Telco and IT Systems failure has never been a readily acceptable option for the financial community particularly now, given the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) increasing focus on regulatory compliance. With alarming regularity, fines are being issued by the FCA – this year levels are already in excess of £818 million*. For those firms such as trading floors or financial institutions, systems failure would not only result in substantial fines but also the probable destructive loss to business if trading were to be interrupted.
How do you ensure this never happens?
How many support staff have received that phone call from a despairing compliance colleague asking why they cannot find a really important call from last week? You investigate it and your heart stops when you realise that not only has that user not been recording but neither have at least ten other staff. After a timely investigation, you find out that it has been occurring for over a month. You start to wonder – Why did my daily tests not screen for this?
There are many scenarios where a call can be made but there is an issue with call data and so the call goes unrecorded. Unless you have a 100% fool proof manual testing process (with human beings, this does not exist), then failures will go unnoticed and Murphy’s Law will normally apply that the calls missed are the most critical. How does such a loss affect the business? Does this then have to be reported to the FCA?
5 Questions to ask yourself
1. How reliable is your existing systems infrastructure?
2. When did you last carry out and thoroughly test to investigate and highlight potential issues?
3. Would you be able to notify the business within minutes that a turret, or telephone (from the many in your organisation) has stopped recording?
4. Would you have information to hand to help find the root cause analysis of why the fault occurred?
5. How do you ensure all components of your recording estate are fully functional at the start of each day, and are at the correct and same patch version; consistent with the approved best practice configuration?
“Service Assurance” in a nutshell
Live Identification of Systems Failure
Applying Service Assurance technology to your voice recording systems can automate the testing and monitoring of your entire voice domain. Some vendors are developing monitoring solutions for voice recording platforms only; if you do not test the whole voice environment and their interoperability (SIP, VOIP Systems, Handsets, Turret Systems, Voice Recording, Archive Systems), then this is very limited. Today’s technology – you need to monitor from when a call first hits your environment to when it is archived and then subsequently deleted from long term storage.
Overnight and start of day health checks, which were previously undertaken manually, can be automated, eliminating ‘human error’ judgements in the process. With Service Assurance, real-time call recording failures are rapidly picked up on by performing active and passive tests on an hourly, daily or weekly basis ensuring issues such as voice quality or component failure are automatically spotted.
Real Time Reporting
Systems monitoring and reporting tools provide true operational intelligence, reducing the need for labour intensive management analysis production. Individual reports generated from systems monitoring technology can cover the outputs of tests which check to see if:
– Appropriate calls are being deleted automatically eliminating risk
– Trader policy regulation is being adhered to at all times
– Unauthorised users have been created on the system
– The audio quality of each call is to an acceptable standard which is applied consistently across the board, weeding out poor signals on recordings. If the call falls below a certain PESQ score it is automatically reported as a fail.
Utilising the strength of your staff
Commonly, firms employ large teams to carry out overnight/weekend labour intensive ‘walk the floor’ exercises to ensure their voice recording infrastructure and its associated components are working correctly. In some cases, the employees assigned to carry out these tasks are highly skilled individuals whose time could be better spent elsewhere on risk management rather than systems testing. For example, instead of comparing the audio on each call to see if it is of an acceptable quality, their time could be better spent reviewing the exception reports systems monitoring provides to identify where processes can be further improved.
Business Systems is leading the market with solutions to mitigate risk and identify issues that otherwise can be missed, with consequences we all understand and wish to avoid.
Contact us for more information on how we can help you move from a reactive management nightmare, to a positive and pro-active voice system monitoring methodology.