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Call Recording Software

The Insider's Guide To Live & Legacy Call Recording Part 1

13 min read
Author Business Systems UK
Date Feb 1, 2016
Category Legacy Call Recording Products

Part 1 – Compliance – Meet Dave

In certain circles the word ‘Legacy Call Recording’ can mean dread for many, not to mention the dire implications it can potentially have on our business. With customer call recording and storage now a standard practice across multiple industries for Governance & Quality Control as well as a vital requirement within the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations, understanding exactly what it means to own a ‘legacy’ system is now more important than ever.
To help make better sense of all the information out there, we’ve touched upon some of the most common scenarios we’ve seen and the different options available to organisations when dealing with legacy systems. In Part 1 you will meet ‘Compliance Dave’ who has to address 3 commonly faced issues when the FCA comes knocking:

In Parts 2 and 3 we will be addressing legacy call recording implications and issues faced by IT departments and by Emergency Services.

Scenario 1 – The Compliance Situation

This is Dave. Dave is the Compliance Manager heading up his team at a major bank in the City. It’s Tuesday morning and Dave’s just had a call from his FCA account manager warning him that the Financial Conduct Authority are planning on investigating the bank for potential regulatory failure. His account manager warns him that this investigation will take place in around 48 hours. It will be solely focused on retrieving specific call recordings related to a particular trade that took place a good few years ago. Unfortunately for Dave, in his line of work, call recording and storage is not a luxury but a serious FCA requirement.

Problem #1: Finding the calls

Even more unfortunate for Dave, he has heard on multiple occasions from the IT manager that they have many old call recording systems stacking up, not only in his location but in multiple sites. If this is the case, then he will have no idea on which one the calls will be found. Let alone how long it will take. Dave had been meaning to schedule a meeting with IT to sort this problem and alleviate the risks, but as ever it got sidetracked by another urgent issue. Dave has heard some horror stories about how long it can take to retrieve calls especially if the attached metadata are not as explanatory as it could be or not as relevant to current mandates. For example, if calls have only been tagged by date, time and call duration imagine the time it would take to look through the recordings stored in several different sites where tens or hundreds of calls were recorded at the same time on that given day.


In this situation, Dave is running the risk of extremely hefty fines for non-compliance which will be very damaging to their reputation. This is where Dave needs to consider a legacy call recording retrieval solution that ensures the long term retention, retrieval and replay of past and current audio files via a centralised access portal. Legacy retention, retrieval and replay solutions are specifically designed to simplify the call recording infrastructure, regardless of where the original recording of the call was made.
Placed on top of both live and legacy call recording systems, these solutions can quickly and easily access specific recordings through their search and replay functionality, meaning Dave will not have to worry about the time it would take to find those calls. Data integrity of the original call is maintained, as all calls will remain on the original file structure and format. Authorised users such as Dave will be able to quickly and efficiently search, extract and playback historical audio recordings made on multiple legacy and live call recorders, regardless of manufacturer and through an intuitive browser.

Problem #2: Tape Retrieval

To add to the stress, Dave can’t help thinking about the different formats in which some of the calls have been saved. He has been told by IT that another potential issue they have is that a bulk of their calls have even been recorded and stored on tape. The laborious process of having to play through the whole tape to find the specific requested recordings could take hours or worst case scenario days – by then the bank would surely have to own up to their regulatory failure and face the consequences.  Moreover, the shelf-life of tapes is finite especially when compared to digital content so the risk of distorted recordings due to medium deterioration is really high.


Tape retrieval for Dave is a risk associated situation. Here are some of the risks Dave needs to consider:

Tape Lifespan – Eventually tapes will degrade and therefore data loss is a huge potential risk.

Tape Format – Tape drives to support older formats are sometimes difficult to come by meaning potential risks around finding the correct equipment.

Tape Volume – A high volume of tapes means a high volume of data meaning contingent risks such as needing more tape drives will be magnified.

Tape Source – Is the original vendor of the call recording system still available to assist? If they are, are they actually willing to assist? Will the spare parts/support for this legacy equipment be readily available?

Tape Physical Storage & Retrieval – How long will it take to go and a find a particular tape from wherever they are being stored?
With the above factors in mind, this is not a hopeless case. Dave will need to speak to a solution provider specialising in legacy tape retrieval who will be able to put forward the best fit solution dependant on their multiple requirements.

Problem #3: Component Failure

The third major problem playing on Dave’s mind is his lack of trust within the technology in the recording system. Dave has never really been a risk taker and in the back of his mind has always been worried about potential problems they could have had in the past with component failure in their call recording system. Dave remembers one situation where his colleague was trying to find and playback a specific call for fact verification concerning a trade that had been made. The call was never found. The organisation just put it down to ‘one of those things’ that happens. What if one of those requested calls from the FCA were victims to a period of downtime?


Potential component failures in call recording systems can cause serious problems. Dave is right to be worried about such an issue, particularly when it is the responsibility of his team to show action is being taken to mitigate risk against further failures. There are many reasons for a system to fail to record a call. This is where Dave needs to consider Service Assurance technology. In a nutshell, this will automate the testing and monitoring of the entire voice domain so Dave can be sure that all systems are working correctly.
One thing this experience has taught Dave is that he needs to work closer with the IT manager to secure the audio assets and recording continuity.
Legacy call recording can be a large and complicated subject. If you need more advice on what having a legacy call recorder means for you, then contact our team who can offer best practice advice and simplify your concerns.
Found this useful? Then don’t miss out on part 2 and 3 of our Insiders Guides:
Part 2 – Meet IT Ian
Part 3 – Meet Control Centre Manager Anna