October 1, 2018

Phone App to Enhance Staff Productivity

Is your staff spending too much time in meetings and not enough time working independently? If so, you’re not alone. Since 2008, the amount of time that firms spend in meetings has been increasing. It is now projected that organizations spend an average of 15 percent of company time in meetings.

It could be that meetings have become more prevalent because of all the bells and whistles that new technology has brought to the conference table. These advances include slick presentations with video and talking heads as well as interactive face time with offsite staff and clients. It’s no wonder companies are investing in meeting technology.

However, technology that was meant to make workers more productive has, in many cases, just placed them in meetings for longer periods. Perhaps it’s time to start using technology for more efficacious purposes.

Enter: Meeting apps. Instead of inviting loads of people to a meeting to get up to speed, how about just invite the folks necessary and record the meeting for all those who just need to be aware of what’s going on. There are now phone apps that record a meeting and then transcribe the dialogue into meeting notes to be distributed after the fact.

One such example is an AI-powered app called Tetra, introduced in 2017 and continually being updated with new improvements. The key feature of the app is to eliminate the need for anyone to take notes, which enables participants to stay focused on the content being discussed. The app not only records the phone call, but also transcribes the call into a text document using deep learning and natural language processing (NLP).

A full transcription of the discussion is delivered within minutes after the call, complete with features that make it easy to search for specific terms in order to review exactly what was said. For example:

  • Search for keywords across all conversations
  • Listen to a specific piece of audio by tapping on those keywords
  • Generate a call summary by manually tagging key moments during a call
  • Save highlights and action items with a single tap
  • Share notes with colleagues who are not present through the Tetra mobile or web app

How It Works

Tetra allocates a dedicated Tetra number to be used for all outgoing and incoming calls over Wi-Fi or 4G. Once each call is completed, the VoIP app generates notes a short time later.


In terms of cost, the app offers an initial trial of 60 free minutes in the first month. Thereafter, the user signs up for a specific plan based on projected time.

  • Plus – $9/month for a total of five hours of call time per month
  • Pro – $29/month for a total of 10 hours of call time per month
  • Business – $99/month for unlimited call time each month


One common question regarding recorded phone calls is whether it is illegal. To legally comply with the issue, the Tetra app issues a default announcement to participants that the call is being recorded. The app offers the option for a user to disable this announcement as long as the plan subscriber agrees to ask for  recording permission where necessary to stay compliant with local laws.

Also, Tetra utilizes industry standard encryption and Amazon Web Servers (AWS) to store data that’s been collected. Note that the transcription function is generated automatically by artificial intelligence and no humans are involved, so all meeting content remains confidential.

The meeting recording market is starting to expand. There are currently numerous apps, such as Zoom,, Scopist and NoNotes, that record calls and save them to a cloud for easy retrieval. However, the transcription service is relatively new and adds a striking dimension to enhance productivity – allowing more employees to keep working outside of meetings.


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