New System Will Improve Service and Responsiveness to Residents
May 20, 2009
- The City’s new ‘Voice Over IP’ telephone upgrade replaces a 20-year-old system
- New City phone numbers will begin with a new prefix, 746
- Most current “main” phone numbers will remain active for a year after the new technology is in place.
Over the past 10 months, the City of Alexandria has been upgrading its 20-year-old telephone system to voice over internet protocol (VOIP). VOIP is a modern communications technology that supports improved call handling and intelligent call routing that will help City employees quickly and efficiently respond to callers.
The new telephone system will improve service to City residents, particularly in departments such as Finance, where annual call volumes are typically the highest. The new system will provide City departments with capabilities to accurately and quickly route calls, especially when call volume is highest. The new system also features intelligent call routing to help residents to select the right office that can answer their questions. If a resident is placed on hold, the calls will be answered in the order they were received. The system also allows City staff to generate reports documenting call volume and hold durations, information that will help City departments to staff the phones in ways that ensure calls are taken in a reasonable amount of time.
To support a seamless transition to the new platform, most of the current "main" numbers will remain active for at least a year after the new technology is in place. During this time, new numbers with the 746 prefix will be advertised in newspapers and on the City's Web site at alexandriava.gov/Dial746. Some numbers will retain the last four digits of their original telephone numbers and some will change entirely, incorporating the 746 prefix, but all numbers will retain the 703 area code.
All offices in City Hall will be converted to the new system by the end of May. To date, the new system has been installed for the Alexandria Community Services Board (which includes the Mental Health, Mental Retardation & Substance Abuse offices); Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), Alexandria Criminal Justice Services (ACJS); General Services; Housing; Human Rights; Information Technology Services; Parking Adjudication; Public Defender’s Office; Risk Management; Sheriff’s Office (including the City Jail); and the Office on Women.
The project is slated for completion by early 2011, with the exception of the Police Department, which will move to a new building in late 2011.
For more information, contact Jennifer Harris, Office of Communications, at 703.746.3961, or e-mail Jennifer.Harris@alexandriava.gov.