Emergency control room upgrade is a world first for Dyfed-Powys

Dyfed-Powys Police has updated its control centre system to provide significantly increased resilience and intelligent routing of emergency and non-emergency calls. In the process it has become the first emergency services organisation in the world to deploy Cisco Unified Contact Centre Enterprise (UCCE) technology to improve call-handling times and protect against dropped calls.

Aug 16, 2012
By Paul Jacques

Dyfed-Powys Police has updated its control centre system to provide significantly increased resilience and intelligent routing of emergency and non-emergency calls. In the process it has become the first emergency services organisation in the world to deploy Cisco Unified Contact Centre Enterprise (UCCE) technology to improve call-handling times and protect against dropped calls.

The Dyfed-Powys Police communication centre deals with over 50,000 calls every month.

In order to ensure the service operated at optimum levels, the force needed to find a more resilient platform that would guarantee high-availability communications for the emergency services – upgrading the existing analogue PBX (Private Branch eXchange) system to a modern IP telephony platform.

The new control centre system enables operators to view accurate real-time information, handling sub-second refresh rates which ensure they can manage the large number of calls they receive. This is significantly faster than the average call centre refresh rate of ten to 20 seconds and ensures that 999 calls are routed to skilled operators as quickly as possible.

Additionally, the force’s contact centre services provider Kcom developed a solution that automatically provides a call handler with the caller’s address and a map reference of their location, giving more detailed, immediate information and creating a quicker transfer of information between the operator and response teams.

“Dyfed Powys Police serves over half of Wales, meaning we have a high volume of calls and strict service level agreements (SLAs) to answer them in time. So we have to have a highly-resilient and efficient 999 call handling service,” said Mark Hall, head of network services at Dyfed-Powys. “Dyfed-Powys Police will benefit from greater functionality, as well as increased resilience and efficiency – thus significantly enhancing the service offered to the public.”

The improved contact centre combines Cisco’s UCCE system with APD Communications’ CORTEX ICCS (Integrated Communications Control Solution) platform into a single call routing solution for emergency and non-emergency calls across the control centre and delivers a single management information view of all inbound calls.

Jonathan Hamill, APD’s sales and marketing director, explained that APD’s CORTEX ICCS merges TETRA radio dispatch, call handling, video monitoring and much more into a single user-friendly touchscreen interface.

Elizabeth Bramwell, sales director at Kcom, added: “We have worked with Dyfed Powys for 15 years and the force asked us to devise a programme to upgrade its increasingly obsolete ICCS control system. We worked closely with Cisco and APD to install a solution which has incredibly high resilience with no likelihood of lost calls, the first of its kind in the world.”

Cisco’s UCCE delivers intelligent contact routing, call treatment, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI) and multi-channel contact management over an IP infrastructure. It combines multi-channel automatic call distributor (ACD) functionality with IP telephony in a unified solution, enabling organisations to rapidly deploy a distributed contact centre infrastructure. New telephone system improves force response.

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