ORECX CALL RECORDING BLOG

Importance of Tech-Agnostic Audio Capture for Complex, Multi-Site Environments

Posted by Kevin Levi on Apr 7, 2021 11:42:17 AM

Many of today’s larger companies grow through acquisition and merger. Consolidation of these disparate businesses then typically necessitates integration of many different technical environments, spanning the various locations, facilities and platforms. Business Background 921*921 transprent Png Free Download - Text, Line,  Area. - CleanPNG / KissPNG

To record, store and replay customer interactions across multiple, varying facilities and architectures, organizations need an open audio capture solution that supports a diverse set of technical requirements.

Such a technology agnostic audio capture platform would need to be open, flexible and versatile enough to capture customer calls centrally across an organization and its different locations and technical environments.

Technical considerations for this type of audio capture solution provider include:

  • Telephony Platform - Must offer open-API support of any platform, such as Avaya, Cisco, Genesys, Metaswitch, Asterisk, Microsoft Teams, Mitel, Nextiva and any others. 
  • Architecture - Must be easily and rapidly deployable in cloud, premise or hybrid environments.
  • Database Support - Must support both Windows and Linux CentOS operating systems.
  • Deployment - Must be deployable across any workstation or server - both virtual and bare metal.
  • Codecs - Must support many of the leading standard and narrow band audio codecs including G.7111, G.729, G.723, iLBC, GSM6.1, etc.
  • Protocols - Must support standard recording protocols such as SIP, Cisco Skinny, SIPREC, CALEA, H.323, MGCP, IAX2, RTP, Nortel UNISTIM, etc.

Only an audio capture platform that provides this level of openness can adequately support a multi-site customer service organization. Otherwise, businesses face significant heavy lifting, complex integrations, costly deployment, and lengthy rollout timelines to get up and running and recording customer interactions.  

Audio Capture vs. Call Recording Infographic

Audio Recording is all about Control - Are you in Control?

Posted by Kevin Levi on Mar 29, 2021 11:46:49 AM

The primary goal of voice recording in today's contact centers - for many - is to capture customer interactions and then feed them to a transcription and analysis engine to uncover key words and phrases that indicate underperforming agents, distressed customers, compliance infractions, etc.  In order to be able to perform these functions, contact centers must be able to freely and readily access their voice data without impedance from the voice recording vendor.taking-control

Many recording vendors restrict access to voice and associated meta data or charge for it. Others output the data in a proprietary format that makes it difficult to share it with 3rd party apps for transcription, analysis, biometrics, and so on. 

In short, you want to be in control of the recording application itself and have access to your recordings and what you can do with them once you gain access. And perhaps equally as important, you don't want to have to pay additional money to access your recordings. They're yours after all, and you should have unbridled access to them, whenever you want them. Better yet, you want them in real time so there is no delay in audio processing. Analyzing a call two days later and determining a customer may be in distress, is too late. You want that data immediately so you can thwart customer defections before they occur. The same goes for underperforming agents. You want to be able to pinpoint those shortcomings and provide adequate training right away.

The most versatile audio capture solution providers today offer a REST API to provide complete control over all aspects of the application within the existing platform framework or with third party applications. Does your vendor offer this?

In order to determine how much control you have over your voice recording application and the level of access you have to your voice data, try asking yourself these questions:

  1. What is the process and timeframe for accessing your voice recordings and associated meta data?
  2. Does your vendor charge for access? If so, how much?
  3. Is your voice data shared with you in a proprietary or open format?
  4. How quickly and easily can your voice data be ported over to your speech analytics, voice biometrics and customer experience applications?
  5. Am I able to capture voice audio in both single and multi-tenant environments?
  6. Can I capture voice audio across my organization in cloud, premise and hybrid environments?

Don't stand by and let your audio recording vendor's inflexibility hamper your analytics efforts. Solutions do exist that provide the open capabilities you need to best compete today. 

Audio Capture vs. Call Recording Infographic 

 

 

 

Speech Analytics: Garbage in, Garbage Out

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jan 5, 2021 11:09:26 AM

It's the new year, and it's time to ramp up your collection of customer insight from your recorded conversations in order to garner competitive intelligence, identify at-risk customers, uncover workflow issues, discover underperforming agents and detect possible compliance infractions. 

