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Key Considerations when Choosing a Communications Compliance Management System

11 min read
Author Business Systems UK
Date Jan 17, 2024
Category Wordwatch

In today’s data-driven world, organisations seek ways to harness the power of information for better decision-making, improved communications compliance, and enhanced customer experiences. However, the sheer volume and diversity of data, particularly legacy and live interactions records, such as call recordings and instant messages, often pose significant challenges.  

Those organisations required to retain data for long periods of time, often for regulatory purposes, usually already possess a range of communications recording infrastructure built up over the years, resulting in a complex mix of technology, scalability and storage challenges. This means search and retrieval of specific records becomes difficult to navigate – imagine a regulatory request with a 48-hour deadline landing and not knowing where to begin. This is more common than you might think. 

Now, with an evolving regulatory landscape, as outlined in the recent 2024 Surveillance Benchmarking Report, sponsored by Wordwatch, many organisations are gearing up for further investment in surveillance and recording systems that will further complicate their existing infrastructure.

The right Communications Compliance Management solution can help organisations remain compliant and respond to regulatory requests with ease, while simplifying data estates and empowering the business to realise competitive advantages by integrating the recorded data into their intelligence capabilities. 

We’ve compiled a checklist covering the criteria to look for and considerations to take to ensure you choose the right Communications Compliance Management System: 

Data Archiving and Management

Correct data archiving is crucial for ensuring that interaction data, legacy and live, is stored securely. In line with the directives of relevant regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). 

  • Ingest and Metadata Integration: Your new Communications Compliance Management System should be able to ingest metadata for easy access and search of archived data. The data should be kept in its original format, with no transcoding changing the data integrity. 
  • Write Once Read Many (WORM) Format: Legacy data, such as call recordings, should be stored in a WORM format to prevent accidental or unauthorised deletion and preserve critical data. 
  • Multiple Archiving Locations: The system should support ingestion from multiple data archiving locations to ensure data redundancy and resiliency. 

Search and Retrieval

Accessing communications data quickly and easily is essential for businesses that need to respond to regulatory requests within a strict timeframe or for other record-keeping audits. For an efficient search and retrieval experience you should look for: 

  • Immediate Replay Access: For playback and review of all communications data, regardless of where the data was originally captured. This allows for rapid retrieval and analysis of historical and live interactions. 
  • Download Option in .WAV or .MP3 Format: The system should have the capabilities to download communications data in file formats such as .WAV or .MP3 for offline review or archiving purposes. 
  • Flexible Search Capabilities: To support a wide range of search parameters, including but not limited to date/time ranges, call direction, user, device, teams or groups, and call duration.  
  • Create and Delete Search Templates: Users should have the ability to create and delete search templates for frequently used criteria, streamlining the search process. 
  • Support for CDRs and VOX Records: As well as providing a comprehensive view of legacy and live interactions, the system should support searching for both CDRs (Call Detail Records) and the underlying VOX (Voice Recording) records. 

Compliance Workflows and Regulatory Support 

Communications data often contains sensitive information that organisations are required to protect. Ensure your new solution has the following features to manage compliance workflows and necessary regulatory support effectively: 

  • Hold Functionality: To comply with retention regulations, it is important that the application of holds is supported by the system to prevent the deletion of selected recordings.  
  • Hold Audit Trail: It should maintain an audit trail of all holds that have been applied, allowing users to track their usage and compliance with data retention policies. 
  • Ethical Walls: To protect confidential information, the system should also support the creation of ethical walls to restrict the visibility of compliance holds and exports across different areas of the organisation. 
  • Replay Controls: The system should also support the application of additional approval mechanisms for users who need to replay records only under specific circumstances. This ensures that sensitive data is not accessed unnecessarily. 
  • GDPR Deletion: The application should offer the ability to delete user information in line with GDPR requirements, where permitted. Again, a process to control who has access to this function, with full audit capability, is a must.  

User Management

Controlling access to legacy data, including call recordings, and ensuring data security is a high priority for all organisations. Ensure your Communications Compliance Management System has these user management features: 

  • Role-Based Access Control and Permissions: To restrict access to interaction data based on user roles and privileges. 
  • Permission Configuration and Change Management: The system should provide a secure mechanism for creating, modifying, and deleting user permissions. This ensures that access to data is always under control. 
  • Tiered Access to Records: That allows users access only to the data they need for their specific roles. Minimising the risk of data breaches. 

Audit and Transparency

Thorough auditing and tracking of user actions is essential for maintaining compliance and ensuring accountability: 

  • Audit Trail of User Actions: Your new Communications Compliance Management solution should maintain a comprehensive audit trail of all user actions, including login attempts, searches, replays, and data access. Allowing for the investigation of potential security incidents. 
  • Filterable Audit Trail: The audit trail should be searchable and filterable by user, date/time range, and activity type. This enables users to quickly locate specific events of interest. 
  • Secure Audit Trail Storage: The audit trail should also be stored securely and encrypted to prevent unauthorised access or tampering. 

Business Systems already helps many Tier One Banks, Financial Institutions and Contact Centres to simplify their communications compliance management. Our innovative Wordwatch solution seamlessly ingests, manages, and delivers both legacy and live interaction recordings from any platform. Consolidating this data into a centralised “single pane of glass” portal and empowering businesses to integrate this data into their business intelligence efforts that might have otherwise been too difficult to manage.  

Want to see what Wordwatch could do for you? Fill out the form below to request a demo.