Case Studies : Waveney District Council
Applied Voice & Speech Technologies Inc. (AVST), a provider of unified communications solutions, announced the success of its flagship product, CallXpress® in Waveney District Council, Suffolk.
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The council is ambitious and wants to be considered an exemplar, one that provides high quality, customer-driven services that are good value for money. It is a goal of the council to sharpen focus on service outcomes and create a council and an area, in which people can have pride. There is also a desire to find better ways of listening to local communities and meeting their needs and aspirations. With these aims in mind it was key to identify and implement an excellent messaging platform.
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Waveney Council approached Avanquest, an ASVT authorised reseller and the AVST accredited training centre in the UK. The council stated that it was looking for a suitable replacement for its ageing voicemail platform. It was important to find a flexible solution that would both integrate with Novell GroupWise and meet the full requirements of the council, in terms of budget, flexibility and service. It was also imperative to choose a switch independent solution, as the Council had plans to replace the existing switch from a Siemens TDM platform to an IP switch.
Local councils are now placing communication at the centre of their IT strategies and Avanquest supplies best of breed solutions to the public sector. The Avanquest service began by means of consultancy with the council and continued through to implementation, support and training. Avanquest recommended the AVST CallXpress unified messaging solution as it delivers call processing, voice mail, unified messaging, fax, speech and notification and was therefore capable of meeting all of the council’s criteria. The solution also integrates with more traditional and IP switches than any other unified messaging product on the market, as well as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and Novell Groupware. This flexibility was important to the council.
Waveney District Council has implemented an 8 port CallXpress platform initially for 200 unified messaging users. This was connected by DPNSS to a Siemens Realitis and integrated into the GroupWise email/groupware environment.
The council wanted to optimise the functionality of the auto attendant and the ESP (Extension Specific Processing) feature in the solution, which allows each subscriber to have a personal menu that callers are routed to when they are forwarded to voice mail. Consequently, they also implemented ScheduleXpress, which is a tool for simplifying the ESP/auto attendant process. This personal menu has access to all of the features available in a call processor mailbox and also allows each user to have dedicated announcements and messages, which can provide more targeted information and increase the speed and level of service provided to the public.
Following the initial installation of CallXpress the council began its migration to VoIP utilising a Mitel platform. Avanquest have continued to work with Waveney to ensure the solution grows with its needs and moves seamlessly to the new IP environment. To assist with the changes, Avanquest have integrated CallXpress to both switches and have added an additional 4 ports, taking it to 12 ports, as well as increasing the numbers connected to the IP platform on the Mitel 3300. Another 50 unified messaging users have been added and the council has upgraded to CallXpress 7.9, to take advantage of the web phone manager addition; this allows users to simply change their CallXpress settings by using a Web browser.
The Revenues and Benefits teams use the unified messaging capabilities of CallXpress extensively, as they experience heavy communication traffic from the public. The council is very pleased with the improvements in voice mail processing and therefore service levels in these sections. It has also found CallXpress invaluable in the hot-desking pilot, which will be rolled out to more council staff. Full unified messaging facilities are currently available to 250 users and this will undoubtedly grow as, like most local authorities, Waveney begins its rollout of home and remote working.
Waveney District Council employees rely on good communication to complete their daily tasks and meet the Council’s service strategy. With more and more mobile workers, the council also wanted to improve its employees' mobile access to e-mail, to encourage personnel to work in the community. CallXpress is helping in both these areas.
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About Waveney District Council:
Waveney is a local government district in Suffolk, England, named after the River Waveney that forms its north-west border. The district council is based in Lowestoft, which is the only unparished area in the district. The district was formed on April 1, 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972. Waveney District Council is currently under Conservative Party control.
Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. is a developer of enterprise communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. AVST offers suite of second generation enterprise communications solutions including voice messaging, unified messaging ("UM"), speech-enabled applications (including automated attendant and mobile worker access), and call processing (including embedded IVR).
Published: Friday, January 18, 2008
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