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The City of Calgary's application for the 2006 Exemplary System in Government Award--May 22, 2006.

A. System

1. Name of Category Entered--Enterprise Systems.

The City of Calgary is pleased to submit its 3-1-1 Program in consideration for the URISA exemplary system in government (ESIG) award. 3-1-1 employs state-of-the-art Customer Service Request (CSR) technology in a multi-department environment to standardize how citizens can report problems, get reliable, consistent information about their municipality and receive follow-up information on their service requests. The CSR application electronically opens Service Requests, dispenses resources to address customer requests (for example: fixing a streetlight or reporting a dog at large), tracks work orders and resolves customer issues. It reduces customer run-around (less shuffling among departments) and provides accurate response to inquiries and requests.

2. Letter from Executive Administrator Authorizing Submission of the System Application (attachment 1)

B. Summary of What the 3-1-1 System Accomplishes and Why It is Exemplary

The 3-1-1 program has enabled The City of Calgary to create the standard of excellence in call management for the local public sector. The program has achieved the following objectives:

* Delivery of exceptional customer service to the public--informative, accurate, consistent, timely, helpful and accountable.

* Consistent, regular tracking of customers' demand on City services that allows capture of data on response times, efficiencies, meeting targets, problem areas and other factors that can be linked to the program areas to allow improvements.

* Aligning standards for excellent customer service across The City--from the corporate level through departments, business units and divisions.

* Removing internal organizational barriers to customer response.

* Utilizing data to make management resource allocation decisions and to make process improvements in service delivery.

The 3-1-1 centralized call centre is a new way of thinking and a key change in the way service requests are handled by the municipality connecting 30 business units that traditionally had their own customer service culture. The innovation is best described in the program's mission and principles:

Mission--To create an organization that supports "One City One Contact"


* Access--easily remembered number, 24 X 7 service, no searching through 250 Blue Page listings.

* Responsive/Consistent -consistent and accurate response--no matter who you talk to. Every service request given a target timeline for completion which is consistent for each type of request.

* Accountable--Customer is told how long service is going to take... all requests logged and tracked. Customers are given a P.I.N. number called CSR # to follow-up on their request.

* Learn--City operations make better strategic and budgetary decisions and improve service levels from the CSR metrics: tracking, trending and reporting.

4. User Testimonials (attachment 2)

C. Jurisdiction

1. Name of Jurisdiction:

2. Population Served by the Organization

3. Annual total budget for jurisdiction

4. Name, address of chief elected official

The City of Calgary

956,078 (April 2005 Civic census)

$1.8 billion

Mayor Dave Bronconnier

Office of the Mayor

The City of Calgary

PO Box 2100, Stn. M, Location code 230

Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2M5

5. Name, title, and info for Contact person

Mr. Terry Pearce

Manager--Citizen Services

Customer Service and Communications


Mr. Randy Vanee

Project Manager, 3-1-1

The City of Calgary

PO Box 2100, Stn. M, Location code 230,

Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2M5

Phone (403) 538-6124



D. System Design--In designing and implementing the 3-1-1 project, the project team coordinated many processes simultaneously: researching and documenting business processes so that they are properly configured into The City's Call Centre software, gaining understanding and support of employees, leaders and Council, and managing expectations across the organization.

Each City operational area began by performing an in-depth review of how citizen requests are received and processed, uncovering the department's knowledge base, service requests, and workflow process and documenting the role of support technology including the new Customer Service Request (CSR) software application.

How the technology application works

3-1-1 uses the latest in call centre technology known as CSR (Customer Service Request) software. 3-1-1 call representatives use CSR to electronically take in requests for City services or information. The 3-1-1 call agent asks the customer a series of 'flex' questions, which tell CSR which City operational area to assign the work. On the Business Unit side of things, staff log into CSR through an icon on their desktop to get work that has been assigned to them through the 3-1-1 Operations Centre. Once the job is completed, the staff member uses CSR to close the Service Request.

E. Implementation--3-1-1 is a complex endeavour requiring leadership, coordination, planning and persistence to bring about successful results. Engaging business units was critical in laying groundwork for this major change management program. Planning sessions addressed questions such as: "What does the end of the project look like? "What's the connection between the project and Corporate goals?" and "What are the criteria for project success?"

Technology acquisition was critical to 3-1-1's success. The selected application needed to support the project goals, be flexible / adaptable and fit with The City's technology architecture. The City of Calgary built a strong relationship with our supplier, developed a well thought out contract structure, used knowledge from other municipalities' experiences and talked to people who were using the application 'day in and day out'. Joint project planning and sound project management tools were instrumental to seeing the project through. Project chartering sessions used the SMART project management model--outlining a plan with detailed deliverables to ensure the 3-1-1 vision would be realized.

