City of Richmond Improves Communication with Avaya IP Office | CPI's Avaya Blog

City of Richmond Improves Communication with Avaya IP Office

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Chris Dellen

It is exciting to me when technology profoundly impacts an organization! Today, I want to share with you one of our most recent Avaya IP Office success stories.

Download the case study or watch the video below to see how the City of Richmond Improved Collaboration and Speed of Communication with the help of CPI and Avaya IP Office.


“I can’t say enough good things about CPI! Of all the great vendors I have ever dealt with, hands down CPI has been the most professional and well organized. They helped us stay within our budget and made the buying and implementation process simple. Ultimately, that made my job much easier.”

- Kris J. Wolski, Chief of Police for the City of Richmond



About City of Richmond

With a population of over 36,500, Richmond is the 23rd largest city in Indiana. From boasting as the hometown of Orville and Wilbur Wright to being the birthplace of Hoagy Carmichael’s famous tune “Stardust”, Richmond has a rich heritage. It was awarded Stellar City in 2013.

Today, over 300 men and women serve the City of Richmond working diligently to preserve, protect, grow and sustain Richmond and its residents.

The Challenge

The City of Richmond’s municipal departments include a police station, fire departments, parks and recreation, municipal airport, public transportation, sanitary district and many others. With numerous departments, employees, city residents and tourists, it’s vital for all municipal offices and personnel to be seamlessly connected. As the city’s 20+ year old phone system began showing signs of its age and limitations, Mayor Hutton realized it was impeding the city’s ability to efficiently and reliably communicate.

 Some of the challenges were:

  • Limited voicemail capacity and delayed notification of messages
  • No geographic survivability (in the case of a natural disaster, the system would shut down, halting all business communications)
  • No call forwarding (i.e. to personnel’s cell phone when away from desk)
  • No pre-programmed click-to-call contact list
  • Poor sound quality
  • No streamline communication between remote offices
  • Caller ID was not available on all phones
  • Expensive telephone line services

With a background in IT, Richmond’s Chief of Police, Kris Wolski, was asked to head the research for a cost-effective phone system that would improve collaboration and the speed of communication.

The Solution

After a couple months of researching and receiving referrals from local businesses, Chief Wolski chose CPI to implement their Avaya IP Office phone system. CPI’s team conducted in-depth surveys to assess the goals and needs of each department. Through this process, unique, department-specific pain points and needs were uncovered. These insights enabled CPI to customize the structure of the new system to better accommodate each individual department.

Chief Wolski shared that “numerous system features have positively impacted the City of Richmond” including:

  • Redundant voicemail with increased capacity and instant message notification ensures voicemails are answered quickly.
  • Users can get their voicemails on their desktop phone, PC, tablet and smartphone. This allows constant and rapid communication to respond quicker to the needs of the citizens.
  • Twinning allows the caller to ring the office number, cell number and desktop soft phone, all at the same time.
  • New phones have excellent high-definition sound quality and call recording.
  • Local event-specific hotlines with announcements allow information to be accessible quickly on services and events.
  • New design provides geographic and carrier redundancy to allow business continuity in the event of a disaster or outage.
  • Management can now use the call accounting system to understand the call loads in each department. These reports help department heads manage staffing to provide better service to the citizens.
  • Built-in conference bridge capability allows collaboration of the City of Richmond staff and management (up to 128 people can be on bridges throughout the city).
  • Increased speed of internal communication with chat and presence (ability to see in real time if colleagues are at their desk or out).
  • Convenient, personal, secure and direct to the desktop faxing - inbound and outbound via PC speeds faxes directly to the users. Additionally, the computerized format allows for reduced costs and the environmental impact of paper-based fax machines. 

The Results

Before CPI implemented the Avaya IP Office phone system, the sanitary district had a contact-center-like environment with no contact center technology. Now the sanitary district has a small contact center powered with the right technology to better manage customer calls. This enables the city to more quickly address the needs of their residents undoubtedly leading to an increase in constituent satisfaction.

But the return on the city’s investment does not stop there. Since implementation, the City of Richmond is realizing an astounding 50% savings on their monthly phone bills. The old system’s technology did not have the capability of connecting all 28 remote locations, which resulted in the city paying an additional monthly fee to have all departments interconnected. Their new Avaya IP Office system takes advantage of the robust data network and VoIP “built-in”, ultimately saving the city a significant amount of money.

Because of their investment in the Avaya IP Office phone system, the City of Richmond is well on their way to achieving their goals of improving collaboration and the speed of communication.

 “We are all really enjoying our new phone system. I’m receiving feedback on how intuitive and easy it is to use. That’s music to our IT department’s ears!”

- Kris J. Wolski, Chief of Police for the City of Richmond

If you have a vision similar to the City of Richmond, we invite you to contact us to learn more about this business phone system and communication platform and how it can revolutionize your organization.

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