Technical Glossary


A type of punch block used to terminate twist pair wire usually preferred over 66-blocks for data. It is easily identifiable since it is a white plastic trough with 1 row and usually hung horizontally. Used predominantly in telephone wiring, but can be used for data network and other low voltage applications, hence it will support Category 3 or Category 5 wiring. SEE ALSO: 66-Block, Punch Down Tool



A type of punch block used to terminate or cross connect twisted pair wire. It is easily identifiable since it is a white plastic trough with 4 rows of pins in a column of 25 and usually hung vertically. These columns can be connected with C-clips that electronically connect these two sets of two rows. Used predominantly in telephone wiring and are typically rated Category 3, but can be Category 5 if needed.



Abandoned Call
Call Center term references a caller who disconnects prior to reaching an agent.

This term applies to how closely Call Center agents follow their scheduled activities. Adherence is an important consideration for workforce management. This is also known as adherence to schedule.
Agent Utilization
This term relates to the percentage of time Call Center agents are on calls in comparison to the time they spend waiting for calls to arrive. Organizations strive to keep occupancy as high as possible as the opposite or inverse is idle time.

Audiolog Interaction Quality. Agent evaluation software platform that integrates with the Audiolog Digital Recording System. Browser-based interface supports multiple templates, automated reporting, calibration and custom KPIs.

American Dynamics
Manufacturer of digital, network, and hybrid video recorders. A division of Tyco, International. Sound Communications is an integrator of American Dynamics solutions.
A continuous signal in which a variable is a direct representation of what is creating a signal. In sound recording the varying voltage of the signal is directly similar, i.e. analogous, to the sound waves hitting the microphone.

Tools and reports that allow organizations to better understand trends and activities that affect their customers, constituents and/or employees. Speech analytics, data analytics and workflow analytics are all commonly used within the Call Center environment.
Automatic Number Identification Automatic Location Identification A computer system at a PSAP that takes information from the phone system and provides the caller information to the Dispatchers at the PSAP, so they can quickly and efficiently dispatch emergency responders (EMS, Fire Fighters, Police etc).

Application Programming Interface. A language and message format for communicating with an application, e.g., an operating system or data base management system.



Bearer channel. These are the channels on T1, E1 and PRI’s that carry voice traffic.

Biscuit Jack
aka “Surface Jack”. A small box mounted on the wall to provide a telephone and/or computer network jack. These are used when flush jacks, ones that are nearly flat like an electrical outlet, cannot be put into the wall.



In quality monitoring, allows management to ensure all evaluators are using similar standards in judging employee performance. Calibration should be a standard practice of any quality monitoring department that has multiple evaluators.
Caller ID
Information about the called that could include caller name and caller number. Many phones and phone switches can pass this information onto call recorders.

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. This regulatory term refers to a telecommunications provider company that operates within the service area of an ILEC and provides wireline telephone services. Commonly pronounced “see-lek.”

Command Line Interface. A method of interfacing with a computer system , whether it be an application or an operation system, where the user types a command/action and a written response is issued and the user responds in kind with another written command. Classically, CLI does not use a mouse only a keyboard and very sparse interface on a monitor. MS-DOS is a classic example of a CLI.

Cloud Computing
A style of computing that is location independent where servers/computers and applications are accessed on demand, usually over the internet. The end users usually do not have physical access to the servers/computers which may be virtualized, since they are simply interested in the service and may not have need, desire, monetary means or technical expertise to maintain the hardware components. In short “cloud” is a metaphor for the internet and in many network diagrams the internet is shown as a cloud.

Communication Manager Application Program Interface. Used with Avaya PBX’s this is provides an open, standards-based, programming interface to the communications manager. This is supplied by Avaya as software and usually runs on a Linux Server. CMAPI has now been replaced by DMCC.

