Originally published by our technology partners Verint Financial Compliance
In today’s competitive business environment and especially as a consequence of the disruption caused by the pandemic, companies are increasingly looking at collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams as an enabler of frictionless business communications. These tools provide a means to maintain business operations – wherever their workforce may be located.
COVID-19 and the shift to work-from-home created a new urgency, accelerating the timeline for even wider adoption of Teams for seamless digital collaboration.
Teams delivers essential capabilities to serve an increasingly digital and remote workforce: real-time instant messaging, voice calling, video conferencing, file and screen sharing, along with fluid integration with the apps in the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite. As the world transitions to cope with the challenges of remote working, it’s not surprising that Teams utilization has increased exponentially, with over 75 million daily active users, 1,000 per cent growth in the volume of video calls in March, and a new record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes on a single day (March 31).
While much of the surge in demand for Teams will have been attributable to companies responding to the pandemic by asking employees to work from home, it seems very likely that, even as businesses are returning to a “new normal”, we will not see a simple return to the traditional ways of working and communication. All trends indicate that collaboration tools, such as Microsoft’s productivity app, are here to stay and remain an even more predominant element of the post-COVID workplace.
A Growing Imperative for Teams Compliance Recording
At Verint’s recent online conference — Verint Virtual — we hosted a joint partner session alongside Microsoft and UBS to examine the compliance implications surrounding the increasing adoption of Microsoft Teams. As it was echoed during the expert panel discussion, Microsoft Teams has been in the vanguard of this transition, but for regulated businesses there’s a “compliance gap” to be closed before they can exploit all the communication modes available in the platform.
Many organizations, including financial services, healthcare, energy and utilities, the public sector and other industries that would benefit from this technology, are regulated in one way or another. Such external regulations, industry standards, and internal policies frequently mandate the capture, storage and monitoring of voice and electronic communications related to the conduct of their business activities.
Where this is the case, Teams calls and online meetings should be recorded automatically for subsequent processing, supervision, surveillance and retention as required by relevant corporate or regulatory policies.
As a response to this, Microsoft has recently announced the general availability of the long-awaited APIs that allow its partners, such as Verint, to provide policy-based Teams recording solutions to the market. Some of these solutions not only capture and store data for a prescribed retention period, but also provide the ability to retrieve, replay, tag, and analyze it to strengthen regulatory compliance, reduce the risk of employee conduct, and perform ongoing communication surveillance. The stringent requirements of some regulations may hinder the ability to adopt Teams without such tools in place.
Competing Pressures for Collaboration Compliance
So, in order to close this “compliance gap”, organizations must consider a number of potentially competing requirements:
- Delivering the best response to regulatory requirements: Certain market verticals, such as financial services, are particularly impacted by rigorous compliance obligations. Meeting stringent recordkeeping, data sovereignty, surveillance and reporting rules to the highest degrees of quality and reliability is not optional, in order to operate within compliance boundaries across these industries. Teams and meetings should be covered by your voice and eComms compliance efforts just like any other element of your communications environment.
- Achieving the best balance between business productivity and compliance: Rolling out Microsoft Teams without compliance recording technology in place could be a tough balancing act. Do you restrict its use to non-regulated employees, impacting productivity, employee engagement, and potentially disrupting workflows? Do you roll it out to everyone but risk the regulatory consequences of fines, a potential loss of market share and reputational damage? Or do you delay Teams adoption completely and risk losing competitive advantage? Always-on, policy-based recording is the key to ensuring that you avoid these issues, make the most of Teams collaboration and continue to adhere to regulatory demands.
- Identifying the best technology for your compliance requirements: Identifying the best solution for your business will be about more than the ability to record Teams interactions. The requirements should encompass maximum reliability, smooth integration with the other channels your business uses to communicate, and streamlined access to use the recorded data—long after the recordings have been captured. Choosing the right technology can bring significant benefits in terms of helping IT and compliance departments rest assured that all Teams interactions of regulated users are automatically recorded and made available later for processing, structuring, aggregation, and analysis.
Choosing the Right Compliance Recording Technology
Finding this balance between digital collaboration and regulatory compliance is a continuous challenge for many regulated organizations and, with the rise of remote working arrangements, the need to rethink collaboration compliance has never been more relevant.
As examined in Verint's recent buyer’s guide ebook, there are essential capabilities to look for, and key questions to ask, when evaluating such solutions for a highly regulated environment.
- How can automated and unified compliance technology help you capture all Teams communications and collaboration? Does the solution work with all the communication modes available in Microsoft Teams calling and meetings –not just voice but also chat, video, screen sharing, and other forms of collaboration?
- How can you simplify the deployment, maintenance and scaling of your recording infrastructure? What delivery models are available and how does the platform support administration and user provisioning?
- What specific security and resilience features should you look for to remain compliant? How can you address strict data sovereignty requirements while maintaining data integrity?
- And how can you best manage, analyze and get value out of your recorded data, in addition to making Teams recording part of your overall compliance and regulatory technology estate?
For all the answers and a deep dive into what capabilities to consider in order for your Teams recording solution to achieve and maintain compliance, read Verint's complimentary ebook: Compliance Recording for Microsoft Teams: A Buyer’s Guide.
How can Geomant help?
Geomant are a proud distributor of Verint technology, and a long-standing Microsoft partner with extensive Azure hosting experience. This means we are perfectly placed to offer organizations a fully managed and hosted recording service to meet their compliance needs. This means organizations can benefit from world class Verint technology while having no maintenance or infrastructure costs.
To find out more, why not join us at the online Microsoft conference Commsverse where we'll be giving a talk about Microsoft Teams and recording for compliance.