What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a system that sends and receives voice signals through a corporate LAN/WAN or the Internet. When a call is made or received using this system, voice signals are split into data packets, which are then transmitted over a data network to the call's destination. There, the packets are reassembled, and the original voice signal is reconstructed.
In order for a VoIP network to function and exchange calls with phones using other types of telephony, a network of hardware and software is required. A gateway is a device that connects the VoIP network to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A call received from the PSTN is typically transmitted via a T-1 carrier. Then it is converted to data packets by the gateway, which transmits the packets to the necessary receiving device. Another vital component of the VoIP network is the IP swtich or softswitch. A softswitch is a device that controls call initiation, termination, routing, and advanced call features such as conferencing. This device can be standalone or included in the gateway.
VoIP Call Recording
VoIP recording systems utilize a function of the softswitch called port mirroring. Port mirroring is used to copy data packets from the a port on the switch and send the copies to a tertiary destination, such as a recording system. This feature is referred to as SPAN in a Cisco system, or Switched Port Analyzer. Port mirroring was developed to facilitate diagnostic support and monitoring; however, in this capacity, it is used to copy data packets from a VoIP switch port to a VoIP recording system.
All of the fundamental types of recording including station side, trunk side, and random sampling are potentially compatible with a VoIP system. When considering how to record calls in your VoIP system there are many factors to consider. First, the method described above may not always be necessary even if your company uses a VoIP network. If calls enter your business through traditional T-1 carriers, a trunk side type of recording may be used. In this method, a trunk side recording device records calls where they enter the network, eliminating the need to utilize port mirroring. However, trunk side recording will not permit you to record calls made within your network. You can learn more about the different types of call recording that can be used with a VoIP system here.
Benefits of VoIP Call Recording
- Faster Install — Configuration and set up is usually much easier, and installing recording systems for VoIP networks does not call for rewiring or accessing traditional telephony wiring.
- Lower Maintenance Costs — Relocating, adding, or changing the system is much faster and easier than recording with other types of telephony that may require rewiring, cross-connects, or punch downs. There are also fewer support requirements.
- Centralized Recording — There is no need for remote recording sites, which results in more cost-effective and efficient use of recording materials.
- Remote Branch and Home Agent Support — Although not necessary if your business does not require it, VoIP recording systems can easily be modified to include remote branch or home agent components.
- Scalability — If your business is growing, scalability of the processes you implement is essential. Additional VoIP recording channels can be easily and affordably added by expanding your software license.
Tips for Beginning VoIP Call Recording
Each business' needs are different, but the following suggestions can help to guarantee a smooth and effective conversion to VoIP recording:
- Review all of your recording options thoroughly before choosing a method of recording. Traditional recording systems can be used to support the addition of IP phones in some cases.
- Discuss your plans for implementing VoIP recording with IT early. They may provide valuable input as to which recording system will be most advantageous, as well as any future complications you may need to be prepared for regarding your recording system.
- Another way to avoid excessive complications is to initially implement VoIP recording at only one site. This way, you can foresee the types of issues you may encounter before letting them affect a larger operation.
- Acquire a complete and accurate network topology diagram to learn what levels of access are available at different points throughout the network. If "visibility" is limited, consider the application of additional recording devices to record all calls.
- Check your network for redundancy and resiliency problems and address them early to ensure the network is dependable.
- If you utilize a combination of IP and traditional telephony, check that the system you are considering is capable of integrating both.
If you have questions about VoIP call recording or would like a no-obligation consultation, contact us today.