COVID-19 has been the accelerant for digital collaboration, homeworking and even wider adoption of Teams.
In today's competitive business environment, businesses of all sizes are increasingly looking to collaboration tools such as Teams to enable business communications and operations. wherever their workforce may be.
With real-time instant messaging, video conferencing, screen and file sharing capabilities and voice calling Teams provides the perfect platform to serve the increasingly remote and digital workforce. A plethora of integrated apps in the M365 productivity suite further cement Teams as the platform of choice for over 75million daily active users.
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.
Whilst the pandemic has arguably been behind the surge in demand for collaboration tools such as Teams, it seems highly likely that even as we return to a "new normal", our traditional means of working and communication will be left behind. All trends indicate that tools. such as Microsoft Teams are here to stay and will remain a predominant element in the post-COVID workplace.
Microsoft Teams has lead the way in this digital transition, but for those businesses in heavily regulated sectors such as financial services, utilities, public sector and financial services there is a "compliance gap" that must be closed in order for these industries to take full advantage of the platform. For most of these organisations, legislative requirements and external regulations coupled with industry standards mandate the capture, storage and monitoring of all means of communications related to conduct of their business activities.
In the case of the aforementioned industries, automatic recording of Teams calls and online meetings for processing, surveillance and retention will be required as part of regulatory policies. In response to this Microsoft has announced API's that allow it's partners, like Verint to provide policy-based Team recording solutions. These solutions can be customised to a customers needs focussing not only on data capture and storage for a prescribed retention policy but also the ability to retrieve, replay, tag and analyse it in order to mitigate the risk of employee misconduct, strengthen regulatory compliance and perform ongoing communication surveillance.
In order to close the compliance gap, businesses must consider a number of potentially competing requirements.
Delivering the best response to regulatory requirements:
Financial services and similar market verticals are subject to some of the most rigorous compliance obligations. Stringent record-keeping, data sovereignty, reporting and surveillance rules must be met in order to operate within the compliance boundaries set across these industries. Communications across the Teams platform will need to be regulated to comply with voice and eComms regulations just as more traditional forms of communication are.
Achieving the best balance between business productivity and compliance:
Without compliant recording technology in place, rolling out Microsoft Teams will be a challenge raising questions around restricting use which could impact productivity and employee engagement. Always-on, policy-based recording is the key to ensuring these challenges are met with solid, compliant solutions, ensuring the whole business can make the most of Teams collaboration, giving your business the competitive advantage whilst still adhering to the regulatory demands.
Identifying the best technology for your compliance requirements:
When it comes to identifying the best solution it should be about more than just its ability to record Teams interactions. Consideration should be given to reliability, seamless-integration with other channels and systems your business uses to communicate and simplified access to the recorded data. The right technology brings multiple benefits from a compliance and regulatory view point, giving all departments peace of mind that interactions are automatically recorded and easily accessible.
Choosing your Technology
With the rise of remote working finding the balance between collaboration and compliance is a continuous challenge. For all solutions, the need to meet these regulatory compliances must be met, but there are other questions to consider:
- Does the compliance technology record all interactions across the Teams platform, not just calls and meetings?
- Is the deployment and maintenance of the solution simplified?
- How does the platform support administration and user provisioning?
- What specific regulatory requirements does your business need to remain compliant?
- How can you address strict data sovereignty requirements while maintaining data integrity?
- How do you manage, analyse and access your recorded data?