Responding to recording requirements in Lync Voice RPFs
By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Marketing, AudioCodes
How many times have you heard: “This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes” I’ve always wondered – who’s quality is being assured? Mine? Theirs? Why do businesses record calls and how can partners address this often required capability in Lync voice proposals?
Call recording for businesses is generally a matter of avoiding the he-said/she-said of a dispute – whether the interaction between an employee and a customer or between two employees. Once someone knows that what they say may be recorded and played back, they are often much more careful with what they say and how they say it. This is why some businesses and industries insist on recording most (if not all) calls, archiving the recordings for some period…just in case. The financial, healthcare and government industries are particularly fond of including recording in their RFPs.
We’re not talking about user-initiated recording either – the type of recording specified in many RFPs is passive recording where neither the caller nor callee have control over the recording. As a matter of fact, most RFPs specify that the recording is “transparent”, meaning neither party can tell whether this particular call is being recorded or not. No red bubbles on the screen, no clicks, added noise or pops in the call that could give away information indicating that this call is actually being recorded. The native client initiated recording capability of Lync definitely does not meet these requirements.
Compared to call recording with legacy PBX systems, implementing recording with Microsoft Lync is a vexing task – the very nature of Lync is decomposed, often sending media and call control via different paths. The decomposed architecture makes identifying a central point in the network to perform the recording is difficult. In addition, the security implementation used by Lync encrypts control and media – preventing unauthorized “snooping”, but making recording more difficult. Implementing recording requires whole new architectures and strategy.
Some have tried to implement recording using Lync conference calls, having the recording engine act as a participant in a three-way call. While at first glance, this seems to accomplish the job, using a conference bridge for every call is extremely resource intensive and far from “transparent”. Other techniques include using listening ports on the Session Border Controller, but this only captures calls that to outside parties, missing internal employee-to-employee calls.
The solution is a recording architecture that leverages a combination of plug-in modules in both the Lync Edge Server and the Frond End Server.
This architecture, used by AudioCodes SmartTAP Call Recording Software, allows internal and external calls to be recorded “transparently” without the cost of additional conferencing servers or equipment. As shown above, the Front End Server Plug-in monitors the call session establishment process and adjusts call routing/traffic while collecting encryption keys to accommodate recording. The Edge Server Plug-in then manages media collection, forwarding copies of the calls to be recorded to the recording server and file storage resources.
Certified for use with both Lync 2010 and Lync 2013, AudioCodes SmartTAP has proven to be a highly effective means for partners to meet the recording/compliance requirements of a broad range of RFPs and Lync voice implementations.
Examples of successful architectures include an end-customer case study in the energy industry where call recording was required to track trades and transactions at Gazprom, a global oil and gas exchange. You can read more about this global distributed recording solution at the Gazprom Case Study page.
To learn about these and other advanced Lync deployment architectures, be sure to visit AudioCodes at the upcoming Microsoft World-wide Partner Conference (WPC) in booth #222 – requesting an appointment is highly recommended.
You can learn more on the web at:
- The Lync Pavilion presentation video on SmartTAP for Lync
- Microsoft solutions on AudioCodes web site: www.audiocodes.com/Microsoft
- Overview and technical details on SmartTAP: www.audiocodes.com/product-family/smarttap
- The Lync Migration Resource Center: www.lyncmigration.com
Continue the conversation with your comments or suggestions - Alan can be reached at email@example.com
AudioCodes, a Microsoft Communications Gold Competency partner, designs, develops and sells AudioCodes One Voice for Lync, a comprehensive portfolio of voice networking technology, professional services and global support, optimized for Microsoft Lync and Exchange Unified Communications solutions. Sold through a global network of highly-trained reseller partner community, AudioCodes One Voice for Lync simplifies the selection, implementation and support of Unified Communications. Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, AudioCodes is the One Source for Microsoft-certified products and services. To learn more, visit: http://www.audiocodes.com/Microsoft