All of this is possible with high quality audio recording. As the saying goes, garbage in garbage out. In order to yield the intelligence you need from your call recordings, you require high fidelity, dual channel audio capture and recording. This is the only way to ensure your speech analytics solution is adequately interpreting and transcribing both your agents and your customers.  Speechanalytics_

To ensure you have the right audio capture solution in place to power your speech analytics, here are five questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. DUAL CHANNEL - Does my current audio capture software capture the agent and the customer on separate channels? This is imperative to discern who said what during over-talk, e.g. When your agent and your customer are talking over one another, mono recording solutions can't determine who is saying what, and important insight can be missed from your interactions.
  2. HIGH FIDELITY - Does your current call recording solution support upper-end audio sample format rates like G.7111 and OPUS? If not, your recorded audio may be flawed.  
  3. REAL TIME - Does your recording solution capture call audio in a real-time streaming manner so your transcription and analytics engine can process the call as it happens, or post-call? You need real-time audio capture to gain insight your supervisors and managers can act on immediately. 
  4. VERSATILITY - Does your audio capture software support a wide range of telephony environments (such as IP and SIPREC), and can scale to thousands of simultaneous calls? This is important so every call can be recorded across all of your locations. 
  5. OPEN - Does your recorder support the collection of non-audio data (such as CRM, ACD or agent desktop applications) via REST API, which can be appended to audio recordings? This is critical in order to correlate, discover patterns and pinpoint specific types of interactions. 

As the new year gets under way, now is the time to ensure you are adequately capturing your audio interactions and not missing critical customer insight.

To learn more about the capabilities or inabilities of your current audio capture environment, click below for a free consultation.

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The Many Advantages of Modern and Open Call Center Platforms

Posted by Omar Ramsaran on Nov 18, 2020 12:27:47 PM

Despite their limitations and continued decline, closed call center software solutions still exist, even though they can be difficult to modify, support and integrate into an existing telephony environment.  Open systems, on the other hand, offer tremendous benefits to call centers, and therefore these solutions are becoming more ubiquitous. open platform

These benefits range from ease of integration and the ability to repurpose hardware to leveraging existing IT skills and staff to administer and support the platform. 

Specific advantage highlights include:

  • Platform and operating system agnostic - same software is used regardless of platform (Windows, Linux, etc.)
  • Adds value to your voice data by integrating with speech analytics, AI and machine learning applications (to derive even deeper insights into customer interactions). 
  • Ability to plug directly into recording interfaces that telephone vendors have built into their platforms, such as SIPREC
  • Smooth integration into your existing IT infrastructure at the physical (hardware) and human (technical skills) level - system administrators, network administrators and telephony platform managers can easily install and support the software, since their existing skills can be applied.
  • Repurpose your servers - you can reuse an old server to begin capturing interactions or provision a VM in your favorite cloud provider, such as AWS, Google or Azure.
  • Unlimited scalability - network and database connectivity is based on fundamental technologies such as TCP/IP, SQL, http, REST and disk imaging, enabling your organization to easily scale up capacity simply by adding additional capture servers.

Training is another key area in which open standards software has advantages. System administrators can easily monitor processes and network activity, and networking and telephony managers can trace data and easily understand how information is flowing. In most cases, only an Admin Manual is needed to perform these functions.

These are just some of the many reasons why modern, open standards call center software continues to build a stronger and stronger business case for wide-scale deployment.

Learn about our Key Design Benefits

 

Remote Agent Recording is Now Imperative

Posted by Kevin Levi on Oct 14, 2020 12:18:39 PM

According to Gartner Group, "71% of contact center agents are currently working from home." Gartner also reports that "35% of the customer experience workforce will work from home by 2023, up from 5% in 2017."

"When COVID-19 hit, most CX organizations did not have plans for enabling staff to work from home," according to CIO.com. "Within days of shuttering call centers, companies had to have CX professionals fielding customer calls remotely. Many struggled to replicate their CX working environment, including the proper hardware and software necessary to provide call support." remote-agent

Businesses across all industries have had to scramble to find ways to record their customer interactions with off-site agents. Customer service organizations need to be able to monitor, assess and train their agents to maintain high customer service levels, mitigate costly disputes and ensure compliance with HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, MiFID II, etc. To make this happen without installing expensive remote hardware, businesses need an easy way to securely capture, store and replay their remote agent interactions.

When purchasing remote agent recording software, there are some important features you will want to have, including:

1. Support for VoIP, softphones, mobile and landlines

2. Ability to share recorded data with third party applications like speech analytics and customer service analytics

3. Remote live monitoring

4. Browser-based access to recordings

5. Pause/resume or mask/mute capabilities

6. Voice and screen recording with integrated playback

 In short, the pandemic forced immediate change in the call center industry - changes that will persist for years to come. To keep pace with your competition and to continue to serve your customers well, you need to ensure you have the right remote agent recording tools in your arsenal. Your existing call center tools likely won't suffice anymore.

