Communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have become indispensable in creating high-performing remote workforces. However, for brokers, banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions it’s created a high-risk game of cat and mouse. Legally they cannot use MS Teams or Zoom unless they are able to record and monitor all conversations. The same goes for messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.

 

Discussed further in our white paper, here are the experiences and collective thoughts of the DoubleEdge leadership team, captured during a recent virtual Q&A.

  

How has compliance evolved and where is the market today?

 

Steve Burges: 15 years ago most firms had small compliance teams and only had to worry about monitoring fixed lines and emails. And, from 2011, recording mobiles as well. Since then we’ve seen an explosion in the way people communicate, while legislation has tightened and will only get stronger.

 

Steve Dourdil: It’s also no longer just a financial services problem. Other industries like healthcare, legal firms and health and safety are struggling with very similar challenges.

 

What are you seeing in your conversations with clients? 

 

Alex James: Siloed data remains one of their biggest headaches. It lives in multiple systems and even across multiple geographies. There’s no central management or consistent governance across phone, mobile, video and messaging recordings, for example. So, the compliance process becomes ever-more complex and heavier to handle.

 

Steve Burges: The other thing I’ve noticed is there’s far more millennials, particularly among brokers and dealers. They’ve grown up as digital natives with smartphones and behave very differently. But I’m not sure the workplace has adapted quickly enough with them.

 

Has anything surprised you about the way firms have tried to meet the challenges of the past 12 months?

 

Steve Dourdil: I think attitudes have started to change. Most firms have realised there is no grey area or wriggle room now. If they want to adopt solutions like MS Teams or Zoom, they must record relevant communications.

Steve Burges: Breaches in compliance recording provide a welcome new revenue stream for regulators like the FCA. So, it’s no surprise they’ve become far more active with fines from successful enforcements currently accounting for as much as 50% of their total income.

 

To what extent do you think extending Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) legislation to include all FCA-regulated firms, just months before the COVID outbreak, has influenced the way firms have managed compliance while working remotely?

 

Alex James: Travel bans and getting shut out of buildings showed everyone the limitations of legacy on-premise systems. We know of one case where compliance recording was assumed to have been running when in fact it had stopped several months previously, leaving the firm wide open.

Steve Burges: Firms feel exposed with home working. They’re looking towards cloud-enabled monitoring solutions that can be securely managed from anywhere. And rethinking whether they still want to manage operations in-house or outsource to a specialist.

 

How has the role of Chief Compliance Officers changed over the past few years?

 

Steve Burges: The CCO is a relatively new role that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Now the CCO is the custodian of brand and reputation. Their decisions and actions directly impact a firm’s trading performance. Most also have the thankless task of gathering recordings and building cases.

Steve Dourdil: CCOs have a really big job on their hands when it comes to keeping up with changes in regulation and, increasingly, technology. They need help understanding how enablers like AI and machine learning can be integrated to make compliance easier.

 

Finally, how do you see the compliance landscape looking in 5-10 years?

 

Alex James: It’s basically Moore’s Law, right? The pace of change continues to quicken every year. The scary thing is that some trading floors don’t even have phones now. Automated solutions will be key because manual processes and intervention will no longer be sustainable.

Steve Burges: Recording of apps like WeChat and WhatsApp is now becoming commonplace. And we’re already seeing interest in extending compliance monitoring to newer applications like Signal, Telegram and LINE. And, in 2022, I’m sure we’ll see more new communication tools emerge. So we need to make sure we’re ready.

To discover how DoubleEdge is helping customers to effectively navigate the world of compliance, call 44 (0)20 3137 8460 or get in touch at info@edge-edge.co.uk

Further Reading

White Paper: The Changing Face of Compliance

Meeting FCA, MiFID II, FINRA, GDPR and innumerable other regulations is nothing new for brokers, banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions. They’ve been doing it for years.

