Call Recording FAQ’s / Resources / Information

Most Commonly Asked Questions

1.What advantages do I get from Versadial compared to other recorder vendors?

Versadial Solutions has been in the voice recording industry since 1994. We pride ourselves on our ability to offer cost saving and affordable call recording solutions to multiple industries. Our call recording software and complete call recording system can be tailored to meet your financial budget and functional needs.

For more benefits and features of our call recording software please click here.

 

2. Is there hardware involved to record my calls?

It depends on your site configuration, recorded line(s) type and recording requirements. Our sales team will offer you all the possible options and help you select the best solution for your business.

 

3. How much is it? Is it a one time payment?

Your cost depends on following:

  • Type of the lines required to record
  • Total number of recorded lines
  • Selected recording board vendor
  • Recorder PC style and features

For more details please visit our ROI and Price page. We also encourage you to purchase a yearly software maintenance plan. The maintenance plan allows you to access the support desk as well us receive software updates. Please note, your call recorder will continue to function and record without the yearly software maintenance plan. 

Please call a sales specialist for further assistance.

 

4. How do I add new phones or users when I need to?

Adding Users:
You can add/remove users anytime you want. No need for extra hardware or software license required.

Adding Phone Lines:
Adding extra phones might require extra hardware and /or software licenses. This depends on recording site configuration you selected. If recorder connected to PBX trunk lines, but you add only internal phones – no need for extra hardware or software on recorder side. If recorder connected to analog or digital PBX extensions (internal lines) and you add extra lines to record, you will need both extra hardware and extra software license.

 

5. What happens if I change or I upgrade my phone system(s)?

VSLogger License
VSLogger licensed per number of recorded channels/lines. You can change your phone system, type of the recorded lines, recording boards used to record etc. with no need for extra licensing, as long as total number of recorded lines stays the same.

Recorded Line Compatibility
Your ability to use Versadial recorder with any new phone system can be affected by the recording hardware compatibility. Especially, if you record digital PBX extension lines. Our recording boards support vendor specific subsets of the PBX and phone models. You will not be able to reuse existing recording boards unless they support your new phone system and telephones model(s). If your new phone systems are not supported by existing recording boards, you can use boards from other hardware vendors (Versadial currently supports hardware from three different vendors).

If you are recording standard (vendor-independent) lines, such as: analog, T1,E1, ISDN PFR, ISDN BRI, VoIP with SIP signaling etc., you can reuse your existing hardware.

Please call us for more information.

 

6. Can everyone see the calls?

Recordings can be accessed remotely through our Versadial Call Monitoring software.

Access to recordings are granted by recorder administrator. User access rights can be narrowed to specific channel(s). Action permissions (search, play, monitor download etc.) can also be granted/revoked individually. Permission based access can be very granular and flexible. 

 

7. How do we store calls? How much storage is needed?

VSLogger software stores recordings in a program specific folder structure on a storage drive. Audio recordings are compressed with a user selected codec: u-law/ (64 kbs , 28.8 MB/hour ), ADPCM (32kbs ,14.4 MB/hour) or GSM (11kbs ,6 MB/hour).

Example: 450GB drive can hold around 84000 channel/hours for GSM compression.

Recordings are arranged by recording dates and channels. A software specific indexing system is created for fast search and access.

 

8. Can we do the installation ourselves?

call recording kit - diy

Turn your PC into a powerful Multichannel Digital Call Recorder

Record from 2 to 256 analog, digital, T1, E1, ISDN ( PRI or BRI), VoIP or radio lines.

Versadial was one of the first to offer call recorder kit solutions. Recorder kits include a single multichannel recording board, our award winning VSLogger software and licenses. Maximum number of licensed provided will depend on recording board purchased.

Kit is designed for Versadial Dealers and technically savvy direct users.

Call Recorder Kits differ in capabilities and recording boards included in the kit. Some kits (e.g. for recording VoIP phones with SIP for Cisco Skinny Signaling or for SIP trunks) are software only solutions and do not need any recording boards.

