Technology Helps Solve the Problem of Storing IMs for Federal Compliance
July 23, 2014
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
While the drive to multichannel customer support has presented a lot of opportunities and choices for customers, it has presented a lot of challenges to companies. For starters, companies need to be prepared to service customers in whatever channel they choose, and they need to do it in such a way that customer information is carried from one channel to the next.
But that’s not where the challenges end, particularly for companies that must retain records for compliance, as is the case in financial services and many healthcare organizations. These organizations are required to record 100 percent of phone calls and store them for several years or risk being out of compliance. But it’s not only phone calls that need to be retained.
According the piece of federal legislation known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, many other communications media and not just phone calls must be made available for compliance purposes. This applies to instant messages (IMs), which the Act considered to be “correspondence” just the same as an email. Because of this, records of IMs must be stored for a period of no less than three years. Companies that fail to do this risk fines. These companies aren’t required to review or approve the instant message content, but they must store it.
The ability to archive IM interactions is a feature of some contact center solutions today. ISI (News - Alert) Telemanagement Solutions Inc., together with Verba Technologies, offers archiving of IM interactions to ensure a company stays compliant with all federal mandates.
“Archived IM conversations are displayed using the same interface as voice and video recordings,” according to ISI. “All of these interactions are archived together and IM sessions are searchable as rich text/HTML. This offers a timeline view of complex conversations where the session starts with IM and is escalated into a call. It is the only way to provide a comprehensive trail of interactions for compliance purposes.”
This allows a company the ability to quickly put together instant messages with a customer record, should they be asked to do so, without needed to review endless numbers of instant messages to find the right ones. The solution stores call, video, telepresence, and IM conversations in a central repository, allowing companies to retrieve archived IM interactions alongside other recordings. This provides a single search experience for accessing all records needed for compliance purposes.
Though the multichannel environment required to serve customers today has presented a lot of challenges for organizations – particularly heavily regulated ones – technology has made the process less painful, and has even opened up opportunities for companies to mine their own records for actionable intelligence.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi