Options to Record Multiple Small Sites

Options to Record Multiple Small Sites
Options to Record Multiple Small Sites

We get a few calls each month from business owners who need to record 5, or 10, or 15 different locations. But here in lies the rub, each location only has 2 or 3 phones that need to be recorded.  

This particular scenario is fairly common and shows that these business owners recognize the need for call recording. One, they see the value of listening to calls and monitoring their employees, and two, they know how important it is to ensure that each location matches the tone, quality, and message to company requirements.

Luckily, there are solutions to record these multiple locations. In fact, we currently have three to offer.

  • Solution 1: You purchase or build a separate call recorder for each location;
  • Solution 2: Set up a central/main recorder, and then utilize some method of sending a copy of the calls made on the remote location phones to the central recorder.
  • Solution 3:  Route the call traffic from the recorded remote phones through the centralized recorder location, so the recorder can collect it with mirror ports

The three options above go from easy to a bit more complicated and time-consuming. But, like in everything, “ The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle”.

On a side note: We want to make it clear that you understand how our recording solution works. Our solution is an on-premises (customer managed recorder). That means: a physical computer or VM is necessary because there has to be a place for calls to be stored and our software to be installed.

Our solution is not a cloud service, where we both provide your VoIP service AND we record the calls that come through the cloud service. If working with analog or digital lines coming into your building, you HAVE to have a physical PC. This is due to the fact you will require a physical recording board.

If VoIP is being recorded, either with your PBX stored in the cloud (hosted provider) or utilizing a VOIP service provider with your PBX on-premise, you may be able to utilize Virtual Machine options. However, again, this is a physical PC server that is present and storing your recorded calls.


Solution 1 – A separate call recorder for each site

Recorders on different sites can be connected with one or more of the configuration scenarios (see common recording scenarios) supported by Versadial Software.

Cost: $$$, The requirement to have an individual recorder PC or VM at each location makes it the most expensive solution. The big hurdle is that each location is not connected to a centralized telephone system and a call recording server has to be placed at each individual place of business. This can quickly add up in costs. Now instead of one server recording 10 lines, you have five separate servers recording 2 lines.  The hardware, configuration and management costs are typically what discourages most of these companies from moving forward.

Advantages: Individual site recorder configuration is usually simple and the connection is straight forward.  There are fewer factors that can affect recorder performance, and the recording process is more stable. If desired,  call recordings from individual site recorders can be uploaded to the centralized recorder for combined search and reviews.

Main Recorder

The individual recorder configuration and installation will be done for each location. Additionally, our support team can set up one centralized location. Meaning, one main office can be the main recorder, and all the other offices can act as a satellite recorder. All recordings and data will automatically upload to the centralized recorder (must have outside internet access). This feature allows managers to log into one central location and search and playback all calls across the entire company. Alternatively, managers can log in directly to each specific location and search/playback calls in that location.


Solution 2 – Set up a central/main recorder. Remote sites send a copy of the calls to the recorder

Cost: $ – $$.  The cost can be drastically reduced, no need for separate recorder in each location

Advantages: Single centralized recorder used to record multiple satellite offices.  In addition to lower cost, recorder management is simplified, access provided to calls from all locations in the same interface.

What This Option Means: You will have a single recorder in your main hub/operation. Recorded telephones at the remote location will have some method of sending a copy of the call to the central recorder.

Multiple methods to send the recorded calls to the centralized recorder:

  1. Use SBWin software license and adapter to record the single phone. SBWin is a software that can be installed on the user computer (Windows OS) and used to record phone calls via the phone headset adapter connected to the recorded phone. SBWin can automatically upload recordings to a centralized Versadial recorder. The adapter is connected directly to the handset of the phone to be recorded. At the time of this article, SBWin does not support softphones. Each line to be recorded must have an individual PC running a Windows operating system. The PC is typically the same PC that the agent uses for their daily tasks. Due to the limits of SBWin, capturing the dialed phone number or the caller ID is not available. This method relies on the agent being actively involved in the recording process. (For such recording, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – Virtual Channel)
  2. Onsite Versadial recorder (see Solution 1 above) can send recordings to the central recorder. (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – Virtual Channel)
  3. BARIX INSTREAMER or similar adapter can be used to convert analog outputs to RoIP (RTP streams) and send them to the recorder. This can be used to record analog phone or radio output, see ANALOG OR ROIP  to the remote centralized recorder.  (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – IPCAST channel)
  4. Some radio adapters or dispatcher stations/consoles can send a copy of the radio communications via RoIP stream to the remote recorder. (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – IPCAST channel)
  5. CUCM (Cisco Unified Call Manager) supports BIB style recording which allows configuring recorded phones to send a copy of the call directly to the remote recorder. (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – Terminating VoIP, Protocol CISCO BIB)
  6. VoIP phones used on remote sites can be configured to forward communication via open-source/free software OPEN SIP proxy (with media proxy). OPEN SIP supports SIPREC protocol and can send a copy of the recording to the Versadial recorder. (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – Terminating VoIP, Protocol SIPREC)
  7. Many VoIP devices, such as SBC (session border controller) support SIPREC protocol and can send a copy of the recording to the Versadial recorder. (For such recording method, the central Versadial recorder is configured with channel type – Terminating VoIP, Protocol SIPREC)

As you see, the multitude of possible remote recording configurations allows wide playfield for your recorder designer/administrator.


Solution 3:  Route the call traffic from the recorded remote phones through the centralized recorder location, so the recorder can collect it with mirror ports

Cost: $ – $$$

Good For: This option is good for someone who has a fairly confident IT person in-house.  This method is mostly applicable to VoIP communication.

What This Option Means:  Idea is the same as Solution 2 above, recording remote phones to a central recorder. The difference is that instead of sending a copy of the call directly to the recorder, we route call traffic in such a way that the central recorder can access and record it via network mirror/span port.

Approaches include:

  • RSPAN (remote span option)
  • Switches with remote mirror capabilities
  • Actual traffic routing via central location, to enable access to traffic to the local switch mirror port. You will need to take advantage of utilizing an open link connection such as an MPLS or a VPN. Due to the complexity and different switches and network configurations, this change will heavily rely on your current IT department or consultant.

In essence, you will select one main site to host the call recording server (either a complete system or a kit). All other sites will be considered satellite locations. These satellite sites will be required to connect to the main site via the open link connection. You will then span the mirror data to the single site recorder.

For more details, consult with your IT department. Versadial’s support department may be available for limited support to address your network issues and to clarify any confusion with your network administrator. Versadial does not provide direct support in configuring your open link or network switches.  

Conclusion

Versadial Solutions offers a variety of ways to record your business phones. Call us today if you are considering recording your business. A dedicated account sales manager can assist with directing you in the right direction.

CONTACT US or call us at 949-450-0650