    • VSLogger: Our award winning call recording software is included in all of our systems.
    • No Hidden Costs: After you purchase our product, you own it.
    • Non-Proprietary: Software can be moved to another PC, sold or leased.
    • No Per Seat Licenses: We do not charge on a per seat basis. You can have multiple managers logged into the system.
    • Quality Control: Run Quality Control reports and monitor your sales or representatives with ease.
    • Recording Boards: From several manufacturers with overlapping capabilities. You will not get stranded when expansion or replacement is required

For more details on the software used with your call recorder kit, visit our VSLogger recording software engine or VSLogger Unlimited Call Recording Solution page.

 

9. What is the warranty and support coverage?

We offer a 30 day money back guarantee as well as a hardware and support warranty for one year after purchase. Additional warranty year(s) available at an additional cost. For detailed information on our current warranty and support coverage please speak with an Account Manager.

 

10. Do you offer onsite installation?

It depends on your location.

Often times we refer onsite installations to our verified partners. In rare cases we offer onsite installation and configuration to select customers.

 

11. Can I have a beep on a PRI, VoIP, or analog line automatically inserted?

Beep tone can be generated by software but for analog telephone lines only. It is not possible to generate beep onto digital lines such as T1/PRI/ISDN, digital PBX phones, or VoIP phones. The alternative is to use the handset beep adapters which connects to the telephone handset coil cord because that is an analog connection. Most PBX or phone systems do not have this beep feature either. But it does have an auto-attendant feature which makes an announcement that inbound callers can hear i.e. “Your calls are recorded for training purposes…” This auto-attendant is only for inbound calls and not outbound calls. So one way is to have the call recorder setup to only record inbound calls connecting to your trunk lines.


General FAQs

 

1. Do You Provide Onsite Installation and Maintenance?

Onsite installation through a Versadial VAR

Installing a Versadial call recorder can take between 1 to 20 hours depending on a number of factors. Optional onsite installation is available in selected locations through Versadial VARs. Product pricing remains the same between Versadial and its VARs but VARs can provide many added values to your business beyond just a professional hassle-free installation.

What is a Versadial VAR?

Versadial VARs (Value added resellers) sell and install phone, computer, or security systems in addition to selling and installing Versadial call recorders. These companies receive training and support from Versadial and can offer you several unique benefits.

  • Onsite installation
  • Onsite training
  • Onsite maintenance
  • Advice on integrating phone, computer or security systems
  • Knowledge of local laws and language

 

2. What Is Third Party Verification?

Third Party Verification

third party verification process is often used for the control of sensitive transactions made over the telephone. For example, when you order phone service from the phone company, a customer service representative might transfer or conference with a manager or a third party representative to verify that the client actually ordered the service.

The verification feature allows you to substitute the Versadial recorder for this person. Instead of conferencing the call with a person, the agent can conference with a Versadial recording channel configured for verification.

Common verification recording steps are:

  • The customer call is accepted by the agent
  • Before confirming the order and repeating the order details to the customer, the agent conferences the call to a verification channel of the Versadial recorder.
  • The recorder answers the call, plays an optional prompt and starts recording.
  • The agent repeats the order details to the customer and asks him/her to confirm the order.
  • The agent dials in the preconfigured stop key (the “#” key, for example)
  • The recorder stops recording, plays the verification number and hangs up.
  • The agent and the customer then continue the call.

Note: Verification requires a terminating recording card capable of answering the call and playing some audio prompts to the line. Verification is supported only on analog lines with SmartTap LDA recording cards and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) PRI (Primary Rate Interface) trunks with SmartTap DT recording cards. All other recording cards supported by Versadial recorders are passive and do not support verification.

 

3. How Does VSLogger Integrate Third Party Verification?

Reduce the cost of your 3rd party verification

Third party verification is mandated by law in certain industries such as utilities or brokerages. It is also used by sales departments in many other industries as a way to prove a verbal contract and thus reduce liability. A Versadial call recorder performs the same task of verification as the 3rd party method by playing a message over the phone and then recording the response of the customer. The advantage comes in the cost-savings of using a machine to automate the process instead of transferring the call to a third person. Of course, many companies that wish to preserve the more personal nature of using a person to ask for the verification still use a call recorder to record the call because the call recordings provide additional proof and makes it faster to find the evidence in the event of a dispute.

