The benefits of cloud-based recording for 911 call centers are considerable. There is no doubt that the introduction of voice over IP into emergency services has revolutionized the way emergency calls are handled. The cloud offers greater resilience and scalability than on premise solutions, reduced risk of exposing delicate data to physical threats, reduced power consumption, reduced need for on-site storage space, and reduced hardware costs. Such advantages have contributed to an increased uptake in cloud-based recording by operators or Emergency Call Centers (ECCs). Of course, there are also disadvantages of cloud-based solutions. High latency, call quality issues and privacy concerns are some of the drawbacks of moving recording services to the cloud. However, overcoming these challenges is what is promising about the future for this industry.
High latency refers to the time that it takes for packets of data sent over a network to reach their destination. Typically, voice calls experience high latency when they pass through networks outside of their region (for example, if someone made an international call from France to South Africa). Yet latency has been degraded on the past years and recordings in the cloud are almost immediate.
Another benefit of cloud-based recording is the reduced risk of exposing data to physical threats. Subscribers can choose from a range of security solutions to protect their recordings, such as encryption and authentication.
There are very limited security threats since encrypted recordings are difficult to hack. As a result of the cloud’s elasticity in scaling in and out workloads, a cloud-based solution is able to offer a lower cost of ownership than a classical on-premise solution. This means that there are no upfront set-up costs and that there is no need to have an in-house server to store calls. In addition, there is no longer a need for expensive tape storage media or storage maintenance. Finally, a cloud solution can offer recovery from any failure to the recording service.
Cloud Based Data Storage Systems
The cloud also reduces the need for traditional on-site data storage. An on-premise solution requires a physical server with adequate power and cooling capabilities, along with a constant power supply. In contrast, a cloud-based solution can be deployed in a smaller data center far away from the ECCs geographic space. Cloud based systems must be connected through either wired or wireless networks that are connected to the public Internet.
We have also seen on premises server with cloud-based playback and storage. The main advantage of this is that you can easily secure the on-premise server with a firewall and an antivirus.
In addition, some cloud solutions offer recovery from any failure to the recording service. In case of a disaster, such as a fire or a flood, the call center’s recordings travel on a cloud with many replicas located on different servers. If one of these replicas goes down or is destroyed during the disaster, there is another replica located on another part of the planet ready to take its place without any interruptions to service.
We can say that if you are considering cloud-based recording solutions for your PSAP, you should reach out to your recording vendor and have them do a demonstration on these solutions.