Now compliance controls cover a distributed remote workforce using diverse collaboration tools and messaging apps. And penalties are no longer confined to companies. UK regulators are coming after individuals under Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) legislation.

Essential reading for board members, compliance leaders and IT managers, this white paper discusses the practical steps companies can take to ensure continuous compliance across their communications estate, including Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, and other emerging channels.

Report: The 7 Ways To Record WhatsApp For Compliance

With 2 billion active users and over 100 billion messages being sent every day, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app on the planet.

Factor in the increased usage sparked by global lockdowns and the growing trend towards remote working, and it’s easy to see why many organisations in heavily regulated sectors such as Banking, Finance, Energy, Commodities Trading and Insurance are scrambling to find a solution to capture these communications in order to gain a competitive edge while remaining compliant.

As it is encrypted end-to-end, WhatsApp cannot be recorded using traditional methods. But, if your organisation is looking for a way to compliantly capture and archive its employees’ new ways of working, this report outlines the seven ways in which this can be achieved.

COMPLIANCE: IMPORTANT OWNERSHIP CHANGES WHILE ADAPTING FOR FLEXIBLE REMOTE WORKFORCES

Managing ever-growing regulatory demands was tough even before COVID-19. Now controls have to cover a remote workforce using increasingly diverse collaboration tools and messaging apps. And compliance is no longer solely a company responsibility. UK regulators are also coming after individuals under Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) legislation.

 

Discussed in detail in our white paper, here are the key takeaways for board members, compliance leaders and IT managers.

 

Technology: friend or foe?

Home or hybrid working looks set to stay. One year on from the first national lockdown the FCA has made it clear UK firms have had ample time to put compliance recording measures in place for remote workers. That’s easy to say and hard to do. Especially when they’re using more devices and channels than ever before.

Old-world surveillance technology focused mainly on phone, mobile and email. Today, the only way to ensure continuous compliance is to record and monitor all business-related communications across all channels on all devices – phone, PC, laptop, tablet and mobile. Increasingly, this includes interactions over video platforms like Teams, Skype and Zoom plus messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, LINE and WeChat.

Also, in the case of financial firms, all communications relating to deals and investment must be recorded and kept – even if they don’t result in a financial transaction. That’s a lot of data storage. And a lot of unbudgeted expense.

Raised stakes

SM&CR rules firmly place senior managers on the front line. They are personally accountable for their actions with the threat of misconduct investigation, fines, prosecution and possible suspension or dismissal. While effective governance models with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and processes go a long way to helping, they still don’t solve the basic problem. Your clients want to choose how and when they engage with your business. However, unless you can monitor and record conversations, you can’t offer those services, leaving your company out in the cold and falling behind rivals who can.

When I talk to our customers, they’re understandably spooked. Some are looking to get started with a specific solution for, say, capturing calls on Microsoft Teams. Others want to simplify a spaghetti of legacy compliance recording, archiving, and reporting products. It’s not uncommon for PBX recordings to reside in one archive, Trader Voice in another, emails in another, IM chat messages in another, and so on. Standalone systems with multiple archives can be spread across various regions and legal jurisdictions.

Assuring the compliance journey

At DoubleEdge we have market-leading solutions and experts to assist at all points of the compliance journey. Our professional services team provide assessments and end-to-end solutions including MS Teams deployments, from licencing and solution design to PBX integration and compliance recording.

Along with maximising savings from retiring legacy systems, we help customers avoid hidden pitfalls and gotchas. For example, by designing always-on solutions for only those employees who need to be recorded, not those who don’t. So, there’s no need to over-engineer storage for peak loads such as a large weekly Microsoft group call. Storage costs are further minimised through automated record de-duping. Total cost of ownership and bandwidth are also lowered using technologies to reduce file size and frame rates.

Using AI automation we take the heavy lifting out of tasks like transcription, translation and proactive monitoring. And we boost ROI with infrastructure-related features like permissions-controlled access, active-active resilience across geographies, and PowerShell scripts to cut deployment times from days to hours.

So, however daunting compliance recording may appear, our customers are in safe hands.

To discover how DoubleEdge is helping customers find the right solutions, call 44 (0)20 3137 8460 or get in touch at info@edge-edge.co.uk

Further Reading

White Paper: The Changing Face of Compliance

Fulfilling FCA, MiFID II, FINRA, GDPR and countless other regulations is nothing new for brokers, banks, hedge funds and other financial organisations. They’ve been doing it for years.

Now compliance controls cover a remote workforce using varied collaboration tools and messaging applications. Penalties are also no longer confined to businesses. UK regulators are coming after individuals under Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) legislation.

Essential reading for board members, compliance leaders and IT managers, this white paper explores the practical steps companies can take to ensure continuous compliance across their communications estate, including WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams and other emerging channels.

Report: The 7 Ways To Record WhatsApp For Compliance

With 2 billion users and over 100 billion messages being sent every day, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging application in the world.

Factor in the increased usage sparked by global lockdowns and the growing trend of remote working, it’s easy to see why many businesses in heavily regulated sectors such as Finance, Banking, Energy, Commodities Trading and Insurance are looking to find a solution to capture these communications in order to gain a competitive edge while remaining compliant.

As it is encrypted end-to-end, WhatsApp cannot be recorded using traditional methods. But, if your business is looking for a way to compliantly capture and archive its employees’ new ways of working, this report outlines the ways in which this can be achieved.

What better way to show how we can help improve your business communications than a testimonial from a happy customer?

Since the announcement in July 2020 of the merger of DoubleEdge Professional Services, Foehn, and Metaphor IT, creating a next-generation cloud-centric managed services company, we have been working together to offer the best cloud-based solutions to our customer base.

Not only this, but in a world where we have never been more dependant on resilient and adaptable communications, we have worked hard to offer the best solutions to enable our customers’ staff to work productively, from anywhere…

The Requirement

When one of our existing customers needed to improve business continuity and voice communications, they turned to DoubleEdge to offer a new solution. This saw rigid on-prem telephony and expensive ISDN lines replaced with Voxivo4Teams, the award-winning Foehn (Kerv Group) cloud phone and unified communications system…

Terra Firma, like many organisations, had quickly embraced Microsoft Teams for collaboration, but had been nervous about migrating their telephony. Voxivo4Teams removed those concerns and DoubleEdge was with Terra Firma every single step of the way.

The Solution

“Moving to hosted telephony laid the foundations for cloud-based agile working,” added Colvin (Lee Colvin – Head of IT and Infrastructure, Terra Firma Capital Partners). “Unlike other SIP providers offering like-for-like solutions, DoubleEdge looked to add flexibility and neat features.

The benefits we were able to provide, included:

  • Zero loss in productivity among home workers
  • 50% savings on telephony costs
  • Complete control of business communications
  • Covid safe office improvements

Voxivo4Teams was set up with Microsoft Teams Direct Routing as part of a hybrid approach. Importantly, it ensures quality Teams call recordings for compliance purposes – a prerequisite for financial services companies.

So, when the pandemic struck, Terra Firma changed to remote working without any problems or the expense of Microsoft Voice call plans.

 

Read our case study for the full story, and how we may be able to assist your business!

 

 

Kerv Group has announced the acquisition of cloudThing, a market leader in digital transformation and specialist in Microsoft Dynamics & Power Platform plus Bespoke Software Development. Recently ranked as one of the Best Companies to Work for in the UK by Best Companies, cloudThing is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK according to the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

Following today’s acquisition of cloudThing, the combined group is now a £35m revenue business with more than 330 employees, serving over 800 customers, with offices in London, Birmingham, and Bangalore, India. Whilst continuing its focus on strong and sustainable organic growth, the company will also look at acquiring businesses which add new capabilities to further enhance its cloud and digital credentials and/or bring new vertical opportunities.

