NWN Gives City Of Charlotte A Convention Communications Boost


The City of Charlotte, North Carolina, host of the Democratic National Convention this week, is getting a communications boost from SP 500 power NWN Corp.

In fact, City of Charlotte Senior Program Manager Bellverie Ross says she is sleeping easier this week thanks to the new Cisco VoIP Call Center solution that is being hosted, managed and maintained by NWN.

The City of Charlotte call center, which handles about 120,000 calls a month from citizens, is now locked and loaded to handle any increase in calls that come in as a result of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

[Related: NWN: The Time Has Come For Hosted Collaboration]

"We expect our call volume to go up, and we are geared to handle those calls," said Ross.

NWN installed the new VoIP solution, which includes two Cisco Unified Communications Clusters, under an extremely tight deadline to assure it would be up and running before the DNC, said Ross.

The hosted Cisco VoIP solution is part of a four-year, multimillion-dollar contract between the City and NWN, which earlier this year won Cisco’s Cloud Partner of the Year public sector award.

City of Charlotte officials praised NWN for providing the top-notch engineering talent and support to assure that the City can handle even the most complex unified communications challenges.

NWN’s NCare team is providing the management and monitoring of the hosted VoIP solution, which includes Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco Unified Intelligence Center 8, Cisco Unified Voice Gateways, Cisco Unified IP telephones and ISI Infortel Call Accounting.

"Now we have access to the expertise we need when we need it," said Kimberly Laney, project manager for the City of Charlotte, discussing the benefits of the hosted VoIP solution. "Our primary focus is delivering services to citizens -- not providing telecommunications services. With NWN we have a different level of service and talent. Having NWN supporting us has made a big difference."

NWN’s long-standing strategic partnership with the City and local ties to the Charlotte community were key to making the hosted VoIP decision, said Laney.

The City is looking forward in the future to providing increased unified communications capabilities including email integration along with identity and location functionality, said Ross. "This is a long-term strategic platform," she said. "Not a point solution."

PUBLISHED SEPT. 6, 2012