The quick answer to this question is “Yes, there are,” which is remarkable considering all the ways there are to make phone calls these days. Software is readily available for recording calls made over PBX and VoIP systems and can be used with smart phones, tablets, over Skype® and as part of web conferencing. Software is also available to record SMS communications, email, chat, web conferencing and virtually every other form of business communications. If your company faces eDiscovery, you’ll need it all.
What kinds of features and functionality do these solutions offer?
The range among software solutions can be quite large in terms of features, functionality and, of course, cost. At one end of the spectrum, you can purchase software that simply records calls and makes them available to you via a user interface.
More sophisticated software designed specifically to make phone records available for eDiscovery is usually part of a broader solution. These solutions offer mobile device management and create phone records from often-overlooked sources such as voicemail and “squawk boxes” used by broker-dealers. Solutions may offer hosting in highly secure data centers, digital watermark embedding to establish authenticity (whether recordings have been tampered with or altered) and advanced search capabilities that allow your legal team to search by date, the number called, the number from which the call originated and many other standard and customizable data fields. Some solutions provide administrative dashboards that enable such things as remote monitoring, automatic recordings of one or multiple users and automatic recording of inbound calls to specific departments.
At the very high end, service providers can provide all of the above—and more. Some services include data forensics and analysis teams that specialize in using defensible (and expensive) discovery techniques to identify, retrieve and prioritize recording to assist with internal and external investigations, audits and compliance initiatives of all kind.
Is it really worth the effort to record phone records available for eDiscovery?
The importance of being able to respond quickly and thoroughly to requests for eDiscovery cannot be overstated. Being able to quickly assemble a complete list of relevant phone conversations helps your company present a strong defense. Being able to quickly search for and compile relevant eDiscovery information can make the difference between winning and losing a legal case—and in extreme cases, between staying in business and going bankrupt.
But taking the time to set up a system for recording calls produces a number of benefits beyond the legal realm. Having a good system in place can help you improve the way employees speak with customers, how efficiently they work and the audio quality of your phone lines. It can help you prevent unauthorized use of company phones. Lastly, it can help preserve valuable external relationships. Should a conflict arise with an external party, access to a full record of all relevant of communications—including phone calls—can help quickly resolve misunderstandings and mistakes without either side having to resort to legal action.