Microsoft choose KeyLines for new police platform

Identifying Threat, Risk & Harm

  • KeyLines has been incorporated into a new Microsoft Services platform for UK Police forces.
  • The Contact Management platform, using Microsoft Dynamics and KeyLines, will help provide contact center staff with real-time contextual information to identify threat, risk and harm.
  • Initial rollout due in mid-2017 to 500 core users, responsible for 2.6 million calls per year.

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.

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The challenge

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:

  • Process and record new data
  • Identify risks to colleagues and the public
  • Make quick decisions about the next course of action
  • Communicate with members of the public and officers
  • Take control of complex, rapidly evolving scenarios

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 project

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:

  • Channel shift – encourage the public to use alternative communication channels, not just the contact center.
  • Officer mobility – helping frontline officers access information in the field rather than through the contact center.
  • Cost reduction – do more with fewer resources by making processes simpler and faster.
  • Identification of risk, threat and harm – give staff access to the information they need to take better, safer decisions.

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:

  • Web-based – HTML5 and JavaScript, for easy deployment to all devices
  • Well supported and include excellent documentation
  • Able to provide high performance
  • Lightweight and quick to load
  • Reliable and bug-free
  • Compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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 result

The Contact Management platform is part of a wide-ranging solution, incorporating three core components:

  • Citizen Portal & Knowledge Management
  • Contact Management
  • Incident Management and Deployment

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 future

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.

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