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How to enable compliance recording and analytics within Microsoft Teams

Recording, Compliance

Mass recording of communications has become a staple of modern business practice. The move to handling all communications through collaboration platforms, such as Microsoft Teams made the process even easier. While recording communications can be a powerful tool, it is vital to be aware of the legality of those recordings.

Since the financial crisis of 2009, regulators and governments have introduced stricter rules, such as the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, MiFID II in the EU, and other country-specific jurisdictions. These rules have a major effect on companies when it comes to recording and evaluating communications. They mandate voice and electronic communications storage, surveillance, and reporting around financial trading activities. Also, privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which governs how to manage personal data in the EU, entail substantial changes for companies in terms of processing customer data. 

Traditionally, compliance recording has been location-based. Today's situation creates barriers for companies using fixed phone lines, as these are bound to a specific location and unavailable for hybrid work environments. As a result, more and more companies are replacing their telephony systems with collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams. In recent years, Microsoft Teams has evolved to become one of the most powerful business tools on the market. More than just a system for collaboration and productivity, the ecosystem is packed full of tools to enable better communication in a hybrid world. However, as conversations in Teams continue to grow, they are subject to the requirements for recording according to MiFID II or Dodd-Frank. 

The native recording capabilities within Teams do not extend to external (PSTN) calls and offer limited support for industry regulations. This is why Microsoft has a Compliance Recording for Microsoft Teams certification program, which allows leading companies to offer solutions built to support the Teams experience. Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile is a mobile-first Microsoft Teams experience that allows business users to access Teams capabilities through their mobile identity on both their native dialer and any Teams endpoint. With Teams Phone Mobile, users may have one single phone number in Microsoft Teams across both their mobile service and desk lines, and seamlessly transition between networks and devices. ASC covers all Teams Phone options, records all channels, and is available across all global regions. 

Choosing the right compliance recording solution for Microsoft Teams

The importance of picking the right provider, with the best compliance recording and analytics feature sets, cannot be understated, as the difference can have a large impact – such as heavy fines or trade bans – on the businesses. The solution should not only be able to record and store data for a prescribed retention period, but also provide the ability to retrieve, replay, and analyze it for regulatory compliance, risk management, surveillance, and evidential purposes. Other functions such as recording control, access and replay rules, rights to delete recordings, selective backup for recordings, approval process, and many more are also essential to stay compliant.

With that in mind, all organizations with a legal obligation to record and archive their communications will benefit from a recording tool which is integrated in Microsoft Teams. In comes Recording Insights, one of the first certified compliance recording solutions for Microsoft Teams. Recording Insights is designed primarily to address regulated industries, such as the financial sector, the healthcare sector, and the public sector. However, what started in these heavily regulated sectors has now moved to other contact centers as more and more data is being processed for business development, resulting in the need for better analytical insights.

Compliance Recording at its best

Built specifically for the Microsoft Teams ecosystem, Recording Insights provides a fully compliant recording service for the entire Teams ecosystem. It supports all Microsoft Teams Phone options, including Microsoft Teams Calling Plans, Direct Routing, Operator Connect and Teams Phone Mobile. It records, if needed, the entire communications – including chat, audio, and video conferences. No separate external recording system is required. On top of that, businesses can set up different recording rules. Recordings can be started manually, but they can also be scheduled or commenced based on certain rules so that businesses only record specific teams or specific employees. Parallel, redundant recording ensures resiliency and highest availability.  When a recording needs to be initiated, two recording bots are invited to the session, as everything is recorded in duplicate, which then do the recording themselves and transfer the data to a back-end process that encrypts the recordings. From there, the file can be compressed, transcribed, translated, and analyzed with sentiment analytics. But more about that later…

Once the recording has been made, next is the question  of how to store it. For companies in industries with high regulatory demands, Recording Insights encrypts all data at a tenant level and allows teams to archive their recordings in selectable Azure regions. This means Companies can isolate their data footprint by region, ensuring full compliance with regulations as well as peace of mind for the client. There’s even support for user matching in the Azure Active Directory for better auditing capabilities. Users can implement exclusive encryption keys to administrators, and enable key rotation at pre-defined intervals, to ensure content remains as secure as possible. All this amounts to a solution that hands enterprises the ability to efficiently and securely go about their business knowing that they are complying with the regulations imposed on them.

