By definition, a Call Detail Record (CDR) is a means of recording metadata pertaining to a telephone call or other telecommunications transaction. In the past, telephonic communication was the primary means of communicating over long distances, and therefore CDR Analysis focused on metrics that were most pertinent to telephone conversations – the length of the call, the destination and source numbers, duration and completion status. However, communication takes many different forms in the 21st century – how is CDR Analysis methodology adapting to a world in which opportunities for communication are virtually limitless?

Communication channels are virtually limitless

The choice in channel and medium that we have when communicating with people today is unprecedented: even on a smartphone, there are literally hundreds of ways to reach somebody. Phone calls, text messages, MMS services, instant messaging in its myriad forms, VoIP calls, video calls, social media messages and emails are just a few examples of the vast number of channels available to the average person today. The problem with CDR in today’s context is that phone conversations are no longer necessarily the go-to channel for communication. The challenge for CDR software and methodology is to adapt the principles of telephone-based CDR Analysis to the different demands of a multimedia communication culture.

How CDR differs for a multimedia communications industry

The format that CDRs take varies, and can often be customised, but with the broadening of media channels in the communications industry, the metrics that were traditionally considered for CDR Analysis are being reconsidered. Of course, some metrics still apply and can be carried over from telephonic CDR templates – certain CDR Analysis software simply refers to all devices as “phones” and fills in the relevant fields on that basis. Many CDR reports like Top N, Bill Detail and Call Usage don’t even make the distinction between voice and data calls – in fact, exchanges for use in North America still use the Automatic Message Accounting system, which has been in use since the 1940s. Modern CDR Analysis needs to recognise the importance of the device type and channel in each exchange of communication, from a capacity planning standpoint and to ensure accurate, actionable reports in an era of ever-increasing connectivity.

Constant network analysis and revision is essential

For multinational telecom companies, having a CDR Analysis protocol that takes into account the importance of channels other than voice is a top priority. Constant analysis of your network is essential for meeting service level agreements (SLAs). Video calls are becoming increasingly popular, and with broadband internet becoming an intrinsic feature of our culture, they could occupy the spot that telephone calls once occupied as the go-to channel for communication. Telecoms companies of the near future will have to manage the rising data demands associated with video communication against the steady provision of telephone service, with the additional task of managing the disparate online channels including instant messaging and social media.

Progressive CDR systems can prevent damage to your business

Striking the right balance between emerging communication technology and existing telecommunications services is crucial for forward-thinking telecoms businesses. It will become increasingly important to provision space for video and other data calls, but not at the expense of voice call quality. While telephonic communication no longer holds all the cards, customers consider it a fundamental service. Neglecting voice quality as a telecoms provider is a fast way to send your customer churn rate through the roof.

Provisioning your CDR Analysis protocol for the future starts with choosing the right Networking Software partner. IRIS Networking Systems offers in-depth Network Management Software that is responsive and versatile enough to cater to your network’s unique demands. To find out more, download a free copy of our Network Manager’s Guide to a Stable and Highly Available Network.

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