Voicemail Archiving: 2017 vs 2021
Back in 2017 when we first wrote about archiving voicemail, we posed the question: was that going to be the year that voicemail retention would become mainstream? Message Vault has been archiving voicemail since 2013. When it was first introduced, it was for a very specific demographic – organizations who needed defensible compliance archiving.
Compliance Archiving vs Archiving of Unified Messaging
Many organizations routinely integrate voicemail and email (known as unified messaging). A relatively large number of those organizations also archive their email. Initially, they tried to address their voicemail archiving by using their email archive. Sounds like a plan. Except here’s where it fell apart.
When archiving an email that had a voicemail attached, the metadata on the voicemail was not preserved. Worse, the voicemail was not retained in a manner that would be defensible in a court of law. The use of an email archiver handled the voicemail messages in a manner that was not tamper-proof. This created very real opportunities for record tampering – something that is called spoliation in legal terms. The other major problem was that the indexing and searching on emails with voicemails attached turned out to be very unpredictable in performance. Clearly – for those organizations who needed a tamper-proof archive of voicemail, something more secure was needed.
Voicemail Archiving Has Become Mainstream
The archiving of voicemails is an increasingly common need, even within un-regulated organizations. Surprisingly, we’ve seen a couple of key management issues remain consistent over the past years that drive voicemail archiving adoption:
- IT wants to groom the mailbox disk usage by keeping mailbox size small and retention short.
- Legal, HR, Safety and other stakeholders have regular needs to keep voicemails as documentation.
- Voicemail systems don’t make it easy to find specific voicemails, and there is no access control.
- Voicemails archived with email via unified messaging don’t always come back out of the archive as expected.
- Unified messaging archiving overwrites metadata often needed during production.
- Protecting privacy, trade secrets or other privileged information is not possible when sharing a raw voicemail file.