Microsoft Services is working with two UK police forces to build the ‘Virtual Collaborated Contact Management and Control Unit’. This platform is set to transform how incident data is collected, recorded and used by call handlers and dispatch teams.
Police call handlers and dispatch face a difficult task. In total, the two police forces receive 2.6 million calls relating to 1.1 million incidents each year.
With each call, they need to:
Call handlers had to work with legacy technologies that siloed information in different systems, and relied on out-dated desktop tools. This made processes slower and inhibited a self-service approach to information retrieval.
Microsoft Services were invited to design a wide-ranging new Contact Management system, built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM technology. The public would use the system to record crime information. Call handlers would use it to access and record data, and allocate front-line resources to incidents.
The Microsoft Services team started by running workshops and feedback sessions with senior and frontline staff. These helped identify problematic processes and come up with better alternatives. Four key areas for improvement emerged:
For the final point, the ideal solution was to use network visualization.
Handlers would be presented with a dashboard of information relating to the people, vehicles, incidents and locations involved in the call. This data would be pulled from a unified Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, supplemented by the National Police Computer and presented as an interactive network visualization.
Huw Edmunds, Solution Architect at Microsoft Services, explained:
“Contact Center teams need to quickly find and understand a lot of contextual data. They don’t have time to trawl through long lists of information and historical records. Network visualization is an excellent way to bring out all of that relevant information at the right time.”
The Microsoft Services team set the technical criteria that the network visualization had to meet:
After a trial and evaluation of different technologies, KeyLines was chosen as the best in breed solution.
Huw Edmunds explains why KeyLines was selected:
“We looked at several other visualization options, including open source. KeyLines was chosen because it provided the level of support and documentation we needed to build network visualization into the Contact Center solution. It also had the best performance and the right combination of features – especially combos and the time bar – to provide that intuitive access to data our users needed.”
The Contact Management platform is part of a wide-ranging solution, incorporating three core components:
The full rollout is due for 2017, but there’s been positive feedback on the Contact Management system already.
“This solution is about providing relevant intelligence and information regarding an incident or individual at a particular time and location, enabling our officers and staff to determine the most appropriate response for a particular set of circumstances. By virtue of seeing all this information in one place, there is a way to tie information together and identify potential threats and risks.”
Chief Superintendent of a participating constabulary.
The Microsoft Services team have engaged with other Police forces in the UK who are interested in using the Contact Management system. They also plan to extend the system beyond its current scope to include mobile applications for officers and a digital case file.