How VSLogger Call Recorder Software makes 3rd party verification easy

VSLogger call recording software can be set up to allow an extension receiving a call to play a message and then record the response. VSLogger makes it easy to later find that recording, play it back or export it as an industry-standard WAV file. A custom code can be automatically attached to each recording from your database or sales software. This makes locating the recording from any other software simple and fast.

Calls where third party verification is used

  • Electronic check payments taken over the phone
  • Confirmation of a contract in lieu of a signature
  • Confirmation of orders for utilities or phone service

Industries that use third party verification

  • Brokerages
  • Credit card companies
  • Sales departments
  • Insurance companies
  • Utility companies
  • Telecom companies
  • Security agencies

 

4. How Does VoIP Recording Work?

VoIP calls travel digitally on computer networks rather than via dedicated telecom cables. Some phones even connected via Wi-Fi. Because there are no wires dedicated only to phone calls, recorder cannot be connected to recorded line in conventional connection sense.

All VoIP recording methods fall into two categories:

  1. Passive recording – which is based on  Network traffic sniffing or network traffic filtering. This is usually done by connecting recorder to network switch mirror(or SPAN) port, rather than phone lines. Via the SPAN port, the recorder will “sniff” for signaling and RTP (Real Time Protocol) packets that correspond to recorded calls.  Ability to record often limited with ability to send required traffic to specific mirror port.  On large and complex networks sending required traffic to specific mirror (SPAN) port could become a complex task, which is outside of the scope of this FAQ.
  2. Terminating recording – which applies to all recording methods making recorder part of the call. With terminating recording, recorded device or PBX  sends copy of the conversation to the recorder. Recorder becomes kind of silent  participant of a conference call. Cisco BIB (built-in-bridge) or SIPREC based recording falls into this category.

 

5. What Are The Various Ways To Do Phone Recording?

Record at the trunk, extension, handset or VoIP

Each of these phone recording methods has its own pros and cons. In the diagram to the right you can see where each of these options is in relation to the others. Trunk lines (in green), extension lines (in orange), phone handsets (in blue) and VoIP computer network lines (in brown).

  • Trunk Lines
  • Extensions
  • Handsets
  • VoIP

Trunk lines (in green) are the phone lines coming from your phone company and are usually connected to your PBX. In some cases they are connected directly to your phones. The PBX, (Private Branch eXchange), is an in-house telephone switching system that interconnects extension lines (in orange) to phone handsets in the telephone network. Usually you will have less trunk lines than extension lines. The phone handsets (in blue) are what is used to make calls. VoIP travels on your computer network lines (in brown). A Versadial phone call recorder can tap into any of these four locations.

Now that you are familiar with the four choices in which a phone call recorder can tap into, click on one of the four links above and discover the pros and cons of each as well as a diagram of how each of these methods is set up.

 

6. How Does Call Recording Work?

The telephone recorder has to be attached to the telephone, radio or audio lines to be recorded. Most telephone recorders will cover multiple lines. The telephone recorder keeps track of each line and records the audio and data. Call recording software can be used to search, access and playback recordings. In some telephone recorders, call monitoring can be done live while the recording is being made.


The 3 types of telephone recorders in use today
:
Tape:
A telephone recorder in the old days was a huge machine that used reel to reel tape. It was expensive, difficult to learn how to use and expensive to maintain. Cassette tapes made it become feasible for small companies to also record their calls but finding recordings was a nightmare and the user was required to remember to start and stop their own recordings as well as change tapes. With Cassette tapes, live call monitoring is also impossible. Tape units are now largely obsolete.