As additional City business units came on stream with CSR, business processes of all types were reviewed, updated, and documented to ensure that the proper scripting, information references and configuration practices were available for use by call centre representatives and CSR end users in the various business units.

May 18, 2005 marked an important milestone for The City of Calgary when the Corporation 'flipped the switch" enabling citizens to call the three digit 3-1-1 number to access City information and services. As of May 2006, the project has engaged 70 per cent of City operations into the 3-1-1 program. Remaining operations will over to CSR by year-end 2006.

F. Organizational Impact

Citizens expect outstanding service from The City of Calgary. Prior to 3-1-1 and CSR, existing tools didn't provide a "cross City" standard knowledge base. Nor did they track, route, manage and report requests or provide "cross-city" measurements and reports. CSR does this and is allowing us to improve the way we work.

Ensuring that City operations are transparent and accountable is a key goal for 3-1-1. CSR and the data it provides help The City to consistently measure its volumes of service requests, if we are meeting agreed-upon service agreements I targets, and where there is room to improve, for literally hundreds of service requests.

The City of Calgary incorporated a 3-1-1 Measurements Program at the project's outset. Service level agreements are in place between selected operations and the 3-1-1 Operations Centre. CSR data is available at Service Delivery Review sessions to aid in management decision-making such as adjusting resource allocations in the field where necessary. Other 3-1-1-measurements from The Corporation's data warehouse provide information on performance measures that were previously unavailable: For example: In 2005, The City met or performed better than its targeted response time for service on 86% of 200,000 service requests entered into the Customer Service Request system.

In 2005, the 3-1-1 Operations Centre responded to 565,892 calls, a 50 percent increase over calls received in 2004, and a 20 percent increase over total 3-1-1 calls forecasted. A citizen survey conducted in October, 2005 revealed that since 3-1-1 went live in May, citizens phoning The City have been transferred to other numbers significantly fewer times. Subsequent data has shown 3-1-1 telephone service is highly valued and is quickly becoming the preferred communication method with The City. (see testimonials attached) 22% or approximately 210,000 Calgarians have called The City via 3-11 since its launch in May 2005. 86% of 3-1-1 users are moderately to completely satisfied with the 3-1-1 service. These are significant steps towards 3-1-1's goal of 'one window' into The City.

Calgary is proud to have become the first 3-1-1 city in Canada and only the 15th in North America. As Canada's first 31-1 City, Calgary looks forward to sharing its success story with other municipalities and has hosted a municipalities from across Canada and the U.S. who are pursuing a 3-1-1 Customer Call centre, including Vancouver, Denver, and Edmonton.

G. System Resources

Staffinq Needs

The 3-1-1 project team includes 40 staff seconded from across the organization. Additional employees were hired for the new 3-1-1 Operations Centre, with 60 staff now answering 565,0000+ citizen calls during the first year of operations. Each Business Unit director (30 Business units in total) appointed one or more staff persons to be the 3-1-1 liaison / subject matter expert between their operational area and the 3-1-1 project.

A 3-1-1 Sustainment Team was established to ensure ongoing effective delivery of 311. The sustainment team supports business units with CSR configuration changes, Information Request documents and updates in various CSR instances / environments, Knowledge Base requests, reporting assistance, user changes, application user support and support in various other areas.

System Needs

1. What are the (3-1-1 CSR) system's primary hardware components? Provide a brief list of the hardware configuration supporting the system.


[check] Server: Hp BL20P G2

[check] 2 Pentium4 CPUs @ 2.8 GHz

[check] 4 GB RAM

[check] 72 GB x 2 Hard Disks (RAID 1)

Certified OS

[check] Windows 2003 Server SE SP1 Network--TCP1IP (142.15.29. 111)

[check] ODBC connection to CSR DB and ArcSDE (Spatial DB Engine)

[check] SDE Service/Protocol between ArcMAP and ArcSDE

[check] Oracle SQL*Net

2) What are the system's primary software components? Describe the primary software, and if a commercial package, any customizations required for the system.

[check] MS Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0

[check] ESRI ArcIMS (Internet Mapping Server) 9.1

[check] ESRI ArcSDE 9.1

[check] JRE 1.4.206

[check] SDK 1.4.206

[check] New Atlanta ServIetExec 5.0--IIS only--Required for MapViewer Java Application

[check] ArcGIS 9.1 (Arclnfo License)

[check] Oracle 9 Client--

[check] CSR Geo Data Import Tool ArcMAP Extension (Motorola)

[check] Geo Data Manager 2.2.3 (Motorola)

[check] ArcSDE (Spatial DB Engine) Command Line Tools 9.1

[check] Visual Basic Script (E:1CSRICSR_Refresh.vbs)

3) What data does the system work with? List and briefly describe the databases.

