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Trade :Comune di Milano Case Study

When Citizens Call, the Comune Answers

To revolutionise the system of interaction between citizens and local government through a flexible, economical and versatile system amongst the best in  Europe.

Comune di Milano implemented a communications platform based on Avaya S8700, a latest generation native IP ISPBX, which still allows for traditional digital and/or analogue telephone terminations to be managed. Applications have also been implemented, including Avaya  Call Management System, Avaya Interaction Center - to route voice, web, email and fax contacts intelligently - and Avaya Voice Portal, an IP-based platform that supports applications complying with the VoiceXML 2.0 standard. Voice Portal provides an IP-based environment for automatic self-service telephone transactions that would otherwise have to be routed by an operator or Contact Centre agent.

• Significant improvement in Comune di Milano’s answering capacity
• The ability to offer new telematic services to Milan’s citizens
• Control of management and maintenance costs
• The possibility to increase or decrease the number of workstations in the contact centre depending on the volume

Milan, Italy – The first of its kind in Italy, Comune di Milano’s new contact centre sets new standards in the relationship with the local public administration.

For a Public Administration, its direct relationship with its citizens is an essential element from the point of view of transparency and good government. It is both an important and difficult task, especially when it comes to growing its pool of competencies. In  anticipation of new and important challenges that it wanted to be prepared for, Comune di Milano decided a few years ago to update the part of its infrastructure responsible for communicating with citizens and providing them with information, services and support.

From this idea, thanks to the invaluable help of Avaya and one of its Authorised BusinessPartners, the “Milano Semplice 020202” Contact Centre was created and developed with the aim of improving communication with private individuals and businesses, reducing the time taken to carry out local government requests.

Change without hesitation
The first of its kind in Italy and amongst the first in Europe, the new contact centre developed by the Avaya BusinessPartner using Avaya technology, achieved in under a year, is already a crucial element in the relationship between citizens and the authorities. “The existing infrastructure was based on an analogue switchboard that directed all incoming traffic to the client” explains Maria Luisa De Angelis, Business Development Manager for the BP involved in the project. “The first step was therefore to initiate a transition phase during which we managed this traffic remotely at our Rome AMCs”. The second step concerned the creation of new infrastructure and, thanks to comprehensive co-operation between Avaya and the BP and despite the particularly demanding lead times and workloads, the first 20 workstations went live in September 2007. “The most delicate phases were planning and implementation since they were completed in a short timescale”, comments De Angelis. “In particular, we had to work on the connectivity section and replace the existing analogue switchboard with Avaya equipment, including Avaya G650 Media Gateway”.Complex but efficient architecture In detail, the architecture implemented for Comune di Milano revolves around a 180 VoIP port Voice Portal platform supported by a series of servers: four  for VXML Browser, one for System Management, one acting as a Speech Server, two with 45 Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) channels each, two more with 45 Text-to-Speech (TTS) channels, an Application Server for the VXML application and finally two Tomcat Servers. Monitoring the performance of all of these is a load balancing system.

For the component specifically handling voice traffic, the choice was made to use a PBX/ACD system – Avaya Media Processor S8700 with Communication Manager 3.1, configured with Critical Availability (dual processor, dual switching matrix, IP connections with failover to remote Media Gateway operator workstations) with 99.999% reliability. It consists of a latest generation ISPBX, native IP (and therefore capable of offering all of the most advanced telephonic functionality via IP connections and terminals), but which also handles traditional digital and/or analogue telephony equipment.

For the management component, the system uses the capacities of Avaya Call Management System (CMS), which collects the necessary information from the PBX/ACD system to verify that the Call Center solutions are functioning well, processing statistics from the ACD groups, with personalised settings if required. The direct operator/user interface is managed by Avaya Voice Portal 4.1, a latest generation automatic response system, completely VoIP, which supports VXML for the development of voice applications based on Web Server.

To each their reply
In the spring of 2008 the fully operational system already had 60 live workstations with 50 more added temporarily during the demanding start-up of the Ecopass project. Compared with the old switchboard, Comune di Milano now has an advanced contact centre that can supply many services. “Citizens can make direct requests for certificates and information on local taxes without having to use counter services”. Also, the 020202 number can be used as an actual ‘voice portal’ via which access can be gained to local transport services, refuse collection services and many other services. For very specific requests, a second-level support function can provide further details, with a commitment to call the contact back in the event that the requested information could not be found immediately. The excellent results in both qualitative and quantitative terms and the innovative nature of the project have led the BusinessPartner and Avaya to maintain weekly contact to collect feedback and resolve any issues.

It is therefore easy to provide for new developments to further improve the quality of the service offered to citizens whilst keeping costs under control. It will not be necessary to wait for the start of preparations for Expo2015 to see new functionalities. These will be added to the current voice, chat, web call centre, mail and fax options.

• Enabling the 020202 Contact Centre service with multi-channel inbound calls (voice, email, SMS, web chat) and outbound telephone calls
• Web channel integrated with the Comune di Milano website
• Call reception and service selection via automatic voice response (AVP) and routing of calls to the specialist response group
• Management of multi-channel system via CTI multimedia bar
• Intelligent Call Back

• PBX/ACD – AVAYA Media Processor S8700 with Communication Manager 3.1
• CMS (Call Management System)
• CTI - AVAYA Interaction Center  7.1
• Avaya Operational Analyst
• Proactive Contact 3.0

• Avaya Voice Portal 4.1
• Professional ACD configuration services
• Professional AVP config. services, development of AVP application and CALLBACK config.
• Professional CMS report personalisation services
• Outbound APC licences

About Comune di MmilaAno
The capital city of the Lombardy region, Milan is the second largest city in Italy in terms of number of inhabitants (1.3 million) and the centre of the largest urban area (3.9 million inhabitants) and the largest metropolitan area (7.4 million inhabitants).

Maria Luisa De Angelis, Business Development Manager for the Avaya BusinessPartner.