Martin Geddes

BT & Truphone point to the future: every call will be recordable

BT and Truphone recently announced that they are creating a secure cloud service to record and index calls made by certain regulated financial services workers. As such, BT has identified a value proposition for the recording of voice. This is a transition from the traditional telco business model of “ephemeral voice” towards “preserved voice”. Once it is captured in a meaningful and contextual way, voice becomes a monetizable asset.

Recorded voice is one of the evolutionary foundations of Hypervoice. Such steps are the beginning of a longer journey of all voice service providers towards the common end game: voice as a hypermedium. When it comes to voice service innovation, BT has a good record of trying new ideas, so it is not surprising they are in the vanguard.

We are just a few years away from a time when every call will be recordable, and we don’t mean involuntary surveillance by the security services. What today is an edge case will soon become the norm. It doesn’t mean every call will be recorded. Many of our most private and intimate moments will remain hidden from view. Some calls will be recorded, but only can be retrieved with the consent of both parties. Others, subject to a 3rd party giving authorisation.

This opens a plethora of possibilities of who was party to the call, what assent they have given to recording, how the results are stored, and what forms of sharing are allowed and how. Now wrap that functional richness up in a set of security policies over data retention, access control and audit trails. There is a lot of complexity and potential cost if every vendor heads down its own technology silo.

The Hypervoice Consortium exists precisely to anticipate such evolutions, and bring together the relevant industry vendors, users and standards bodies. Our goal is to stimulate the debate over how these early examples of Hypervoice technology will evolve, and what industry activities are needed to do this responsibly. By anticipating regulatory and technical issues early, we aim to take away risk and friction from adoption of such services.

The announcement from BT and Truphone is only the beginning. Every fixed and mobile operator, if it wants to keep customers in the financial services sector, will need this capability. Vendors will need to react by embedding new call capture and storage technology into their voice switches and cloud communications platforms. Participation in the evolution of Hypervoice technology is going to quickly turn from a “nice to have” to “must have” for all concerned.