Louisiana Division of Administration

Automatic Call Distribution

Automatic Call Distribution

Automatic Call Distribution is an OTS Line of Service that is a complex, web-based, telephone answering service that holds callers in queues while they wait for the next available call-answering staff member. ACD is available statewide and requires internet connections for answering and processing calls and/or instant messaging web chats. ACD is usually deployed in call center situations with a high volume of incoming calls, or when incoming calls need to be distributed among agents in an equitable fashion.

The ACD provides detailed call center activity reports. The reports include information on the incoming calls such as how many were answered, handled, or abandoned by the callers. Reports can be run on specific agents and how they are handling the calls presented to them. Many types of reports are available to the agency management as part of the system, with multiple parameters and criteria to choose from.

The ACD works on the procuring agency's network in conjunction with the OTS network. Deployment takes close coordination among all the players (agency, OTS, and vendor) as it involves firewalls, security policies and bandwidth resources. The agency IT department is integral to the ongoing discussion, deployment, and to any problem resolution. The agency IT staff should be involved from the initial meeting to project closure.

The ACD uses call processing algorithms that take into account various factors including agent skill sets (such as language, program knowledge, or any other type of expertise) or longest available agent.

The ACD provides redundancy as its servers and other pieces of crucial equipment are deployed in a mirror fashion in two data centers in Baton Rouge. Additionally, there are plans for a third data center backup in northern Louisiana.

Contacts — Special Services

The ACD has various options available to agencies. Some of the extra-cost options are:

  • Computer Telephony Integration, also known as Screen Pops, whereby the caller keys in, for example, his social security number, which pulls a current data record from the agency's database that in turn pops a screenshot of that record on the agent's computer monitor for reference or notations;
  • Web Chat, a feature that allows individuals to access an available agent through the agency's web page and then engage in an instant messaging chat;
  • Call Recordings, whereby all calls received and made by logged-in ACD staff will be recorded for storage and later playback. This feature is helpful for training, quality of service verification and call records storage.

There are also numerous other options that can be deployed to increase caller satisfaction and call center efficiency.

With the ACD, callers can hear any number of recorded messages while they are on hold, or callers can elect to be called back at a later time by the next available agent.

The ACD provides details on agent activity and call treatment in a variety of reports that are accessible on demand.

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.

ACD is an OTS Line of Service offering that requires in-depth discussion and design work. Budgeting estimates can be provided, however exact quotes are provided after the design and scripting is approved by the agency. Once the quote is approved for project initiation by the agency, the OTS project manager will place service orders on behalf of the agency. Turn-around for deployment varies depending upon the complexity and the size of the call center.

For more information on the service or to set up an initial meeting, contact the O​TS Special Services Manager.