Proprietary hardware:
Developed to replace the tape based telephone recorder, it consists of proprietary electronics and proprietary call recording software. The advantage of this is that everything usually works well together. The disadvantage is that the only way to repair, upgrade and maintain the proprietary unit is through the company that sold it, or their licensed technicians. This is usually quite expensive and it may be difficult or impossible to find that company’s technicians in some countries or regions. Because the hardware and software was all built into a single unit, upgrades are often impossible. This meant that companies often had to throw away their old proprietary telephone recorder when they wanted to record more lines, or started using a newer type line such as digital or VOIP. Proprietary hardware telephone recorders come in all shapes and sizes from one channel boxes that sit on a desk to huge rack mounted servers that recorded hundreds of channels and have very powerful call recording software to analyze voice patterns and integrate them with a databases.

PC integrated:
The newest type of voice recorder integrates the power of a multichannel telephone recorder into an inexpensive and easy to upgrade PC. The call recording software is then installed to enable live call monitoring, search functions, archiving, playback and in some cases custom reports and grading. If the telephone recorder is attached to a network or the Internet, some call recording software will allow multiple users on different computers to access recordings or do live call monitoring. Costs are lower because PCs are relatively inexpensive and upgrades can be as easy as installing new PCI cards or call recording software. Maintenance and service are also much less expensive because parts can be purchased from a variety of vendors and a specialized technician is not needed.

 


Unique benefits of a Versadial telephone recorder:
A Versadial telephone recorder is integrated into a PC. This telephone recorder consists of 3 parts:

  1. A Windows based PC
  2. Voice recording PCI cards
  3. The VSLogger call recording software.

Versadial was the first company to offer a Kit version of its telephone recorder. A Kit version consists of the Voice recording card and the call recording software and allows the user to install these into their existing Windows based PC. This option brought the power of a full-featured telephone recorder into a price range that even a small businesses could afford. A unique benefit of a Versadial telephone recorder is that the software used to monitor and manage the telephone recordings can be installed on multiple computers at no additional charge. This is a huge cost savings to larger businesses that wish to have multiple supervisors and managers access and use the telephone recordings. Most other call recording companies charge a seat license fee for each computer the software is installed on.

Versadial telephone recorders are known for their quality and reliability.

7. What Are Call Recording Laws in the United States?

A brief overview of U.S. state and federal laws

One or two party consent
In the U.S. the individual states have different laws concerning telephone recording. These fall into two categories: Two party notification, and One party notification. Two party notification means both parties being recorded in a conversation must consent. One party notification only requires one of the parties being recorded to consent. Consent is usually granted by a notification recording at the beginning of the call, or with a audible beep tone. The California Supreme Court decision in Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., S124739 (July 13, 2006) showed that in a call from a One party consent state to a Two party consent state the Two party law takes precedence.

Which states have two party consent laws?
States with two party consent laws are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. All other states have one party consent laws, but even if your company resides in a one party consent states, if it might make calls to two party consent states it should either provide notification to both parties or not record these calls.

Telephone recording in businesses

Federal law requires the notification of at least one party in a call (18 U.S.C. Sec. 2511(2)(d)). However there is a “business telephone” exception that allows employers to record calls on phones they provide to employees.

What is needed to get “consent?

The FCC defines the methods that can be used to obtain consent as:

  • Verbal or written consent given before the recording is made.
  • Verbal notification before the recording is made. (This is the most common)
  • An audible beep tone repeated at regular intervals during the course of the call.

Using recordings as legal evidence
One of the top uses of telephone recorders in business is to deter or protect against lawsuits. To do this the consent laws must be observed particular to the state called from and called to. Due to interpretation and exceptions particular to individual states the safest course of action is to get consent from both parties by giving verbal notification at the beginning of the call or having an audible beep tone.

It is highly recommended you seek assistance from your legal adviser. This is only a brief overview of general state laws and not intended as legal counsel.

References

The FCC on phone recording
RCFP information on recording


Ways To Record

 

1. VoIP Call Recording

How to record VoIP calls on your network

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is audio delivered in information packets on a regular computer network or over the internet. VoIP call recording works differently than recording trunk or extension lines or handsets. VoIP call recording taps into your network lines at a hub, or at the SPAN port on a switch. In this way as network traffic travels over your ethernet cables, a Versadial recorder can detect compatible VoIP packets and record them. Use a network analyzer to check the SPAN or mirror port configuration.

