer reacts negatively to having to teach his team how to use the new widget, then you can share that insight with your sales and marketing managers to help them craft future campaigns around that (and other) hot buttons. By recording every call your sales and customer service teams make will ensure you have these calls captured and shareable with the relevant staff when these types of insights arise. 

Risk Aversions

"I hate being the first to try something." "I only like products that have been proven to be effective."

Customers and prospects will occasionally share their risk aversions on the phone, like the examples above. Suppose your customer service rep is speaking with an existing customer and tries to upsell your new product, and the customer replies by saying he/she is not comfortable trying new things until they are proven. This is solid-gold customer insight that you can share with your sales and marketing teams to help them craft messaging that will resonate with future customers. 


These are just a few examples of the rich insight your recorded calls can yield in terms of better understanding your target buyers and what makes them tick. Start sharing this intelligence with your sales and marketing teams today.

Call Recording for Sales Professionals (ebook)

Call Recording for Marketing Professionals (ebook)


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