At-Home Call Recording & Management

COVID'S Impact on Call Center CX

Posted by Kevin Levi on Sep 28, 2020 10:20:18 AM

The whole call center operation has literally transformed over the last six months, with most agents working from home. What impact has this had on customer service, if any?

Well, it seems customers are largely giving businesses a pass in terms of CX in the age of COVID - at least for now. According to a report by SITEL":

  • "More than four in five (85%) consumers have not submitted a complaint to a brand’s customer service department during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 14% have (down 18% pre-COVID-19-19)."
  • "More than two-in-five (43%) consumers (down 30% from pre-COVID-19) would stop doing business with a company during the COVID-19 pandemic if they received poor customer experience, compared to 34% who would not (up 21% from pre-COVID-19)."

  • "Just 16% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand or company during the COVID-19 pandemic because of a negative customer experience (down 23% since pre-COVID-19)."

What this tells us is that there is a temporary window in which customers are giving businesses the benefit of the doubt as they work out any COVID-related customer service issues. Many organizations are having to do more with less, having had to lay off many employees due to revenue struggles. Most companies have had to shift to an almost-exclusively at-home workforce, which inherently imposes many configuration, workflow and oversight challenges.

Perhaps a derivative benefit of this customer service scrutiny reprieve is that it gives businesses a chance to rethink their entire customer service operation. If they had any inklings of making changes to the way they service customers, now is the time. 

Now is the time, for example, to shift to a cloud-based customer service infrastructure. This alleviates much of the maintenance and troubleshooting associated with premise-based systems and also reduces capital spending.

Answers 
Phone 
Online Chat 
Email 
Mobile App 
Social Media 
I don't know 
Percent 
23.65% 
23.70% 
33.65% 
6.50% 
7.75% 
4.75%

As the telephone remains the number one preferred means of customer communications with businesses during COVID, call recording and quality monitoring solutions should also be looked at. Now is the time, for instance, to migrate to a more open cloud call recording environment. 

It goes without saying that this absolution won't last forever. Once COVID is under control, customers will likely go back to a heightened sense of scrutiny. The time to act is now.

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

 

OrecX Key Design Benefits

Posted by Kevin Levi on Sep 1, 2020 12:14:00 PM

OrecX's modern and open audio capture platform creates strategic, technical, economic and collaborative benefits for businesses, and this is all intentional. We see call recording as a business imperative today and thus we continue to build and refine our solutions to enhance an organization's competitive advantage.

Here is an overview of our key design benefits:Aspire Cost Calculator

Modern

  • Powered by the operating systems, databases, browsers and APIs that run the world’s infrastructure
    • Evergreen platform with no threat of technology obsolescence
    • Unsurpassed speed to market
    • Adapts to cloud, premise, and hybrid environments
    • UI & REST API based on Google Angular framework

Open

  • Founded on the principles of transparency, openness and collaboration
    • Meets the broadest set of use cases
    • Inter-operates with third party systems
    • Runs with common standard Rest API
    • Unlimited ecosystem potential with third party solutions such as Speech Analytics, Voice Biometrics, AI, CX, and DX 

Modular

  • Components-based design for unmatched flexibility
    • Scales from 10 to hundreds of thousands
    • Promotes rapid iteration and ecosystem building
    • Economically efficient

Quality and Access

  • Extensive peer reviews, iterations and enhancements from global user community
    • Widest array of supported high fidelity audio capture methods
    • Extends platform value with no arbitrary restrictions on system data

Control

  • REST API for full application/system control
    • Flexible media storage – cloud, premise, hybrid
    • Complete access to your data in either real-time or post-call
    • Manage application via OrecX UI or utilize REST API for third-party control (CRM/Analytics, etc.)
    • Perform long-term strategic planning with confidence

Free 30-day Call Recording Trial

 

Audio Recording for Speech Analytics: Buyer Beware!

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 20, 2020 12:54:26 PM

We are often asked how a business can optimize its voice recording. The answer always centers on access versus optimization. Yes, voice quality is imperative, but in today’s recording industry, open and free access to one’s voice data is even more important. To get the most out of your voice interactions, you want to be able to share your recordings with whichever speech analytics, AI and customer experience applications you choose to for transcription and analysis purposes. Only then can then derive maximum customer insight from your data and be able to accurately improve your customer service operations. Buyer beware

Data Access

But not all recording vendors offer the type of access you need. Believe it or not, many vendors restrict access to your recordings and/or charge an arm and a leg to get it. When a cost is involved, you are paying for the vendor’s professional services team to extract it for you and then export it into an often sub-standard, proprietary format you cannot even use. And because the vendor is relying on its services organization, timing is not always expeditious. This is not fair nor okay. After all, you are paying for the voice recording solution, so the data you capture is rightfully yours, and you should have cost-free, real-time, unrestricted access to it – in an open, accessible format.