Pros

  • Only one ethernet cable needs to be attached to a hub or switch making installation quick.
  • Versadial recorders will automatically detect compatible VoIP traffic on your network.
  • Because VoIP is all digital, VoIP call recording quality is excellent.
  • As long as your IP phones are connected to your network they can be located anywhere in the world and still be recorded.

Cons

  • Versadial recorders are only compatible with unencrypted VoIP.
  • Not all flavors of VoIP or VoIP PBXs are compatible with Versadial recorders. Speak with an account manager to see if your system is compatible.

 

2. Recording Handsets

How to attach a phone recording device at the phone handset

If recording at the trunk or extension do not work with your setup then another option is to attach your phone recording device at the phone handset itself. In this scenario an adapter connects the phone handset to a cable leading back to the phone recording device. Because of the need for this extra wiring, extension or trunk line recording are usually preferable.

Pros

  • All PBX and phone types are supported by connecting the phone recording device to the handset.
  • You can select which extensions to record and which not to record.
  • The phone recording device sorts recordings into folders by the handset they came from.

Cons

  • Installation times tend to be longer because of the need to run cable from the phone recording device to each handset.
  • The phone adapters and extra cable add extra cost.
  • Caller ID and dialed number information are not captured in the recording.

 

3. Recording PBX Extensions

How to record PBX extensions with a voice logger

Connecting a voice logger to the extension lines that come from a PBX offers the most recording data and options and should always be considered as your first option. Unlike recording from the trunk or handset, attaching a voice logger to your extension lines requires that your voice logger be compatible with your PBX. This is because the PBX literally communicates its information to the voice logger. A list of compatible PBXs and phones currently usable with all Versadial voice loggers. Most Major PBXs from manufacturers such as Avaya, Cisco, NEC, Nortel and Panasonic are supported. The lines between the Versadial voice logger and where you are tapping your extension lines should generally be no longer than 30 feet to insure that the signal quality of the recordings stays strong. One of the advantages of recording from the extension is that the voice logging software will gather call data directly from the PBX and append it to each recording. This information usually includes the extension making the call, the caller ID, or if the call was outbound or inbound.

The pros

  • Extension to extension calls inside your company can be recorded.
  • Detailed data from the PBX is integrated into each recording.
  • You can select which extensions to record and which not to record.
  • Recordings are saved in folders by the extension they came from.

The cons

  • Usually more lines to tap. This usually means longer installation times.
  • Usually more expensive than trunk side recording because of greater hardware needs.
  • Not all PBXs are supported.

Click Here for more in-depth look on the pros and cons of extension side.

 

4. Recording Trunk Lines

How to set up a call recorder to record trunk lines

Connecting a call recorder into a company’s trunk lines is the most common way call recording is done today in businesses. Though recording at the extension offers the most options, recording at the trunk lines is the second best alternative and offers a few advantages over extension line recording. A Versadial call recorder can tap into your trunk lines before they enter your PBX. To do this one needs a punchdown block that allows the trunk lines to be”T” split. The trunk lines go into the punchdown block, then back out to the PBX. Another set of lines then goes from the punchdown block to the Versadial call recorder set up in a PC close by.

The pros

  • Less lines to tap, usually meaning shorter installation times.
  • Less lines mean lower costs as the price of a call recorder is based on the number of lines recorded.
  • Allows for an audible beep tone created by the call recorder on analog trunk lines.
  • PBX auto attendant messages are recorded.

The cons

  • If you have a PBX, calls from one extension to another in your company will not be recorded.
  • You will not gather information about which extension made the call unless you integrate SMDR data*.

Click Here for more in-depth look on the pros and cons of trunk side.

IMPORTANT: SMDR data is data about the call produced by your PBX. It can be passed to your call recorder by a serial cable connection from the PBX. Because all PBXs use different programming and offer different data the process of setting up your call recorder to understand the SMDR data can be very time consuming and is a process of trial and error.