Computer Telephony Interface. This is a technology that allows interactions between phoned and servers on the network. This integration allows advanced information to be passed along from the phone switches like Caller ID, ANI/ALI, and Start/Stop Events etc, to be passed along to other devices, like call recorders and call Q /A systems.



In telecommunications it is a signal that discontinuous, as opposed to analog’s continuous signal, to represent information. This information is converted into a binary signal and therefore can be moved, copied, edited and error checked easier than analog signals.

A collection of rules and security on a computer network. Instead of logging into every machine on a network a server, called a Domain Controller, is logged into when a computer starts up and the Domain Controller controls all access that computer and/or user will have to devices on the network.

Digital Set tap (aka D-Channel – Data Channel). This is a type of call recording where digital phone handsets transfer not only audio but additional information that can include Caller ID, Agent etc., hence the “Data-Channel” name. This differs from VoIP in the fact that information comes from the phone wires and is taken from a punch down block to a call recorder.



E1 is a telecommunications line conforming to the European adaption of the T1 standard. The main difference between the E1 and T1, besides being used in Europe as opposed to North America is the E1 has 30 channels for voice (AKA “B-Channels” for bearer) and the T1 has 23 channels for voice.

Emergency Services IP Networks. Part of the Next Generation 911 architecture, ESINets allow NG-capable PSAPs to receive and process incoming calls by means of IP networks instead of legacy wireline systems. ESINets support voice, text, video and machine-generated data from any communications device.

Emergency Service Number. ESNs are usually 3-5 digit numbers that identify the unique combination of law enforcement, fire and emergency medical service agencies that serve a specific area. ESNs are used behind the scenes to route calls to 9-1-1.



A provider of wireless multi-service mesh networks that enable concurrent video, voice, and data for municipal, public safety and enterprise applications. Sound Communications Security Division is a licensed installer of this solution.
Also known as a key fob, this is an access control device assigned to a specific user. The fob displays or uses a randomly-generated access code which changes periodically (usually every 30 to 60 seconds).
Frame Rate
How often a still picture changes to give the illusion of motion. Television is usually 24 to 25 Frames per second with HD being as high as 50-60 frames per second.



Graphical User Interface. Often pronounced “gooey”, this is the most common way to interact with an application/program or operating system. Opposed to CLI this is where the user can user the keyboard and mouse to click on buttons, checkboxes, menus and other options on the screen to enter data into an application/program or operating system.



An ITU (International Telecommunication Union) standard for encoding and transmitting real-time voice and video conferencing over computer networks.

Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act. A federal law enacted in 1996 attempting to reform the healthcare industry by reducing costs, simplifying administrative costs and burdens and to improve privacy and security of patient’s information Due to this increased awareness and emphasis on securing patient information HIPAA training is usually mandatory in the healthcare industry and any industry that could come into contact with patient information. This is to make sure all safeguards are appropriately taken with this information to protect patient’s privacy.
A piece of networking equipment that allows several PC’s to be interconnected, by plugging network cables into it’s ports. Now no longer used since it transmits all information all connected PC’s and if two PC’s transmit the same piece of information a collision of these pieces will occur so all connected PC’s will have to watch for these collisions and transmit data as opposed to just transmitting data only. The process the PC’s use to do this is called Ethernet Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocol. Another drawback is since all data is transmitted to all connected PC’s and if one PC moves a large file the speed of the other PC’s connection will be markedly affected, since everyone shares the same bandwidth. Due to these two drawbacks hubs have almost universally been replaced by network switches.



Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. This regulatory term refers to a local wireline telephone company that existed at the time of the breakup of AT&T in Regional Bell Operating Companies (aka Baby Bells). Commonly pronounced “eye-lek.”

Insight Center
Browser-based interface for the Audiolog Digital Recording System that simplifies incident reconstruction for public safety centers. Supports adding multimedia, chat and other records to incidents for Next-Gen 9-1-1 compliance.
International Telecommunication Union. This is a United Nations agency that regulates information and communications technology issues such as the shared global use of radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, helping in the establishment worldwide telecommunications standards and working to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world.