Waiting days for the vendor to extract and share your data puts you in a backwards-looking position when assessing agent performance and identifying workflow disruptions or customers at risk of leaving. You want access to your data immediately so you can act on it right away.

Voice Quality

In terms of voice quality, your recording vendor should offer you the ability to set your own audio quality settings – with support for a wide array of high-fidelity audio capture methods. Speaker-separated audio capabilities is also especially important. To eliminate over-talk and to clearly distinguish between the two parties on a call, you need stereo recording, which captures each voice on a separate channel. Upon playback, you can then listen to both channels together or individually to precisely determine who said what and when. This can be critical when attempting to settle disputes.

You also must consider the audio codecs supported by the vendor you choose. Right now, G.711 offers the highest fidelity and highest bitrate to ensure the clearest recorded audio. You should not have to settle for anything less.

Appending your Data

Your recorded voice data can provide a wealth of insight to your organization, but even more so when combined with CRM, ACD and other third-party data sources. As such, you need to be able to append your meta data with these and any other external sources to improve transcription and analytics results accuracy. When combined with other sources, the value of your data grows exponentially in terms of the contextual insight it can provide.

Pitfalls

In summary, here are the potential pitfalls to look out for when choosing your voice capture solution:

  1. You do not want mono (single channel) recording
  2. You do not want restricted data access
  3. You do not want to pay extra to access your own data
  4. You do not want to have to wait to access your data
  5. You do not want extracted data in a proprietary format which cannot be appended with 3rd party data sources

There are literally dozens of quality speech analytics systems out there, as measured by Forrester and Gartner Group. You should not exclude yourself from realizing the full value from these systems by having a poor voice data acquisition system. Pick a solution that offers the right level of access and quality you need and deserve.

Learn about our high fidelity, dual channel audio capture solution for speech analytics. Click below.

Learn about OrekaAC

Call Recording Laws you Need to know!

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jul 13, 2020 11:37:28 AM

Call recording can provide a wealth of knowledge and customer insight to your organization. There's no doubt about that. It can help you optimize agent performance, improve customer satisfaction and resolve disputes.

However, there are certain call recording laws and rules in many countries you must be aware of in order to avoid liability issues and potential penalties. 

Laws map

Here is just a sampling of some of the most prevalent call recording regulations around the world:

United States - Truth in Lending Act, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, TCPA

United Kingdom and European Union - GDPR, MiFID II

Canada - Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Australia - Federal Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act

Hong Kong - Personal Data Privacy Ordinance

India - Information Technology Amended Act 

New Zealand - Crimes Act 

Romania - Telecommunications Act

 

Call Recording Laws Around the Globe

 

 

 

Opus, the High Fidelity Audio Recording Codec

Posted by Kevin Levi on Jun 30, 2020 11:12:25 AM

"In software, an audio codec is a computer program implementing an algorithm that compresses and decompresses digital audio data according to a given audio file or streaming media audio coding format. The objective of the algorithm is to represent the high-fidelity audio signal with minimum number of bits while retaining quality." (wikipedia)

Oreka AC (Audio Capture) streaming audio capture solution for speech analytics supports Opus, the highest fidelity and highest bitrate codec. This means your analytics results are the most accurate, based on crystal clear audio transcription. 

Codec landscape 2

Image source: opus-codec.org

Opus is distinguished from most high quality formats (e.g.: Vorbis, AAC, MP3) by having low delay (5 ~ 66.5 ms). It is unique from most low delay formats (e.g.: Speex, G.711, GSM) by supporting high audio quality (narrow-band all the way to full-band audio). It meets or exceeds existing codecs' quality across a wide range of bitrates, and it operates at a lower delay than virtually any existing compressed format.

Most importantly, the Opus format and its reference implementation are both available under liberal, royalty-free licenses, like open source software, making it:
  • Easy to adopt
  • Compatible with free software
  • Suitable for use as part of the basic infrastructure of the Internet
Why make Opus free?
 
With the Internet, protocol and codec standards are part of the common infrastructure everyone builds upon. Most of the value of a high-quality standard is the innovation and inter-operation provided by the systems built on top of it. When a few parties have monopoly rights to monetize a standard, that infrastructure stops being so common and everyone else has more reason to use their own solution instead, increasing cost and reducing efficiency.
 
Imagine a road system where each type of car could only drive on its own manufacturer's pavement. This creates immense restriction. Fortunately, we all benefit from living in a world where all the roads are connected and accessible to everyone.
 
This is why Opus, unlike many codecs, is free.
 
Interested in a free Oreka AC consultation? Please click below.
 
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