About cloudThing

cloudThing solves complicated problems with great digital experiences. They combine Power Platform, DevSecOps, Data Science and Software Engineering to achieve measurable business outcomes for their clients. Named as one of the top 50 technology organisations to work for in the UK, they hire genuine experts who help businesses to make the most of their data and future-proof their organisation with cloud technology.

To find out more about the Kerv Group and cloudThing, click here!

 

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.

“So let’s all choose to challenge.”

 

On Monday March 8th 2021, we, across the Kerv Group chose to get involved in 2021’s International Women’s Day and the #ChooseToChallenge campaign.

To kick off Kerv’s charity involvement as a group, we wanted to celebrate IWD 2021 and equality in the workplace, whilst also raising funds and awareness for our chosen charity, Women’s AidCovid 19 and lockdown has had a huge impact on those protected and supported by these type of charities, so it seemed the perfect choice for us to support, whilst we are unable to take part in any events or “in person” challenges.

As part of our pledge to the cause, we raised £500.00 and will continue to celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality!

Click here to meet some of the women at Kerv!

 

 

 

 

 

As Boris Johnson unveils plan to end England restrictions by 21 June, there are a number of questions for businesses across the country.

A new four-step plan to ease England’s lockdown could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June; so what does this mean in a post-pandemic world, for those who have adapted to “working from home” for the best part of a year?

     1.   Has the working landscape changed indefinitely, with flexible working becoming a permanent feature?

Many companies have already been quite vocal about the possibility of working from home (WFH) becoming a permanent possibility for their staff. If they can work just as effectively, and securely from their home office…then why not? Click here to learn about our mobile call recording options.

      2.  Do the current technologies in place for WFH have the longevity to maintain businesses on a long term basis? 

Since the start of the pandemic and the imminent retirement of Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams has clocked up more than 115 million daily active users, globally. The continual development of the platform itself, and its accompanying applications shows no signs of slowing down. This way of doing business and virtual meetings, is here to stay.

      3.  Does your business use Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate among colleagues, or externally? Or are you thinking of rolling Teams out across your company and considering the compliance implications?

If you are a regulated financial firm, FCA, MiFID II and many other regulations globally require surveillance monitoring of such communications where they may be potentially related to a financial transaction taking place. Other heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare, may also find that recording of MS Teams communications is something to be considered for the purposes of risk mitigation and best practice. Click here for MS Teams recording and compliance options.

     4. With all this technology enabling companies to perform successfully remotely, is there going to be an office of the future?

The nature of the office is changing. Prior to the pandemic, our office spaces were very oriented around staff going into the office every day. We saw a lot of collaborative meeting spaces, and although this is no doubt now going to change significantly, there are those that will be eager to return to the office for human interaction and mental stimulation that you just can’t get at home. Click if your data and telephony needs will be changing in the not too distant future.

 

For all general enquiries, please contact us here.

30 MINUTE LIVE WEBINAR

Wednesday 27th January at 2:00pm GMT / 9:00am EST

Join us with Rob Houghton (Soteria) and Thomas Perkins (Kerv)

 

If your organisation is using or planning to use Microsoft Teams, how do you ensure regulatory compliance? 

Coverage gaps = increased risk = regulatory scrutiny and penalties.

Since the catalytic effect of COVID-19 on digital transformation and the adoption of business continuity and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, regulated financial firms are now potentially unaware of the compliance gap and associated business risk that widespread use of such a platform brings, within their wider communication monitoring efforts.

With Teams adoption surging from 15 million to over 115 million active daily users in under 9 months (Mar-Nov ‘20), the demand has become so prominent that it is attracting new regulatory focus regarding the potential oversight of generated Teams communication monitoring, during examination and enquiries.

The FCA has recently issued a strict announcement, warning firms of the importance of providing the same standard of surveillance of employees who are working from home as they would in an office environment.