Java Telephone Application Programming Interface. Sun Systems telephony programming interface. This provides sets and classes for call control and device control as well as administrative functions. This is provided by the phone switch provider to integrate from the phone switch to the phones and associated devices.



A security scheme for client/server to enable security access to multiple systems. This provides Mutual Authentication since both the server and client each verify each other’s identity. Windows 2000 and later use Kerberos as their default authentication method.

Key Performance Indicator. Metrics used to measure performance of a call center or other functional area within a business organization. Can be combined with quality monitoring and other recording-centric technologies to improve organizational performance and customer satisfaction.



Local Area Network. (aka “internal network”) This is the network made up of the PC’s, switches, routers, IP phones etc. usually in a confined geographic area like an office building. This network can have access to the internet or can be totally insulated to it and only have access shared amongst devices in that geographic location.

Local Exchange Carrier. This regulatory term refers to a company that provides wireline telephone services within a localized area and provides its customers with access to long-distance services. Commonly pronounced “lek.”

Lost Call
This Call Center term refers to a caller who disconnects prior to reaching an agent.



MAC Address
Media Access Control. This is a unique hexideximal address almost always set at the time of manufacture for any piece of equipment that can be seen on a network e.g. (VoIP phones, routers, switches)
Acronym for multiple-input/multiple output. Describes a technique which can be used like our Firetide product to communicate over multiple bands of a wireless standard, thus allowing for increased data transfer rates.
A Verint recording and playback client. This allows an agent to tag their ID to a call without having to log into a phone system. MLOGON is installed on the agent’s desktop computer.



National Emergency Number Association.

Net Staffing
For Contact Centers it is the actual number minus the required number of staff. A positive value means overstaffing and a negative value means understaffing.

Net Staffing Matrix
A report for Contact centers showing the actual number of staff, the required number of staff and the Net Staffing for each period in the daySee also: Net Staffing

Next-Gen 911 or NG911
NENA-initiated effort to improve the ability of 911 and public safety centers to serve an increasingly mobile, wireless society.


This term relates to the percentage of time Call Center agents are on calls in comparison to the time they spend waiting for calls to arrive. Organizations strive to keep occupancy as high as possible as the opposite or inverse is idle time.

Original Equipment Manufacturer
Operating System – “OS”
The program that provides a structure and runs all other programs on a server or computer. Common Operating systems are Windows XP, Windows Server 2000 or 2003 or 2008, UNIX, Linux, AS/400 or Mac.



Private Branch Exchange
Payment Card Industry. Typically used as a shortened version of PCI-DSS, in which DSS stands for Data Security Standard, a multi-faceted regulation for securing consumer credit card data. Call centers that accept credit card payments must comply with PCI-DSS 2.0 as of January, 2012.
Phi Phenomenon
A theory developed by psychologist Hugo Munsterberg to explain how a series of quickly changing still pictures creates the illusion of motion. This phenomena is how all video, television and cinema work.

Phone Switch
An electronic component or series if components that allows phone traffic to reach one another through dialed digits of extensions or phone numbers.

Plain Old Telephone Service. An industry turn for the most basic wired phone service for residential or small businesses usage

Primary Rate Interface. In telecommunications it is a standardized service level for carrying voice and data. In the telecommunications industry the term will be used to describe a T1 or E1, e.g., “This client is recording their PRI line.”

Public Safety Access Point. Any place where public safety personnel work out of, as in a fire station, police department, ambulance service etc.

Public Switched Telephone Network. This is the world network of public circuit-switched telephone networks and consists of telephone lines, fiberoptic cables, cellular networks, undersea cables and communications satellites.

