NYC 311 Getting Bigger

A while back, I posted some information on FCC-sanctioned abbreviated dialing designations (“N11″). One of the largest implementations of n11 – the City of New York’s 311 system – is about to get even bigger.

New York’s 311 system, which provides callers with government related information, will soon include information on social service programs administered by nonprofits. Read more in Government Technology Magazine.

What’s notable about this system, aside from the staggering number of calls it supports (an average of 43,000 calls per day), is that it reportedly uses no automation. All calls are fielded by human operators and translation services are provided in 170 different languages.

That’s not to say that 311 systems (like other n11 systems) don’t provide ample opportunity for automation and speech technologies. A number of governments use VoiceXML as the foundation for their n11 systems but what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all.

Open standards like VoiceXML are a good fit in call centers of all types.

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