Voice Logging to Skype Recording
‘Back in the 1980s and 90s, tape drives, voice loggers and visual basic were used to record phone calls. These systems were premise-based and heavily reliant on robust and expensive voice loggers which would capture and store calls using tape. Companies were forced to have reels and reels of tape in their back office, and it was nearly impossible to locate a specific call when necessary. These early recorders could only record ‘all calls’, as they had no selective recording capability. Think “Dictaphone” and “Racal Recorders”.
In the early 2000s, we saw a rise in “quality monitoring” and “customer experience management” systems which employed selective recording capabilities to capture a sampling of calls per agent, group, customer pool, etc. in order to assess agents and identify ways to increase customer service performance. Quality monitoring systems also featured graphical reports which could bring recording data to life for supervisors and even business users.
At this same time, the industry also starting seeing software-based systems (a la Witness Systems) as well as early iterations of “speech analytics” (or “emotion detection”) and screen recording technologies from the likes of NICE, Verint and Eyretel. These nascent approaches to taking the spoken word and turning it into searchable data had their challenges but were showing signs of promise. Select Fortune 100 companies were the early adopters and some were seeing modest success.
In the mid-2000s, we saw the sophistication of analytics solutions improve along with the rise of VoIP recording, which reduced the need for costly voice loggers and associated hardware (along with before-mentioned software-only systems). These emerging technologies started taking off and gaining market acceptance, and today they are quite ubiquitous. This time period also saw mobile recording coming to bear, especially in the financial industry. Regulations continue to drive this type of recording forward.
Now, as we near the 2020s, “call recording” is morphing once again into “interaction recording”, as telephone-based conversations are not the exclusive means of interaction. Now, with providers like Numonix, the industry is being introduced to chat-based recording (along with traditional telephone-based recording) via Skype for Business. This enables business users to capture the audio, screen and even chat window of their Skype for Business Calls and store them like traditional call recordings for compliance, customer service, dispute resolution and the like.
At the same time, cloud recording (also known as “interaction recording as a service” or “IRaaS”) is gaining significant momentum by shifting the onus and troubleshooting of interaction recording solutions to service providers. Costs are lower, no on-premise hardware is required and system upgrades are pushed instantly and automatically to subscriber users. These web-based solutions, along with mobile recording, speech analytics, now desktop analytics and other emerging technologies are sure to further develop and become more affordable, especially for smaller businesses who were previously held back due to high costs.
As for what’s next the recording industry, only the future knows.