Louisiana Division of Administration

Auto Attendant

Auto Attendant Answering Service

An automated attendant is a telephone answering service. It is available statewide and encompasses various services that can be assembled and designed in a customized manner to meet the agency's business needs.

Additional information is provided below. If you need assistance with these services, please contact:

Messaging Services

An automated attendant provides callers with the capability to self-direct or to route calls based on menu choices. An application may be multiple menus deep, with each menu offering up to 10 possible options, and typically, each option would transfer to one of the following:

  • A specific telephone number
  • An informative recording (information like office hours, location, mailing address, what services are available, qualifications, instructions, etc.)
  • Another menu box
  • A mailbox that allows callers to record a message which is sent as a wave file to a specific agency email address

Another auto attendant choice is a name directory mailbox which allows the caller to spell the name of and be transferred to a staff member within the organization.

Calls can also be routed using alternative options such as routing based on the time of day or the day of week.

Each automated attendant requires a network traffic component that manages the quantity of simultaneous callers permitted into the service. The quantity of simultaneous callers is determined through traffic studies from the dial tone provider and is a function of the number of incoming calls, the average length of time a caller will be listening to the messages and making selections and the service level desired by the agency.

Auto attendant maintenance includes hardware, software, programming and configuration changes to any of the components of the service. Components involved could be network equipment/software/programming or platform equipment/software/programming.

  • Low Impact Maintenance
    • Low impact maintenance is planned maintenance that should not cause a service disruption. This scheduled maintenance occurs on a regular, scheduled basis, usually occurs on the first Tuesday of each month and is always conducted after hours.
    • OTS will send notifications to all agency contacts informing them of the planned maintenance as well as notification when the maintenance has been completed.
  • High Impact Maintenance
    • High impact maintenance is planned maintenance that is known to affect service. All high impact maintenance will take place after hours with notification sent to all agency contacts once OTS becomes aware of the need for the maintenance. Agencies with implementations that operate 24 hours will need to make other arrangements for their telephone answering needs for the duration of the maintenance.
    • OTS will notify the agency contacts when the maintenance has been completed.
  • Emergency Maintenance
    • Emergency maintenance is unplanned maintenance that may need to be done without warning on an emergency basis. Emergency maintenance will only be done if normal service is interrupted or degraded and action is necessary to restore service to its normal levels. If at all possible, emergency maintenance will be done after hours.
    • When emergency maintenance is necessary during working hours, all agencies will be notified of the need for such maintenance, the anticipated impact and the expected duration of the maintenance. Agencies will be provided with periodic updates while maintenance is occurring.
    • When agencies deem it necessary, they may forward their incoming calls to an agency in-house telephone number for the duration of the maintenance. Agencies with automated attendants or 24/7 call centers have been provided with programming information/directions for this purpose.
    • OTS will send out notification once the work has been completed.

OTS will meet with the agency to discuss their needs and design a system prior to providing a cost estimate. The agency is under no obligation to continue after the estimate is given.

For more information or to set up an initial meeting or conference call, contact the OTS at 225.342.7774. When OTS and the agency agree upon the design and scripting, the agency will decide whether or not to approve the cost estimate. After the agency approves the cost estimate, OTS will work with the contractor to implement the automated attendant.