When making an important purchase for your business, there are certain considerations you need to take into account in order to make the right choices. In this article Nick McLean, Business Developmant Manager from Prolancer Pty Ltd takes a look at the top 5 considerations when buying a Voice Logging Recorder (VLR) Solution.
- After-Sales support
Firstly, what is a voice logging recorder (VLR)?
Have you ever called a business and heard the phrase:
“All calls will be recorded for quality assurance purposes”?
This is one example of where a Voice Logging Recorder can be used to enhance continuous improvement and allow a company the ability to improve customer service.
Enterprises and governments worldwide log and create electronic records of many forms of audio communication including:
- 2-way radio
- Broadcast radio
- Public address
- Air Traffic Control
- Emergency Services
- Contact centres
The action of recording a call is done using a voice logging recorder (VLR)
Why would businesses need to record calls?
A survey was conducted asking 80+ industry professionals (spanning may job roles, companies, industries and geographies);
“Why are customer calls recorded?”
It is evident from these results that there are several areas where audio records would enhance business performance and contribute to process improvements.
Can you think of any areas within your business that could benefit from audio records?
Audio records are very useful to some businesses but vital to others such as blue light services (police, fire and ambulance) and air traffic control.
With audio communications being recorded, it poses the question regarding data protection.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union
Related content – Our top 4 GDPR guideline resources
So you know that you want to use a VLR within your business;
What are the top 5 points you need to consider?
For a VLR to serve your organisation to its full potential it needs to be flexible in:
- The diversity of potential recording inputs
- The tailored capabilities of the control & management software
- The available platforms for the recorder
- The after-sales service and support
The availability of flexible platforms for call/audio capture is a frequently overlooked aspect of the VLR selection process, especially in the critical communications market.
Traditional recording solutions are dedicated (physical) servers installed on the client’s premises, which still has its place, and is indeed required by law for some clients. However the rapidly evolving technological landscape has provided new and innovative solutions for clients who are willing to look beyond the traditional server ‘box’. Ideal for those who wish to retain physical ownership of the recording hardware (on-premises recording) but have a virtual machine recording solution.
For users who are open to software as a service, VLR companies such as Total Recall VLR offer a SAAS service. This allows users to take advantage of 100% hosted and managed cloud recording solutions, which offer easy monthly subscriptions and hands-off installation, configuration and management.
Support for diverse recording inputs is probably one of the most important technical considerations when acquiring a VLR.
Even if you’re current audio recording requirement is fairly basic (for example plain-old analogue telephone lines and radios), there is a good chance that your communications systems will be changing to IP within the lifetime of your VLR. You should therefore ensure that your chosen recording system can support a wide range of interfaces covering; analogue, digital and especially IP communications, with the possibility to easily upgrade systems with different recording channel types in the future.
Flexible control is imperative for both the security of your VLR and adding maximum value to your implementation.
From a security perspective you need to ensure that users can have finely tuned access to (and availability of) various features based on operational requirements. For example, it is often desirable to provide users with access only to calls involving their own telephone extension, or to restrict access to recorder configuration to technical staff. Highly configurable, per-user software access is an essential consideration in any VLR implementation.
The range of functions that the software provides need to be considered. For some users it is sufficient to have basic functions like single-channel call monitoring, call search & replay, and basic configuration. For others, more advanced features such as multi-channel event reconstruction, multi-channel monitoring, advanced network archive functions and/or system management can add significant value to the VLR solution, streamlining business processes and providing insights from the enormous volumes of call & audio data captured by the recording system. It is important to understand the full range of possibilities that your VLR software offers.
After Sales support
The type of support that your organisation will require depends on your mission and focus. A large organisation with dedicated technical staff may be able to undertake large proportion of service activities in-house, and only require very basic manufacturer support. Smaller organisations, or those whose mission is not technical/communications related may wish to have access to extended support services, or to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for longer periods. Therefore, it is imperative to reflect upon the full range of services and support that a VLR manufacturer provides
What products are available?
There are several products on the market and deciding on which one is the best fit for your organisation could be tricky. That is why we liked this comparison chart from Total Recall VR