Sunday, February 4, 2007

Call Accounting Software for Emergency and Security

Call accounting software has been a major telemanagement tool for telephone expense recovery for many years. The software has traditionally been used to reconcile invoices, study traffic patterns and highlight misuse and abuse. Call accounting can serve as a watchdog over corporate telecom facilities. At times, employers have found it necessary to dismiss employees for inappropriate conduct or excessive use of telecom facilities.

Chronological, extension or authorization code detail reports can conclusively identify calling behavior. There are many types of telephone abuse issues that can affect an organization. Obscene, sexual harassment, bomb threats, 911, leaks to competitors and many other forms of abuse can often be tracked to the calling party

Many educational institutions are vulnerable to students making prank telephone calls to emergency services. Often emergency response units are dispatched to false alarms. This results in countless hours of lost time and a diversion of resources from actual emergencies. Call accounting software can be employed in real time to pinpoint the source of such calls. Most businesses would be unable to track down the extension that made the call without a complete office search. This precious time could mean the difference between life and death. The use of call accounting results in huge savings for flagrant calls and direct response for actual emergencies.

Sometimes hackers or disgruntled former employees can penetrate communication equipment and expose sensitive corporate information or run up huge costs. Mail boxes and automated outbound rerouting can be compromised and huge long distances costs can be incurred. Some companies are alarmed to discover calls to overseas destinations, 900 services and other obscure numbers tacked on to their telephone invoices. Real time call accounting can quickly alert authorized personnel of suspicious calling patterns and eliminate network loop holes.

A recent call accounting study in one store of a major retail chain uncovered a series of lengthy calls during the late night hours, usually between 12:00 AM and 1:00 AM. A detailed examination of call accounting reports showed no particular pattern in the source extension but the called number was clearly always the same. Further investigation proved a member of the cleaning staff was calling his significant other for approximately one hour every day. The cost of the calls was minimal since all calls were local. However the productivity cost was in the hundreds of dollars per month. This scenario, if extrapolated across all stores, could have a major negative impact on the corporate bottom line.

Often authorities, law enforcement or security personnel require documented proof of a contentious telephone call. Concrete historical data from call accounting software and the raw call detail records from the telephone system can serve to strengthen or dismiss litigation.

Rito Salomone is President of Resource Software International Ltd.(RSI). RSI is internationally recognized as a leader in communication management solutions. To contact the author, email or visit the website at