Many government agencies at the state and local level still rely upon legacy phone systems or Centrex-type services leased from carriers. These older systems are difficult to manage, expensive to maintain, and lack many of the features of a modern communications platform. Designed when most workers sat at desks throughout the day, they are incapable of supporting today’s remote and mobile workers.
Legacy phone systems aren’t just frustrating for government employees — they make it difficult for agencies to meet the expectations of their constituents. As consumers we have grown accustomed to seamless communication via a variety of channels, including phone, email, text and online chat. We are used to having ready access to accurate, up-to-date information. We demand this level of service from businesses, and expect nothing less from government agencies.
An IP-based unified communications (UC) platform can help state and local governments enhance both their operations and the services they deliver. UC brings together voice, video and collaboration tools in a single interface, eliminating communications silos and enabling seamless transition from one channel to another. “Presence” lets users know whether someone is available and their preferred means of communication, eliminating phone tag. UC solutions can also be integrated with other applications and data to streamline workflows and provide one-click access to powerful communications tools.
Here are seven ways that UC and ShoreTel can benefit state and local governments:
- UC makes it easier for constituents to reach the right person to answer their questions and solve their problems. UC supports personalized call handling and routing, as well as auto-attendant and contact center capabilities.
- IP communications creates a common platform across multiple sites and agencies. (ex: Borough Hall and the police department, DPW, town library and/or the fire department.) By enabling real-time collaboration, it helps boost productivity, speed response times and facilitate decision-making.
- Many government agencies are using telework programs to reduce costs, provide for continuity of operations, and give employees greater flexibility. A UC system can be extended to teleworkers so they remain connected and have access to the tools they need when working remotely.
- Many municipal administrators and other key personnel are frequently out of the office. The mobile device integration enabled by a modern UC platform gives them secure access to the communications environment — anytime, anywhere. With mobility, administrators can make and receive phone calls just as if they are at their desks.
- Because IP communications leverages the data network for voice calls, it is more cost-efficient and easier to manage than legacy platforms. Web-based administration tools simplify moves, adds and changes across multiple locations. Teams can access comprehensive features and functionality without draining vital resources. With a short amount of training, most anyone can easily access this information and make these changes – saving costs with a limited IT team that many municipalities have.
- Whether on-premises or in the cloud, today’s UC platforms have a fault-tolerant and redundant architecture that helps ensure continuous availability for disaster recovery.
- An IP communications system can also be integrated with physical security systems. UC becomes the communications platform for emergency notification systems. With the LENS solution, a municipality can notify everyone inside and outside the building as well as other sites that an emergency event has commenced. The UC platform enables the solution to call the local police, 911 and key administrators simultaneously as well.
The ShoreTel Unified Communications platform is a proven solution that connects people and information while reducing total cost of ownership. It is highly secure and reliable, with failover capabilities that are essential to government agencies for both day-to-day operations and during emergency situations. You can ensure high quality services with enterprise-class availability to meet the demands of your employees and constituents.
At Eastern DataComm, we are proud of our history serving the communications needs of state and local governments.
Let us show you how we can enhance the quality of your communications infrastructure to help you increase efficiency and better serve your constituents. Contact us today!