CSR Application Hub + HA Server (P1311 HUB01 & P1311 HUB 11)

* External Systems Interface * CSR database events automatically trigger the creation of XML files for sending to external legacy systems * SOAP server is installed to accept connections from external legacy system triggered events

Knowledge Base Indexing and Searching

[check] Apache Axis SOAP 1.1--Used for KB Searches

--SOAP Web Services for CC Client access

[check] Jakarta Lucene 1.4--Used for KB Searches

[check] Java Serviet Container--Used for KB Indexing

--Custom connectors for creating web and document indexes

See Appendix three--Project Architecture Diagram

Note--Appendices 1, 2, and 3 attached below.

URISA ESIG Organizing Committee

URISA Headquarters


May 2, 2006.

Re: letter of support from Program Sponsor

The City of Calgary is delighted to provide the attached application for the 2006 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award.

Calgary introduced its 3-1-1 Operations Centre in May 2005, enabling nearly 1 million citizens to connect with a "24 by 7" call centre when they have a request for City services, programs and information. In its first year, 3-1-1 received 565,000 citizen calls, almost double the calls received in one year earlier.

Using new Customer Service Request technology (CSR), 3-1-1 call representatives electronically open Service Requests (SRs), dispense resources to address requests, track status of work orders, resolve citizen requests, and provide data back to officials so they can ensure the best customer service.

For the citizen, the undisputed advantage of CSR is that the multi-faceted, behind the scenes workflow of hundreds of City services is simplified, providing a better customer experience and a positive 'first' perception of accountable and responsive local government.

As our submission clearly demonstrates, 3-1-1 is a new concept for how The Corporation responds to citizens. 3-1-1, its CSR software application and the integrated systems that support it demonstrate the innovation and commitment to accountability that have earned The City of Calgary its reputation as a leader among Canadian cities.


Don Mitchell

Acting Director--Customer Service and Communications

The City of Calgary



From Mayor Dave Bronconnier

* "This is forward-thinking--we are demonstrating to our citizens our commitment to having one of the strongest municipalities going. We need to capture our citizens' hearts and minds... that we're accountable about the way we deliver services and information."

From City Manager Owen Tobert

"The three-digit 3-1-1 phone line provides our citizens with one-window access to municipal information and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It uses state of the art Customer Service Request (CSR) technology to track every telephone call from the time the initial call is received right through to when callers' inquiries are answered, their needs are addressed and their issues are resolved.

In addition to improving customer service, this technology allows our staff to know exactly how long it takes to respond to customer calls, where resources are stretched, and where they are under utilized.

This system is about delivering consistent, informative, and accountable front-line public service. It's about being available to Calgarians when they need us.

It's another example of innovation that our community and our local government is known for--embracing new technology and new ways of thinking to provide the municipal services Calgarians want and need effectively and efficiently."

From Alderman Craig Burrows, The City of Calgary

* This is about making me more accountable to my constituents. 3-1-1 will end things not getting done in my ward and help me report to citizens on job status... All in all 3-1-1 will help us run a tighter ship." From Citizens Using the Service

* "I think that it is a very direct number to City services. It's fast and easy, and the number is easy to remember so I don't have to search for any number depending on what service I need. It covers all City services and that makes it so much nicer."

Appendix two--Testimonials

* "I like the fact I only have to call one number and not have to call several numbers before I can get my question answered. Most times the person I talk to gives me answers to my questions and I don't have to wait several days before someone gets back to me. I like the fact that I can call 24hrs a day."

From Mayor Sam Sullivan of Vancouver, British Columbia

"Calgary has been one of the first cities in Canada to introduce a 3-1-1 system and I understand that it has greatly improved the city's ability to deliver timely and efficient services to citizens. I'm looking forward to learning more about how Calgary has implemented 3-1-1, and how Vancouver can benefit from the experiences of civic officials here."

From Corporate Services General Manager and CFO Chris Good, The City of Calgary

" ..... The City is managing its non-emergency calls with the very latest in customer response technology. CSR lets customer representatives do their work electronically, streamlining response times and service request follow-ups. For the citizen, the undisputed advantage of CSR is that the multifaceted, behind the scenes workflow of hundreds of City services is simplified ... giving them a better customer experience and a positive 'first' perception of accountable and responsive local government."


Thank-you for the opportunity to apply for the 2006 URISA ESIG Award!

If any further questions please call

Dianne M. Quan

Communications Lead

3-1-1 Program

The City of Calgary

COPYRIGHT 2006 Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:URISA 2006 ESIG[TM] Award!
Publication:Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Annual Conference Proceedings
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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