By Laura Waterton
Once a back-office staple, the mass uptake of collaboration platforms catapulted recording to the top of many organizations’ WAH lists.
Suddenly, it was not only a necessity to meet compliance standards across a wide range of interactions, both internally and externally, but invaluable to internal communication, and an opportunity for business insight during a challenging period.
More than two years on and there’s no going back. Remote, office or hybrid, our businesses are being built around UC platforms like Teams. At their recent Inspire conference, Microsoft reported having more than 270 million monthly active Teams users, with the number of frontline workers on Teams alone doubling year on year into 2022.
All this makes choosing the right recording partner, with the best feature set, a critical decision.
Microsoft themselves have steered clear of developing native compliance-standard recording, choosing instead to offer their Graph API to selected third-party ISVs.
Oak Innovation is one such vendor and a leading name in the call recording and business analytics space. Their Clarify compliance recorder for Teams has passed the lengthy and exacting Microsoft certification process to become one of just a handful of recognised provider platforms.
“Regulatory compliance is a weighty responsibility for many organizations,” says Oak CEO William Emm. “They both need to record their interactions and responsibly manage those recordings.
“Standards like MiFID II demand financial service providers capture everything related to a transaction. For platforms like Teams, that means audio and video calls, meetings, and often shared screens too. It means capturing internal discussions as well as call with clients, and Teams-to-Teams calls as well as Teams to PBXs.
“Because Clarify uses the Microsoft Graph API, it can record all these types of calls - as opposed to direct routing recording, which only captures calls over a PSTN connection so conversations between Teams users are missed. If you also rely on recording to capture verbal consent, for example a mobile phone contractor or insurance company, then ensuring all types of calls are recorded is a decisive factor.
“Of course, compliance is also about what shouldn’t be captured. Clarify includes rule-based recording, policy-based access, secure file-sharing, and provides a full audit trail of activity to support regulations like PCI and GDPR.”
One of the great achievements of Teams is bringing unified communications to the masses, with direct implications on recording providers. Historically, recording solutions were designed for one end or other of the market, but since Teams is suitable for any size business, it commoditised recording rather than it being a separate proposition for those with particular needs. Emm is well aware of this.
"ClarifyGo, our cloud version of Clarify, provides all the usual benefits of a cloud platform, including scalability and the affordability of a subscription model. It’s fully supported by us to reduce the need for customers to have IT support inhouse, and it’s hosted in Azure so it’s incredibly secure. There are options to host Clarify onsite and to store your recordings where you want them. But we prioritise making it as easy and convenient as possible.”
With the benefits of recording more apparent – the recent improvements to Microsoft Teams Rooms means we’ll be recording meetings even in hybrid set-ups - organizations are looking beyond the necessity of compliance recording to AI and analytics to extract business intelligence from interactions.
“With Clarify, you can tag and clip parts of calls, making them easier to organise and refer back to, which is great for internal meetings as well as compliance audits.
“We’re also seeing more businesses taking advantage of recording to improve service and help them better understand their customers. Clarify Quality Measurement lets businesses assess both soft and hard call handling skills, whilst Clarify Speech Analytics uses AI to monitor communication streams for sentiment and key words that provide useful clues about customer satisfaction levels and common issues.
“We’re continuing to invest and reinvest in ClarifyGo as a platform and there are some exciting new integrations planned for 2023. We’ve come a long way in the past two years, and really, I think the benefits and opportunities for call recording are only growing.”