CallRex Express: VoIP Call Recording for the SMB Market

Telrex's new solution cuts small-office call recording costs enough to pay for VoIP migration, vendor says.

By Jeff Goldman | Posted Mar 10, 2006
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Last week, Telrex, which develops VoIP call recording and monitoring software, announced the release of CallRex Express, its new call recording product targeted specifically at small businesses with between 5 and 15 phones to be monitored.

The solution is a scaled-down version of Telrex's CallRex Professional product. Unlike the Professional version, CallRex Express is limited to a single-site, single-server deployment—which means it doesn't need the Professional version's load-balancing or advanced search functionality. CallRex Express also lacks CallRex Professional's multimedia support.

Bob Cordes, Telrex's Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, says the cost savings of doing call recording with VoIP are enormous. "In the TDM world, you have to do trunk taps with voice cards—you have to buy Dialogic cards or some equivalent, and tap into the trunk and capture the phone call there," he says. "With a VoIP call, it's really just packets passing through the data switch."

With TDM, Cordes says, the costs can be $1,000 or more per phone to be recorded—which means that it's really only available to larger enterprise customers. CallRex Professional, though, starts at $259 per phone, and CallRex Express can be as cheap as $89 per phone. As a result, Cordes says, VoIP is opening up entirely new markets for call recording.

For smaller businesses, Cordes says, a solution like call recording can be the driving factor in motivating them to switch to VoIP. "It's really the applications that drive a lot of VoIP sales," he says. "And one application that's really easy for everyone to understand is call recording—suddenly, all of these smaller businesses that have never been able to record calls before can suddenly do so."

The price difference is so great, Cordes says, that it can justify installing an entirely new system. "A customer can actually purchase a new IP PBX and CallRex for less than the cost of a traditional TDM call recording solution," he says. "So they get call recording and an IP PBX, with all those additional benefits, for less than they would pay for that traditional call recording solution."

Cordes says many of Telrex's clients are recording calls in order to comply with regulatory requirements, such as financial services companies that have Sarbanes-Oxley or Gramm-Leach-Bliley obligations, or healthcare providers with HIPAA requirements.

What CallRex Express does for those industries, Cordes says, is make it easier for smaller providers to get into the game. "VoIP can push these features down into smaller companies," he says. "So you're not necessarily talking large hospitals or large insurance providers—this actually can get driven down to the doctor's office or the dentist's office level."

Another driver is dispute resolution for customer service: Cordes says, for example, that Telrex serves a number of concrete companies. If a customer orders 100 cubic yards of concrete, then calls again after the delivery and says he only ordered 80, the company would normally be stuck with the extra 20 cubic yards. "Now, they can pull up that recording and say, 'As you know, Mr. Customer, we record all of our calls,' and they can send that .wav file right to the customer, showing that they clearly ordered 100," Cordes says.

The point, Cordes says, is that Telrex is opening up call recording to a wide variety of businesses that wouldn't have considered it in the past. "One thing we like to say is, who would have thought anti-virus would be a standard business application 10 years ago?" he says. "We're really saying call recording is just a standard business application, and CallRex Express has lowered the barrier of entry for any company who's going with voice over IP to start enjoying the benefits of call recording as well."

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