 

5. Dynamic Phone Call Recording

Full Channel and Dynamic Recording

Versadial has been offering full channel recording which allows for recording all telephones, VoIP, PRI, radios, microphones, and other types of lines. Our new feature is dynamic recording which allows for a specific number of active simultaneous recordings for all channels. For example, 6 active simultaneous recordings for any of 12 telephones. For extension-side recording, dynamic also allows for manual enable/disable of any 6 extensions out of the 12 on-the-fly without interruption of the recording service. Dynamic recording will cut costs because it does not require full-channel recording licenses for every phone a company has. Companies that do not need every call recorded or that only have a portion of their extensions in use at a time will see huge cost savings from this feature!

Full Channel Recording

  • For customers recording all calls
  • Requires full-channel recording cards
  • Requires full-channel recording license
  • Cost is set by the number of channels recorded
  • Standard and most common option

Dynamic Recording

  • For customers recording random calls or specific number of simultaneous calls
  • Requires full-channel recording cards
  • Requires partial-channel recording license
  • Saves cost for recording license
  • New and cost savings option

 

 

6. SIP Recording Software and Trunk Lines

The VS Logger call recording system is capable of recording from SIP trunks.

Your VoIP SIP based telephone system can be even more effective with the addition of call recording functionality. Any size business can benefit from Versadial recording solutions.

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and is a VoIP service offered by many Internet Telephone Providers today. (read more on SIP)



Versadial provides recording capabilities for those businesses that use SIP communications. Call data can be captured directly from the SIP trunk, including start/stop times, caller ID, dialed number, and other details.

Businesses with SIP can also use VoIP on an installed PBX to gain access outside the organization’s network. This can reduce the need for costly PSTN trunks and increase call capacity. Overall, SIP can help a company lower costs and simplify administration.

Versadial’s recording application works with many of today’s leading VoIP PBX phone systems.

Check our compatibility list or call our sales team to configure the best solution for your business.


Installation

 

1.Call Recording Kit Installation (Analog channels)

Recording Additional Resources

 

1. Supported PBXs and Phones

Avaya, Cisco, NEC, Nortel, Panasonic, Shoretel, MSLync (Skype for Business), Mitel, Toshiba, and more

Versadial recorders are compatible with the PBXs and phones produced by most major vendors, ensuring seamless attachment of call data to each call recording at the extension level. For those few models that are not directly supported, trunk side or handset recording are available and SMDR integration can often give much of the same call data. Versadial tests and adds new brands and models to its supported list each month so check back regularly for new additions!

Please Go Here To See A List Of Supported PBX and Models

 


Call Recording Terms/Definitions

Definitions and Common Call Recording Terms Used

Alphabetical list of call recording terms:

  • ANI:

    (Automatic Number Identification) ANI information is used like caller ID except for a few differences that make it impossible to block or hide.
  • Analog line:
    The first type of phone lines the phone companies used. An analog trunk line is one coming in from the phone company. An internal analog lines runs within the company to an analog phone, usually over an RJ11 phone cable. A single phone conversation or channel can run over this type of line.
  • Analog phone:
    A regular telephone designed to be used with Analog trunk lines.
  • Call recording:
    (Also known as a Phone recording, Voice logging, Agent monitoring or Call monitoring.) The term call recording means to record a telephone call or other audio source. A call recorder is the hardware and software that tap into a phone line (usually multiple lines or channels) and records or monitors those calls.
  • Channel:
    (Also known as a line or a port.) A channel originally was a term used for a single digital line, but now is fairly synonymous with a line or a port. Sometimes confusing as a Digital line such as a T1 may carry multiple channels. However a channel can only carry one phone conversation.
  • Compression:
    call recordings can be shrunk into smaller computer files that take up less space by using various compressions. Usually the smaller the file size the higher the compression and usually the poorer the audio quality.
  • D channel:
    (Data channel) A special channel on T1 PRI or E1 PRI lines that carries information about the voice or phone channels such as the phone number the call came from (ANI information), and what phone number it is going to. (DNIS information)
  • Digital extension:
    A digital extension is a number assigned by a PBX to a digital phone that allows a single phone number to be subdivided into many sub numbers. A digital phone recorder can capture what extension a call recording was made from when attached by a serial cable to the SMDR port of a PBX. The digital phone recorder must then be able to translate the SMDR data from the PBX and attach this data to the recording. This usually requires a few hours of testing and setup.
  • Digital phone:
    Usually a phone that works with and requires a particular digital PBX or set of PBXs from the same manufacturer. The PBX assigns each digital phone a digital extension number that can be easily changed or reassigned at a later time. Digital phones, just like analog phones use RJ11 phone cables.
  • E1 PRI:
    A digital trunk line that carries 31 channels or phone lines within it and 1 “D” channel, that carries digital information about the other 31 phone lines.
  • E1 regular:
    A digital trunk line that carries 32 channels or phone lines within it.
  • Ethernet cable:
    (Also known as 8P8C, Network cable or mistakenly as RJ45 cable) This is the standard cable used to connect networks and computers together. It has 8 pins at the end but otherwise looks like a large phone cable. A Versadial phone recorder will use CAT 5 Ethernet cable connect to the SPAN port of a hub or switch of a LAN (local area network) to record VoIP calls.
  • Extension lines:
    Internal phone lines that connect the PBX with one or more phones at a location. Recording extension lines allows the collection of a wealth of data from the PBX as well as allowing for the recording of extension to extension calls. This is the preferred way to record though it may be more expensive as there are usually more extension lines than trunk lines at a location. This is because an extension allows several phones to access each trunk line since it is unlikely that all extensions will be in use at once. Extensions communicate in a format determined by the PBX that connects them to the trunk lines.
  • Handset:
    Another name for the phone. A phone recorder can tap into a phone line at the individual handset as well as at a PBX or on from the trunk lines. Recording from the handset has several advantages but involves running an extra cable from each phone to the phone recorder that can be a lot of work and clutter.
  • ISDN BRI:
    An older digital format that carries two phone lines or channels along with a third D channel that carries special information about the two phone lines.
  • Monitor:
    To listen to “live” or ongoing call recordings. Phone lines, radio channels or any type of audio line can be monitored.
  • PBX:
    (Private Branch Exchange) A PBX or PABX is an electronic device used to take incoming trunk phone lines and route them to the appropriate extensions inside a company. There are many brands of PBX with slightly different features. Most have a SMDR port providing a log of call information. The most common reason a company buys a PBX is to allow them to purchase less trunk phone lines from their phone company or telecom provider than they would otherwise have to buy. A PBX could allow a company with 24 digital extensions to only need four or 12 incoming trunk lines. Since it is rare that all 24 digital extensions would be in use at once the PBX is able to route incoming or outgoing calls on available trunk lines. When a PBX is used then the type of handsets or phones used must be compatible with that PBX.
  • PDA:
    A portable digital assistant. Basically a small handheld computer sometimes integrated with a phone and known as a “smart phone.” PDAs usually run either the Palm OS or Windows Mobile operating system. In call recording a PDA may be used to monitor calls, search and access call recordings over a wireless network allowing supervisors more freedom in doing their job. Only Versadial currently offers call recording software that works on a PDA.
  • PABX:
    (Same as a PBX) The more accurate but less used term for PBX.
  • Phone brand and model number:
    Different phones are compatible with different PBXs and call recorders. To find out what model and brand phone you have either ask the telecom provider that sold them to you or look on the bottom of the phone. Most phones have this information printed there. This info could look like this: “Nortel M7280″ or “Plantronics CT12″.
