MIA Telecoms, the sole distributor of Samsung telecommunication and PABX equipment in sub-Saharan Africa, has introduced Samsung’s ISERV, a high quality enterprise IP voice recorder at a fraction of the cost.
Samsung's extensive range of voice recording applications is cost effective and is integrated into the Samsung range of PABXs.
The applications extend from single seat applicants to multi-seat traditional voice to IP-based voice recording. Upon setup, all calls can be recorded via the MGI channels on the PABX and clients can use their current TMS platform to search for calls – making the product extremely user friendly.
MIA Telecoms MD Bryan Driessel says ISERV is fast becoming the preferred choice for SMEs.
“A host of sophisticated features are available on all systems in the Samsung range, ensuring clients maximise their potential of their communications solution. As a server-based solution, it is reliable and robust, ideally suited for SME businesses. The product has built-in encryption and search facilities allowing one to find recordings by e.g. time of day or extension number.”
This product is suitable for all sectors of business and emergency services. The system employs a scalable architecture, allowing cost effective deployment from the smallest four-channel system up to large enterprises handling many hundreds of lines. The recording is either IP recording, trunk side recording via analogue line, basic rate ISDN or primary rate lines.
Compliance, verification, dispute resolution and quality assessment are the standard reasons for installing a call logging system, particularly in the services sector. However, call logging offers a number of additional benefits.
“A business telephone call is no less a form of communication between parties than a letter, fax or e-mail, but because historically it has not been practical to file or archive conversations in the manner of black and white correspondence, only large organisations have been able to justify the investment required for call logging,” says Driessel.
“But times have changed. The smaller, faster, cheaper advances in IT and computer technology now brings sophisticated call logging systems within reach of even the smallest business.”
A professional call logging system is normally connected to the trunk side (Telkom line side) of a PABX as there are typically fewer incoming lines than there are extensions. This allows every call into and out of the business to be recorded.
Depending on requirements, calls pertaining to particular extensions may be automatically deleted or recorded on demand but this would usually only apply to upper management. As a result, once a call logger is installed in a business, the Telkom and "GSM premicell" accounts tend to drop quite dramatically as employees avoid using the company phones for personal calls.
He says most businesses already have a computerised call management system that is supposed to reduce unnecessary costs.
“In practice, however, few businesses devote serious effort to scrutinising the reports that these systems can produce. In many cases, only a routine admin task is performed to distribute costs amongst departments.
“Any questionable calls are usually explained away, as there is no way of confirming what the calls were about. It is therefore not uncommon for such management systems to lose their deterrent effect on excessive costs soon after being installed.
“In most businesses today, no one hesitates to make a call to a cell phone, and a ten-minute cellular call will seldom raise any eyebrows. But such a ten-minute call costs almost R20, and if just one employee develops a habit of calling a friend or spouse for ten minutes twice a day, this innocent little perk ends up costing the business over R700 per month,” he explains.
However, once it becomes known that calls are recorded, employees tend to use their own cell phones to make personal calls, which tend to be shorter as they’re now at their own cost.
In any business with four or more incoming lines, there is a high probability that the cost savings resulting from the installation of a call logger will exceed its monthly rental. This means that the fundamental purpose of call logging (compliance, verification, dispute resolution, quality assessment and so on) is achieved at little or even no cost.
Many managers looking to reduce overheads have found that addressing telephone expenditure provides rapid and measurable results, without any adverse effects on the business – the increased discipline can even lead to a general improvement in efficiency.
The average employee in the services sector spends a substantial portion of the working day on the phone, and few managers are aware of the level of "innocent abuse" that takes place. Unproductive calls are not restricted to personal ones and calls made to colleagues, suppliers and customers can lead to lengthy discussions on topics unrelated to the business.
“It is interesting to consider that that if an employee spends half an hour per day on personal or unnecessary calls, this eventually amounts to ten unproductive hours in a month – more than a full working day. Call logging provides the means for those unnecessary calls to be identified and addressed,” he adds.
Driessel points to instances where management would be horrified at the manner in which employees may deal with customers or suppliers.
“Often, inadequate training is to blame, but without actually listening to the calls, how does one identify such inadequacies? As a general rule, customer-liaison staff will be more helpful if they know that management can monitor their calls.”
Given the tools to analyse the telephone calls of an internal sales or telesales department, a dedicated sales manager can perform wonders with a sales team. Apart from the fact that the team will always be on its toes knowing that their calls can be monitored, it’s useful for the team to regularly analyse their best and worst calls.
Prior to a meeting, it can be useful to play back earlier phone calls with other participants, as vital points may have been misunderstood or even forgotten. Sometimes just being able to determine the date and time when a particular conversation took place can be important.
Though names, telephone numbers or similar items of information may be jotted down during a telephone conversation, they may easily be misplaced.
Call logging is a powerful tool when it comes to investigating or even uncovering, fraud and theft, especially theft of business information. This type of activity is unfortunately a growing problem in South Africa, and few companies are immune to it.
“Even though an employee who is engaging in dishonest activities will usually avoid using the company telephone for sensitive calls, statements like ‘I can’t talk to you on this line – call me back on my cell phone’ can be a definite give-away.
"A professional call logging system provides similar search facilities to those of a call management system, allowing easy investigation of calls to and from specific employees or customers,” he concludes.