Difficult When Agencies Switch Recorders

Over the years, it’s natural for public safety agencies to switch logging recorder vendors as new features come available and new types of integrations or deployments are made available. If the QA software is offered only as a feature in the recorder, this can have a negatively impact an agency’s QA program and staff resources:

Lose Access to Historical Data

Most agencies change logging recorders every few years. Having QA software in the recorder means you lose access to all historical employee performance evaluations and department- or agency-wide reports. This can make it tough to track performance of a team, department or agency long-term.

Have to Onboard All Staff Again

If you change recorders, and thus change QA platforms, you’ll likely have to spend time creating new user accounts, specifying user roles and permissions, and training evaluators and supervisors on the new software.

Recreate Your QA Program, Again

If you change QA platforms, you will need to recreate and customized evaluations forms you’re currently using, reconfigure any alerts, define new categories for sorting and reporting, and more.

QA Isn’t a Recording Company’s Key Competency

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to do electrical, would you?!

Not the Experts

What are recording companies good at? A lot of very important things!

  • Recording from the most communications systems possible, and getting the most data from every interaction
  • Ways to find and view recordings, separately or grouped by incident
  • Integrating with other communications software platforms to streamline your to-do list

What are recording companies NOT good at? Employee evaluations, the APCO/NENA QA requirements, and reporting on employee performance.

Doing It Just to “Do It”

When a recording company sells QA tools as part of their offering, it benefits the recording company more than it benefits public safety agencies. Typically, public safety agencies have asked recording companies for QA tools. So, recording companies offer it selfishly as an up-sell to their system to meet that requirement. However, they rarely do the proper research and development required to truly offer the best QA software solution.

It Discourages Quality & Innovation

Recorder QA Solutions Remain Stagnant

Recording companies look at QA software as “just another feature” they offer with the recorder, so the solution never evolves to meet even more needs of public safety agencies. After its release it remains stagnant. If you don’t believe us, pick your favorite logging recorder with QA and ask them what enhancements they’ve added to the QA features lately.

Competition Drives Innovation

When a recording company offers their own QA tools, they typically only integrate their recorder with their own QA solution. This excludes other public safety QA software companies from competing for that business. Without proper competition (agencies being able to choose another offering with competitive features) there is no encouragement from customers to innovate.

So, What’s the Solution?

There are a variety of standalone, web-based QA/QI software tools on the market. These tools are independent from the logging recorder, so customers don’t have to deal with the downsides listed above. Our favorite is Frontline’s QA Tracker.

But What About Audio Recordings?

To access audio during an evaluation, the recorder does not need to be part of the same platform as the QA software! You just need to make sure that whoever you’re using for both solutions can integrate with each other.

Published On: May 17th, 2023Categories: Purchasing & Evaluating New Solutions WiselyTags: , , ,
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