  • Phone line:
    The cable that brings audio to a phone. A phone line may be digital or analog and usually consists of a single channel allowing one call at a time to be transmitted over it. Some digital lines may be subdivided to carry multiple channels, each with a phone conversation. Such digital lines are T1s, E1s, ISDN or similar digital lines.
  • Phone recorder / Digital phone recorder:
    (Also known as a Call logger, Voice logger, Agent monitor or Call monitor.) A phone recorder consists of the hardware and software necessary to tap into, monitor and record phone lines, radio transmissions or any type of audio line. Most call recording is done by recorders that can monitor and record multiple lines simultaneously as well as providing ways to search call recordings by various means, and grade or attach custom notes to these call recordings. Phone recorders range in price from the cost of a computer up to tens of thousands of dollars for large systems with complex software. Digital phone recorders are specialized to record directly from digital trunk lines, or from the PBX.
  • Port:
    (Also known as a line or a channel.) Port refers to the plug in spot for an incoming line being recorded. A phone recorder with 4 ports would be able to record 4 phone lines or 4 conversations at once.
  • Punch down block:
    Usually a small plastic frame box that allows multiple RJ11 phone cables to be plugged in and connected to a large Telco cable that can carry all the lines within one cable. This is useful in reducing the number of cables having to be run to between the phone recorder and the phones to be recorded.
  • RJ11 cable:
    (Also known as a standard phone cable) Everyone has seen and used on of these standard phone cords. With 4 pins on a transparent plastic connector and a gray cable these usually only carry one phone line or channel.
  • Serial cable:
    A serial cable is a common computer cable used to connect peripheral devices such as a modem to a computer and has 25 pins. Used by a phone recorder to connect to the SMDR port of a PBX.
  • SIP
    The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an IETF-defined signaling protocol, widely used for controlling multimedia communication sessions such as voice and video calls over Internet Protocol (IP). The protocol can be used for creating, modifying and terminating two-party (unicast) or multiparty (multicast) sessions consisting of one or several media streams. The modification can involve changing addresses or ports, inviting more participants, and adding or deleting media streams. Other feasible application examples include video conferencing, streaming multimedia distribution, instant messaging, presence information, file transfer and online games.
  • SMDR port:
    (Station Message Detail Recording) This serial port is common on most modern PBXs and provides information such as what phone numbers called in, what extensions they called to, and what time of the day they called. This valuable information can be harvested by the phone recorder and attached to the call recordings automatically by plugging a serial cable between the phone recorder and the SMDR port of a PBX.
  • Telecom cable:
    (Also known as an Amphenol or Telco cable) A heavy 50 pin connector cable used to carry multiple phone lines inside a company. This cable handles up to 25 channels or phone lines within it and is typically used to connect from the phone recorder to a block with up to twenty five RJ11 or phone cables.
  • T1 PRI:
    A digital trunk line that carries 23 B channels or phone lines within it and 1 D channel, that carries digital information about the other 23 phone lines.
  • T1 regular:
    A digital trunk line that carries 24 B channels or phone lines within it.
  • Trunk line:
    An incoming line from the phone company or telecom provider. These incoming lines can be analog, T1, E1, ISDN or PRI and often carry multiple channels pm each capable of carrying its’ own phone conversation. Tapping into trunk lines for call recording is usually more cost effective and easier than recording from the extension lines but may make it harder to search the call recordings later as the detailed extension information is not available unless a workaround such as SMDR integration is used.
  • Voice logger:
    (voice recorder) The term voice logging means to record a voice or audio source. Voice logging is synonymous with call recording.
  • VOIP:
    (Voice Over Internet Protocol) A newer technology that allows phone conversations to be digitized and sent as packets of information transferable over the Internet or local networks and then translated back into phone conversations. VOIP specific phones are necessary to translate the information into sound and some type of a network to carry the information. Phone recorders can capture and record VOIP conversations in a variety of ways.
  • VOX:
    (Voice activation) Voice activation allows a phone recorder to start recording once a sufficiently loud sound comes in over a phone line. The volume level necessary to trigger recording can be set by a user in the VS Logger software. Choosing VOX as a triggering mechanism has pros and cons. VOX requires no compatibility between the PBX and the recorder and can be used to save storage space by getting rid of hold time. The disadvantages to VOX are the amount of time needed to determine the best threshold level to activate recording. If the level is too low then low volume connections may get missed, but if it is too high then ambient noise may trigger unwanted recordings. Other options for triggering recordings include “on-hook/off-hook” or an event such as the pressing of a defined button on the phone or on a computer.
  • WAV file:
    An industry standard file used to store a piece of audio. This standard is playable on any Windows based computer and is the recognized standard. It is not a compressed format though and the file size is quite large. WAV files can easily be converted into other compressed file types.