The following is an article published in Telephony magazine about our services for Ruth Goldman with the State of Michigan Department of Social Services.
Eye On The Customer
When her call accounting system started to crash two years ago, Ruth Goldman knew it was time to upgrade. That was the easy decision. Determining what to upgrade to would take some time; not a choice to be taken lightly. For Goldman is telecom administrator for Michigan’s Family Dependent Agency, a Lansing-based office that delivers Medicaid, food stamps, foster care adoption, and other services.
The new call accounting system, Goldman knew, potentially would have to serve up to 153 statewide agency offices, 118 phone switches, and 16,000 employees. The solution would also have to deliver functionality not available on the agency’s 12-year-old Stout system: call detail records by extension number; traffic analysis to help the agency optimize and speedily service its voice network; and less hand-holding.
“The most cost-effective solution, we decided, was to outsource the service,” says Goldman.
The agency, with a nod from the state’s Department of Management and Budget, selected Net-Phacs from Matsch Systems (Grand Rapids, MI) for a pilot project. The service lets users access call detail records by logging onto a password-protected Web site. Call data is collected via a modem (a Linux-based buffering device) connected to each office’s PBX. The modems transmit the call data to a Net-Phacs server at Matsch Systems where the records are formatted.
The Web service offers daily traffic reports for local and long distance calls, 800 numbers dialed, intraLATA/interLATA calls, and directory assistance, among other data. The service also lets agency personnel download and email reports to colleagues – an especially useful feature for telecom budgeting, says Goldman.
Some 32 agency offices are involved in the pilot. After the trial, the state office aims to request competitive bids from several call accounting service providers. Judging from Goldman’s assessment, Net-Phacs looks to be the odds-on favorite.
“It’s a great management tool,” she says. “The service lets us know, for example, whether we have a shortage or surplus of phones and trunks. And it can tell us that some trunks aren’t working. That’s helped to cut back on finger-pointing and speed repairs when problems arise.”
Also a key benefit, she says, is the service’s fixed monthly fee. Matsch Systems charges for call records based on the number of phone extensions connected to the Web service. Other call accounting services, says Goldman, charge based on the number of calls, which for the state agency can vary widely from month to month.
Can the service use some improvements? “None that I think of,” says Goldman. “It’s very user-friendly.”
This article is reprinted with permission. To view the original article, visit Callcentermagazine.com