Providing the insights businesses need

Compliance recording is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the features Recording Insights can provide. The solution uses Vision, Speech, and Language APIs from Azure Cognitive Services to allow businesses in financial, legal and public industries to work more efficiently. It enables companies to transcribe, classify recordings, extract sentiment, highlight keywords, add notes, or translate the transcript in over 90 languages.

Artificial Intelligence used to analyze recordings, is where businesses can start to see real value for money. For example, manually transcribing a recording of an hour takes five to six hours for an employee to do. However, with Recording Insight’s AI transcription capabilities, businesses can become 60 percent more efficient, as those same employees only need to focus on making sure the transcriptions are accurate.

Once a recording has been transcribed, businesses can then analyze those calls thanks to the AI integration that ASC has developed. The Recording Insights solution can alert businesses depending on what words are said within those calls. For example, this can help employees filter calls depending on whether the content needs to comply with regulations or other factors such as showing certain behaviors or high-risk patterns and thus supporting human actions, which can be a huge factor for banks when it comes to risk management.

Without the archiving and analytics functions that Recording Insights supplies, businesses run the risk of a high financial loss and poor services. With AI, companies can apply rules to filter the calls down, showing only the content that needs to comply with regulations, saving a lot of administration time and improving the quality of audits. For example, compliance officers in large financial institutions have thousands of recordings that they are responsible for, but it is unrealistic for them to go into every single recording. With the analytics functions of Recording Insights, they can look at the duration of the call or the time of the day and add filters to find the relevant calls to check.

Get quickly underway with your new compliance solution 

Once a sale has been made, the hourglass is turned upside down and the sands of time trickle down until you can start using the solution and get the most out of your investment. The growth of cloud usage has now set a new level of expectation for service providers, particularly of their onboarding process. Previously, system installations could take weeks. Recording Insights can be set up and ready to roll out within hours.

That is a key reason why Recording Insights was built to run natively on Teams. Being the only fully integrated compliance recording solution that can be accessed via the Teams Platform, Recording Insights provides a uniquely quick onboarding process. Also, users find a level of familiarity with the solution as it is fully integrated in Teams as a part of Microsoft 365 and the Azure environment. Furthermore, the integration of Azure Active Directory provides a fast and easy way to manage different user groups. Using an interface that is familiar to the user saves a lot of time and money for customers.

When it comes to regulated markets, this familiarity is also very important. Using an environment that employees know and can use efficiently reduces and prevents errors that could lead to financial penalties. This is why the configuration options of Recording Insights, although being extensive and covering all compliance issues, are created specifically as easy-to-define options. This ensures that all data that needs to be captured is captured and that only authorized users have access to data.

Too good to be true?

Many organizations throughout the world today have a legal obligation to record and archive communications within their business landscapes. However, for those using Microsoft Teams as the central hub for conversations, this hasn’t always been a simple process. The native integration available from ASC provides everything teams need in one simple environment. The compliant solution is available in the form of Smart Voice Recording and Compliance Voice recording, so teams can access different levels of omnichannel service depending on their needs. What’s more, the solution is frequently updated to suit the expanding and evolving needs of businesses, spending more time in their Teams ecosystem. 

Does this sound too good to be true for you? Then check out Microsoft’s take on how Recording Insights enables compliance recording and analytics within Microsoft Teams.

Request a demo and set up your free 30-day trial today.

Katrin Henkel
Chief Strategy Officer

Katrin Henkel is President of ASC Americas and has 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. In her more than 20 years at ASC, she has held many leadership positions at the company's headquarters in Germany, including Sales, Marketing, and Product Management. She has also been responsible for the partnership with Microsoft for many years.