Why Microsoft Opened The Door for Operator Connect
Microsoft has once again made a bold move that will surely gain it more market share in the Unified Communications space. Operator Connect is now available for Microsoft Teams users, and this was undoubtedly a wise move on Microsoft’s part.
Operator Connect offers more options to MS Teams users than Direct Routing because it simplifies PSTN calling. Operator Connect is an operator-managed service which means companies can bring a carrier or “operator” of their choosing to connect MS Teams calls.
A company the size of Microsoft, (Fortune 100), could have simply taken the bully approach of forcing people to use direct routing because such is the privilege of a monopoly holder. However, in technology, monopolies seldom last. Microsoft, perhaps better than anyone, knows this.
The benefit of rolling out Operator Connect to Microsoft is that Teams, a platform that’s already swiping up market share from all over the UC sphere, is now even more attractive to businesses. This is the wisdom of giving a little to gain a lot, and it’s especially effective when so many businesses already use Office 365.
Call Compliance and Operator Connect
It’s never been more critical for companies using Microsoft Teams to get serious about call compliance. The unprecedented widespread adoption of Microsoft Teams means that more companies are using Teams to connect to customers, and with the release of Operator Connect, customer connections through Teams became significantly more accessible.
How widespread MS Teams adoption = multiplied non-compliance risks
Say, for example, that a company opens up 500 lines in their call center using Microsoft Teams to connect to customers. The immediate benefits are clear, but the missed detail of compliance could be multiplied by some number up to 500.
- What if those calls don’t have their PCI Data removed? Customer credit card numbers are at risk.
- What if agents aren’t obtaining customer consent to record the conversation in a territory or industry that legally requires verbal consent? You won’t be able to prove you asked for consent if your company is audited.
- What if those calls are not encrypted and securely stored across redundant data centers? You’ll leave recordings at risk of theft or loss.
- What if those calls are subject to data sovereignty laws but are not being stored within the sovereign territory? You’ll be fined for this and all of these oversights unless you adopt a compliance plan for your MS Teams-based call center.
Preventing Microsoft Teams Compliance Failures
To mitigate the risks involved from compliance failures, it’s important to design call compliance and quality assurance plan for your Microsoft Teams-based network. Your major concerns are likely:
If you are using Microsoft Teams to sell products to your customers, you will need a way to remove PCI Data (credit and debit card numbers) from every recorded Teams file. This means audio, video, agent screens, and speech-to-text transcripts.
Your compliance recording solution needs to have an accurate keyword recognition engine that will allow you to easily scan your daily call volume for key phrases from your compliance statements. If your agents aren’t accurately providing compliance statements, your company could face fines.
Your calls must be logged with as much metadata as possible from Microsoft Teams. You’ll need to know certain facts about each call, including incoming numbers, agent extensions, time, date, and call duration.
Additionally, you’ll need your call recording platform to offer a system log that details who in your company accessed calls, when they did it, and what, if any, actions were taken on recordings (like file sharing).
Call storage security
All MS Teams files recorded must be stored redundantly and encrypted with the highest possible standard. Your compliance platform should use 256-bit military-grade AES encryption across redundant, penetration-tested data centers.
Some companies, especially ones subject to GDPR, must securely store all customer recordings within the call’s territory. This is a data sovereignty regulation that can be met by choosing a call compliance platform that allows your company to specify storage locations within the territories of your call centers. The bottom line is that you will either need to opt for local data storage (not recommended) or cloud storage hosted across a large global data network.
Your compliance recording platform must allow for recording remote customer service agents. The process of recording remote calls is subject to the same compliance laws as calls recorded on-premise.
However, securing remote calls can be more difficult outside the infrastructure of your premise-based network. Choose a call recording platform that can pull all call recordings directly from Microsoft’s Azure space where Teams calls take place to minimize any risk of data exposure.
Operator Connect’s Rising Tide
Carriers may find this change to be the most liberating and lucrative. Value-added services like compliance call recording and analytics for MS Teams generate sustaining revenue. Anything that uncomplicates provisioning phone numbers helps the carrier sell as many services as possible.
It’s the perfect time for Carriers to get their customers into a Microsoft Teams call recording compliance platform. Compliance recording is the gift that brings additional revenue to the carrier while protecting their customers from losing money to non-compliance fines and lawsuits.
Compliance call recording isn’t a set of “bells and whistles” add-ons. It’s a critical component of any customer service infrastructure. Dangling the threat of fines in front of customers feels like a scare tactic, but it’s not. There’s an immensely positive group of benefits to Microsoft Teams call compliance.
Carriers can sell call compliance as a business analytics vehicle that will help supervisors raise standards and practices in their MS Teams-based call centers. A compliance recording platform sold as a SaaS is a powerful revenue model that delivers many flexible and customizable benefits to a diverse customer base. Benefits like:
- Compliant recording for audio, video, and screen share applications
- AI-driven and manual PCI redaction
- Keyword and phrase analysis
- 24/7 support
- Military-grade encryption
- Agent desktop screen recording
- Agent scoring
It’s an important time for all Microsoft Teams business users to take a critical look at their compliance practices and start taking advantage of a fully-featured call recording platform.