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Advanced Training: Admin

Third-party Call Recording Storage

When the call recording feature is enabled for your system, the PowerDialer and Click-to-Call creates digital audio files for live calls and stores them on your application server. These recordings are considered part of your data usage. The third-party recording storage tools provide some additional ways to help you manage this storage, and reduce costs.

Please note that the third-party storage tool must enabled by an InsideSales.com support representative before it will be available in your system. Contact InsideSales.com if you think your organization might be interested.

Licensing

Data storage is divided into three separate "buckets," one for database storage (records housed in the database), one for general file storage (file attachments, items in the Files tab area, etc.), and one for call recordings.

Be aware that this may affect your monthly billing amount, so be sure to double-check your storage allotment.

Hardware

Here's a few notes about how our dialer servers handle the physical storage of call recordings.

When calls record, the digital audio files initially save directly to the dialer server where the call took place. While the file is stored there, users can preview, download, or delete individual recordings but cannot download or delete them en masse.

Each night, the dialer server automatically transfers the recording files to the appropriate InsideSales.com data server that houses each client's respective database. Once offloaded from the dialer server(s), files can be viewed in the Files tab in the InsideSales LMP, and downloaded or removed en masse.

With a third party storage option in place, files are still transferred off the original dialer server, but are sent to a separate physical server from the client database. All of the functionality is the same, and all of the file links in the Files tab are there, we've just offloaded the storage to a different physical location, freeing up that space on the primary database servers. This helps keep call storage costs lower, and reduces performance overhead on the database servers.

The Third-party Storage Utility

However, some of our users still use a substantial enough amount of call recording storage to incur monthly storage fees. To help clients reduce these costs, and take more control over the storage and backup of their recordings, we have included the ability to send call recordings to a third-party server location each night, instead of to InsideSales.com's database.

User Interface

Observe the Off-site Recording Storage link under the Manage Call Recordings link on the administrative page.


(Call Recording Storage Link)
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The link takes you to a page where you can set up a dedicated, off-site server location where your call recordings will be sent on a nightly basis.


(Manage Recording Settings Page)
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If your company keeps large amounts of call recordings on your InsideSales.com system, you may want to leverage this tool for cost savings, as InsideSales.com charges a monthly fee to clients who exceed their allotted hosted storage amount.

The tool provides two options, (or locations) where clients can push their recordings: 1) To their own off-site SFTP location, or 2) to an Amazon Cloud storage account.

SFTP Settings


(SFTP Settings)
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Here is a brief description of the settings:

  • Transfer Type - This sets the transfer type to SFTP or Amazon S3. For detailed information about this option, see the section of this page entitled Amazon S3 Help Guide for InsideSales.com
  • Domain or IP - This points to the Web location with SFTP access.
  • User Name - Enter the SFTP account user name for the specified domain / IP address.
  • Password - Enter the SFTP password for the specified user name.
  • Public / Private SSH Keys - We can use either the user name / password combination to access your server, or SSH key pair. The SSH key pair method is the most secure, and should be used if at all possible.

    If the SSH key pair is used, the system will ignore the user name / password combination. If, however, the public or private SSH key is encrypted (which is often the case), enter the user name and password for the  SSH key de-encryption, NOT the user name and password for the SFTP server. The service will use the SSH options to make the server connection.

  • File Directory - If this field is used, it will create a sub-directory on the SFTP server where the files will be stored. If nothing is specified in this field, files will be dropped into the root directory defined for your SFTP account.
  • Default File Name - This sets the file name parameters for recordings AFTER the files are moved each night on to the third-party server. Names will combine three elements, which can be chosen from the following options:
    1. Date Created
    2. Employee Name
    3. Contact Name
    4. Contact ID (record ID)
    5. Number Called


(File Name Section)
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An Important Reminder

The third-party recording and file storage elements of our system provide many helpful features to our users.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you regularly review your system data usage, and identify aspects of your setup which incluence your usage and storage fees.

Continue reading below for more information about the Amazon S3 storage option.

Amazon S3 Help Guide for InsideSales.com

Getting Started

What is Amazon S3?

To help customers better manage costs, we've included the ability to move stored call recordings off InsideSales.com's servers, and on to a client-controlled location. This utility currently allows clients to use their own FTP / SFTP server, or connect to an Amazon S3 account.

We've provided this page to help our users who are considering using Amazon S3 for their off-site backup storage needs.

The simplest way to explain Amazon S3 ("S3" stands for "Simple Storage Service") is that it is a big "vault" to store data so that it can be used by Web applications. It's not primarily designed to work as a "Web site host," in terms of managing domain names and hosting active Web pages (though you can use it this way). Instead it's meant to interact with Web applications that transfer data between systems---images, databases, audio files, videos, text logs, and so on.

Amazon describes it this way:

"Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."


(Amazon S3 Home Page)
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An example of how S3 could be used might involve a Web application that needed to run a nightly backup service to store certain pieces of data. Rather than having to set up and maintain a server cluster to do this, a company might instead use the Amazon S3 cloud as part of their standard operations, and incorporate the cost of the Amazon S3 services into their business model.

What Amazon S3 is Not

Some mistakenly believe that Amazon S3 is merely another type of "dropbox" tool to store files. Don't think of S3 as an application, but more of an ecosystem, or platform, which applications can utilize. For example, Amazon has its own "Amazon Cloud Streaming" application for purchasing and listening to music. The application has a front-end, with playback and volume controls, options to download music, and so forth. The interface is one part of the application, the back-end is actually using the Amazon S3 cloud structure, which is separate from the front-end interface.

Using the S3 platform, a developer / company could conceivably build a video streaming application, a data backup application, a digital printing application, an online image editor (you get the picture). Any Web application that transfers data between two locations could use the Amazon S3 platform as part of its data storage tool set.