Acronym for pan/tilt/zoom. Refers to cameras which can be controlled to perform these functions either automatically or on-demand.
Punch Down Block
An electrical connection used almost exclusively in telephony. Called this due to the fact twisted pair wire is inserted into opened ended slots and seated with a special tool called a punch down tool. This tool seats the wire into the slots and splitting the insulation of the wire to make the connection. This is known as a insulation displacement connection.

Punch Down Tool
A small hand tool that is used predominantly in telephony. This is used to either cross connect or terminate twisted pair wires on a punch down block. This is with a special tip/blade that can cross connect or terminate wire depending on what end is used. The tool has a spring in it so when pressed the tension gets to a release point and the tip/blade” punches” the wire down onto the connector with an snap/thump, hence the name.



Acronym for quality of service. In computer networking and VoIP, QOS is the ability to prioritize different applications, users or data streams to guarantee a certain level of performance is achieved.
Quality Monitoring
In a Call Center this is the listening and critiquing of an Agent’s calls to judge if they are within company prescribed guidelines for quality and content. This information is used to coach agents to improve their performance and the overall quality of the client/call center interaction.



Record-on-Demand Network Interface. Client software component of the Audiolog Digital Recording System. Allows end users to start and stop recording on demand, and/or tag specific data to the call recording.
A router is a piece of computer networking equipment that can connect multiple network nodes (computers, servers, IP phones etc) to each other and also connect these nodes across networks. Connecting an office LAN to the internet is a classic example of what a router would do.

A Layer 1 standardization similar to 10-BASE-T. It does not specify a communication protocol and is frequently used for PTZ camera control and as a communication bus for access control and security panels. Sometimes referred to as just “485”.
Real-time Transport Protocol. This defines a standardized packet format for sending audio and video of an IP network. This is used extensively in streaming video and audio applications like VoIP and Video Surveillance.



Software as a Service. Method of delivering software that does not require installation of the application on individual workstations. SaaS is usually accessed through an internet browser window, and housed either on a central server within the organization, or in the “cloud”.

Skinny Call Control Protocol. This is a VoIP technology owned, defined and controlled by Cisco Systems Inc.

Service Observe
This is a feature on some Phone switches that allows a code to be enteredred into one phone and you can listen in on another phone. This feature is used in come applications to record calls for call logging.
Session Initiate Protocol This is a VoIP protocol and literally means that the phone device initiates a call and sends out an invite to the other phone. For example when one phone calls another it sends an invite to that phone, the called phone rings it sends back to the calling phone letting it know the phone is ringing, then the call is picked up the picked up phone sends an “OK” response to the calling phone. The audio is done via RTP and when the conversation is done and the call hung up a “bye” request is sent to the other phone which responds with an “OK” and the conversation is over.

Software as a Service
Method of delivering software that does not require installation of the application on individual workstations. SaaS is usually accessed through an internet browser window, and housed either on a central server within the organization, or in the “cloud”.

SPAN Port/Maintenance Port
This is also known as port mirroring. This is where traffic from multiple physical ports on a switch are all combined to be put out of one physical port on a network switch.

Single Step Conference
Start/Stop Events
These are signals from the phone switch that signal a call recorder that a call has started and when it has ended.

Station Side
A type of recording where the phones are directly connected to the call recorder. This usually allows for any information that is on the phones display to also be captured. So long as the phone is connected to the recorder it can be recorded, but if a call is transferred to a phone the is not connected to the call recorder the recording would be terminated.

A piece of networking equipment that allows several PC’s/devices to be interconnected, by plugging network cables into it’s ports. Unlike hubs which transmit all data to all connected PC’s, causing the connected PC’s/devices to have to watch for network collisions and having their connection speed be highly degraded by one PC/device’s download of a large file switches intelligently transfer data. A switch does this by automatically dividing the network into multiple segments, and then acts as a high-speed, selective bridge between the segments, and supports simultaneous connections of multiple pairs of computers which don’t compete with other pairs of computers for network bandwidth. The switch accomplishes this by maintaining a table of each destination address and its port. When the switch receives a packet (of information), it reads the destination address from the header information in the packet, establishes a temporary connection between the source and destination ports, sends the packet on its way, and then terminates the connection.