If Teams is here to stay, how can firms implement policy-based MS Teams recording and ensure comprehensive compliance and risk mitigation across communication capture, archiving, reviewing and reporting?

Click here to register

THE NEED FOR COMPLIANT WECHAT RECORDING IN REGULATED FINANCIAL FIRMS

Compliant WeChat Recording: capture and securely archive staff’s WeChat messages, chats, voice calls, files and multimedia attachments for regulatory compliance.

 

WeChat has over 1.2 billion monthly active users…and counting. With such a significant and growing user base, particularly in China and the Far East, many financial firms rely on WeChat to communicate with their clients, who use WeChat and WeCom (previously known as WeChat Work) as their medium of choice.

 

However, in order to remain compliant, regulated firms must ensure that WeChat communications are recorded, securely archived and easily retrievable.

 

While some firms have simply banned the use of WeChat, many have realised that, in order to stay competitive, this is just not a viable option. Client demand practically mandates its use.

 

DoubleEdge can provide you with the best solution for your business needs. Click here to arrange a demo or a trial

THE NEED FOR WHATSAPP COMPLIANCE MONITORING

The last few years have seen explosive growth in the use of encrypted Instant Messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and WeChat, by commodities traders, brokers and other regulated individuals, and increased adoption of BYOD policies.

With penalties for non-compliance becoming ever more severe, financial services organisations need a compliant WhatsApp recording solution that not only captures and securely archives these communications according to MiFID II, Dodd-Frank, SYSC 10A and other e-comms surveillance monitoring legislation, but which is also GDPR-compliant.

Data privacy is particularly important to consider when staff are using their personal mobile devices for business purposes. In these cases, how do you ensure all business communications are captured without also recording personal communications and invading employee privacy?

HOW IS WHATSAPP GDPR COMPLIANCE ACHIEVED?

Users can have one single WhatsApp version, where all messages are recorded, OR add a 2nd number for the enterprise WhatsApp account:

  • Personal WhatsApp communications remain private
  • Business WhatsApp communications are captured and securely archived
  • Archive WhatsApp messages for iOS and Android devices
  • WhatsApp Mobile AND Web (desktop) versions – no change in user experience
  • Works exactly like the standard WhatsApp application
  • Same WhatsApp product, same interfaces, same capabilities
  • Captures all messaging, including all multimedia communications and attachments, which can be archived within the solution environment or routed directly to the existing company archiving set up.
  • Messages delivered to archive with content, employee email and other message metadata
  • Compliant with all relevant e-comm compliance monitoring regulations: MiFID II, GDPR, Dodd-Frank, SYSC 10A etc.
  • All messages are archived
  • Perfect for corporate devices and BYOD

 

Click here for to arrange free trial

With many medical practices remaining open throughout the pandemic and focusing on remote consultations, we are now seeing a shift in guidelines from NHS England, urging anyone in need of medical support to seek the advice and care they need, including face to face if required.

Not only now, but for future operational efficiency, practices are looking to technologies that can help them to better accommodate and serve their patients. This is now amplified by an increasing pressure to manage the current situation safely, without neglecting the needs of their existing patient community.

 

What can DoubleEdge do to assist?

 

Our specialised hosted telephony solutions can offer call recording and analytics, providing the all-important data to individual practices, enabling them to:

 

  • Monitor and record calls (including remote triage calls)
  • Track and reduce call waiting times
  • Call routing
  • Improve productivity
  • Reach NHS access targets e.g. call holding for a maximum of 2 minutes

 

With the NHS alone, treating millions of patients a week, a reliable and robust communication platform is essential for the safe and efficient running of healthcare practices across the country. The ramifications of such solutions can have a great impact on the day to day working life of healthcare practitioners, and a reduction of waiting times for their patients.

 

Speak to one of our specialist consultants for more information:

Telephone: 020 3137 8460
Email: info@edge-edge.co.uk