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ASC Executive Interview

Emma Skygebjerg, Global VP Microsoft Alliances, and Katrin Henkel, President, ASC

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Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner of CrmXchange, sat down with Emma Skygebjerg, Global VP Microsoft Alliances, ASC and Katrin Henkel, President, ASC Americas. ASC's recording solution provides a uniform platform to record digital customer communication  across the entire network. It provides next-level compliance requirements and offers an advanced customer experience with their omni-channel-recording and AI-driven analytics solutions.   

Can you tell us about ASC?

Emma: Our company, headquartered in Germany, has been in the communication engineering space for almost 60 years. We have offices across the Americas, Europe, and APAC.

The focus is on compliance recording and analytics.  We integrate with most contact center platforms such as Mitel, Genesys, Cisco, Unify, RingCentral, and Zoom. In addition, we also provide E-learning E-coaching as part of our platform. We also have a native compliance recording solution for Microsoft teams.

Do you specialize in compliance?

Katrin: We specialize and focus on the regulated markets. While there are regulations on a global level, the most stringent regulations are in Europe. However, financial companies all over the world have to comply with regulations.

The media reports on all sorts of violations. For example, in September last year there were 16 Wall Street banks that were fined 1.8 Billion dollars for taking trades on their personal devices. This is not good press for the banks, and there are fines that are paid. Nowadays it is important for financial institutions to assure compliant documentation of their communication platforms across all media including voice, chat, and video both on-premises and in the cloud.

Do you record mostly voice or are you multichannel?

Katrin:  Originally it was voice, but now we cover all communications platforms. This is especially true with Microsoft Teams , where we can record and securely store calls, mobile phones, video, meetings and the content shared on a screen with the customer.

Can the analytics be shared in real time?

Katrin: We have two ways to do analytics. The main reason for using analytics in our filed is that compliance officers want to identify risks.  In the past, organizations selected a few communications out of thousands.  They can now review 100% of the communication, identify and analyze risk for all communication. Through reports, risks can be identified. On the other hand, if you identify something as specifically important, alarms can be sent in real time.

Can organizations can set up logic so that if something is out of ‘compliance’ an alarm will go off?

Emma: Exactly, alarms can be set up for phrases, keywords, opening and closing statements.  

Katrin: And what makes it even more interesting for a global organization, we transcribe spoken word to text.  The text can then be analyzed.  In addition, if you have an organization working in different languages, we can translate everything in English if the compliance officer is English speaking.

Do you use machine translation?

Emma:  With machine translation, the translation can be done in seconds.  We support over 90 languages which can be both transcribed and also translated.

Katrin:  All of our services are in the cloud and we use Microsoft services for the analytics.  We use Microsoft cognitive services. It’s a technology that learns, gets better and better, and has all the languages included.  We built a use case around the Microsoft technology to benefit our customers.

How is AI supplementing recording?

Katrin: There is a huge time savings.  It’s not possible for a human to analyze all the data.  The first step is to capture the data.  The next step is to identify selected areas of communication where there are risks or to identify trends.

Emma: I would say that the human is always in control. AI is supporting the humans with a tool. It’s important to realize that the system is not going to do all the work for us; it's also important that the information is gathered and it's presented in a way that it's easy to act on.  We see AI getting more important the future.

What do companies get when they contract with ASC? What level of person implements the system?

Emma: Out of the box they get a service with  policies.  We are available to help them to fulfill compliance requirements.  I’d also like to highlight that it is a native app, a SaaS solution.

Katrin: Previously, solutions like this took weeks to months to design and implement. Because it is a native solution, it may take 1 to 2 hours to get this up and running to be able to record and translate calls.

Typically, with a few hours of training, an admin administers the system.  The company decides their recording policy, who has access to the calls and recordings, what users can do, compliance issues, etc. All of this is configurable.

There is usually an implementation team.  An IT person is involved initially. Financial institutions usually  have a compliance officer set up the policies and the reports. Other users may also have access depending on defined processes within the organization.

Do you work with partners?

Our organization is partner focused; we value our partners. They bring in sales, expertise in Microsoft Teams and UC as well as the initial support.

Is the system flexible enough that a QA person, given the proper authority, can ask for a special report from the system?

Emma: Yes, the flexibility is there for the user to get a report on data even if it has not been previously set up.

Katrin: We built it to make it very easy and fast to use.

Where are you different than other solutions?

Katrin: We are native (sits directly in the Microsoft Team's user interface); this is a huge advantage and this gives us the ability to onboard very fast, to be very flexible, and to have the latest technology compared to anyone else. Separate servers do not need to be set up.

Emma: We capture all communication - video screen, screen share, chat, and voice. Microsoft cognitive service is part of the solution so we are able support a wide number of languages. We have an advanced analytics solution for compliance for finding the key phrases.

Katrin: We scale from small to medium sized business but also to large enterprises because we scale with the technology.  Large enterprises have many more users and a lot of requirements for security and compliance.

Emma: Customers can use their own storage with their own keys to secure the encryption of their data.  This is very important for large financial institutions to be the owner of their own data.

Katrin: We store the data in the region and can split data among regions.

What else would you like for our audience to know?

Emma: For no cost, we are happy to set up a proof of concept. A test can be set up in a couple of hours. This is a good way to test in their own environment and see how they like the user interface.

What changes do you see over the next few years?

Emma: Over the next few years we see more regulation and UC and CC are growing into combined platform. We see the Microsoft digital contact center solutions becoming quite large.