A type of telephony where a fiberoptic or sometimes copper line carries 24 digitized voice channels or it can carry data at the rate of 1.5 megabits per second. T1 is used in North America and also in Japan.

Telephony Server Applications Programming Interface A computer telephony integration standard developed by Novell and AT&T consisting of a number of call control commands for switching calls, voice mail and interfacing with call recording applications.

Time-Division Multiplexing
Trunk side
A type of call recording where the call recorder is connected directly to the phone lines immediately as they enter the building. Advantages of this type of recording are 1) if you have 30 phones in your building, but only have 24 calls being delivered by your phone lines, you only need 24 channels of recording. 2) You can capture the entire phone conversation regardless of transfers, holds etc. The only major downside to this is that internal calls are not captured since they happen station to station and since they never leave the building they never get past the phone switch to be recorded.



User Datagram Protocol This is one of the main members of the Internet Protocol Suite, a set of network protocols used for the internet. It is a simple transmission model without handshaking protocols for providing ordering, data integrity or redundancy. UDP assumes data checking will be done in the application or is not necessary in the applications. This is commonly used in VoIP because dropped packets are preferable to delayed packets due to the time sensitivity of audio traffic.



Verint Systems
World’s leading developer of software for workforce optimization and video intelligence. Serves 85% of the Fortune 100. Sound Communications is a certified Master Distributor and Services Partner for Verint’s Audiolog and Impact360 product lines.

Video Surveillance
The use of analog or IP based cameras, or a mix of the two, to set up a network of cameras running to a video bank to be analyzed and saved on a central server for site security.

Virtual Local Area Network. A group of nodes on a network arranged so they areon the same broadcast domain. This replicates a physically separate network of cabling and switches. This is commonly done to control and organize network traffic.

Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the act of taking audio traffic and converting it to a digital format to be sent over a regular IP network. This will have audio and almost always data with the traffic giving call information. This offers advantages in the fact that it can use existing IP networks, sometimes with little to no physical modifications instead of running a dedicated telephony wiring network.

VoIP Delivery
This is a style of VoIP where the call recorder is connected directly to Phone switch and all call information is divided up and sent to the call recorder already packaged.

VoIP Interception
This is a type of VoIP where the call information is sent out of one or more Span Ports and the call recording looks through all this traffic to pull out the individual calls.

Telephony slang term for Voice/Audio.
Voice over Real-time Transfer Protocol. This type of VoIP behaves like analog recording since there are no start and stop events or data transferred with the call.



Wide Area Network. This is the network outside you internal network or LAN. This is most commonly known as the internet.

Workforce Optimization. Collection of software used to improve customer service and agent performance in contact centers while simultaneously using technology and automation to increase supervisory and management efficiency. WFO typically begins with recording and builds from there to include one or more of: workforce management, quality assurance, speech analytics, data analytics, and voice of the customer (surveys).

Workforce Optimization
Collection of software used to improve customer service and agent performance in contact centers while simultaneously using technology and automation to increase supervisory and management efficiency. WFO typically begins with recording and builds from there to include one or more of: workforce management, quality assurance, speech analytics, data analytics, and voice of the customer (surveys).

A Peer-to-Peer computer network. This is where each peer has to log in to each other. This is only viable in smaller networks and is not as controlled as a Domain.

Wrap Time
The time a call center agent spends with on-screen activities to close out a call after the audio portion of the call concludes. Also known as post-call work.



Extensible Markup Language. This is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine readable formats and is designed for usability and simplicity over the internet and associated web services.



Yellow Alarm
A T1 alarm signal sent back towards the source of a failure. This indicates that the input of a network element has failed.



Zulu Time
This is a NATO code for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which all other times are based from. For example Eastern Time in the US is GMT-5.