How InsideSales.com Uses S3

InsideSales.com uses S3 in a simple, straightforward way---to move call recordings off of InsideSales.com's server clusters, and on to the S3 platform, saving clients money and giving them more robust access to their data.

When cloud recording storage is enabled and configured, the InsideSales.com Web application interacts with the S3 cloud to perform the needed file transfers.


(Amazon S3 Recording Settings)
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At night, call recordings generated in your InsideSales.com system would automatically upload to your S3 storage account.

Setting Up Your Amazon S3 Account

Create an Account

To take advantage of the cloud recording storage tool using Amazon S3, you'll first need to create an account if you don't have one. Head over to:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

and click the link to Sign Up Now.


(Amazon S3 Sign Up Link)
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At that point, you can choose to link your Amazon S3 account to your current Amazon account if you have one, or create a new Amazon account specifically for S3.


(Account Sign Up)
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After signing up, you'll be required to enter your credit card information for billing, and taken to an activation page.


(Amazon S3 Activation)
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After you receive an an email confirming your account activation, you're ready to move to the set up phase.

Setting up a "Bucket"

The easiest way to get started is to follow Amazon's provided "Get Started" guide. You can access it directly through your browser, or as a PDF.

HTML version:

http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/gsg/GetStartedWithS3.html

PDF:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/awsdocs/S3/latest/s3-gsg.pdf

Since your account is already created, you can start on Step 2, "Create a Bucket." Log in to the Amazon S3 console, https://console.aws.amazon.com/s3, and create a new bucket in the interface.

Pay attention to the naming conventions Amazon describes for setting up your bucket (see Step 3 in Amazon's setup directions). You will want the bucket name to be unique, and follow appropriate conventions. BE SURE THE BUCKET NAME IS WHAT YOU WANT, because once you create it, you cannot change its name (though you can, of course, create a new bucket if you don't like the one you created). In addition to Amazon’s naming restrictions do not use any underscores or capitalization.


(Amazon S3 - Create a Bucket)
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Bucket Region

Amazon provides as number of regions for its "buckets," based on location. Depending on the region you choose, the costs and fees associated with transferring data to those buckets may change, so be sure you select the best one for your organization.

Review the pricing and other information at:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

to get a better idea for how your region selection may affect your costs and usage of the system.

Bucket Console

After creating your bucket, you will be taken to the bucket view screen in the console.


(Bucket Console Default View)
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If you choose, you can upload files directly to the bucket root directory, or you can create a sub-folder within the bucket. Either way will work just fine for the InsideSales.com call recording storage tool, you'll just need to specify the folder when you set it up in your LMP.

Get Your Credentials

Before moving over to the LMP, you'll want to get the access credentials for your new account. Click on your name in the top right corner of the screen, then click the Security Credentials link.


(Security Credentials Link)
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From there, you'll re-verify your account login, then be taken to the security credentials page. Look for the section heading for "Access Credentials." You'll see three tabs, one for access keys, one for X.509 certificates, one for key pairs. The items you'll need for your LMP are the two access keys--the access key ID, and the hidden key.

Write down, or copy / paste both of these somewhere where you can remember them.


(Access Credentials Page)
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(Secret Access Key)
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Setup in the LMP

Go to the Admin tab in your InsideSales.com LMP. Look for the link for Off-site Recording Storage under the Manage Call Recordings heading in InsideSales.com.


(Off-site Recording Storage Link)
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Once there, you'll see a dialogue page to set up your off-site call recording settings. Select Amazon S3 in the top dropdown.


(Amazon S3 Settings)
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Input your access key and secret key into the provided text fields.

Bucket Directory

Here you'll need to input the full Amazon bucket name into the field. If you have any sub-folders in the bucket that you want the files to arrive in, they'll need to be appended to the bucket name, with a trailing forward slash.

For example, if your bucket name was

insidesales-call-recording-storage

and you had a folder in that bucket called "recordings," you would input the following into the bucket directory field:

insidesales-call-recording-storage/recordings

You MUST input the correct bucket name, and any folders into the bucket directory field, or the tool will not work properly.


(Bucket Directory Filled Out)
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Default File Name

This setting determines how the files will be named when pushed to your Amazon S3 bucket. There are three entry fields, with five options available for each field:

  1. Date Created
  2. Employee Name
  3. Contact Name
  4. Contact ID (or lead ID, or account ID)
  5. Number Called

Choose the three naming options that will best help you manage the recordings down the line.

Final Steps

Test Connection

Before saving your settings in the LMP, click the Test Connection button to ensure that you have input the correct access key and secret key. If the keys are valid, you will receive a notification showing that they were recognized.

If the keys were entered incorrectly, you will likewise receive a warning notice.


(Text Connection Button)
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After you have tested your connection, go ahead and save your settings.

Bucket Policies and Other Permissions in Amazon

In some cases, your organization may want to establish particular policies related to accessing and transferring data to your S3 account. This can be done by establishing additional user access permissions, as well as creating "bucket policies" that control specific file access, read / write permissions, and other settings related to data stored in that bucket.

These are advanced settings that should typically be managed by your organization's IT department, as they relate to specific settings initiated through the Amazon Web Services API.

Bulk Managing Files in the S3 Bucket

Once files arrive in your Amazon bucket, you will no longer be able to mass download or mass delete the files from within your InsideSales dialer system. Someone in your organization will need to be tasked with managing the S3 bucket. You can do this manually through the AWS console, or if your company felt so inclined, you could create a custom Web application that interacts with the AWS service to manage files.


(Bucket Management Actions)
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Restrictions

The following IP ranges must be open (whitelisted) on the SFTP/Amazon account. 64.90.204.224/28
67.214.247.0/27

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