Government Technology

Winnipeg 311 On the Move

August 23, 2013 By

Winnipeg, Manitoba's 311 call center receives about two million telephone calls and 65,000 emails each year. The city also has a 311 website and on August 13, the city launched a 311 mobile app for iPhone and Android. Ten days after launch, the Winnipeg 311 app has been downloaded about 5,000 times and users have submitted 300 service requests.

So with a mature 311 call center, why did the city decide to go mobile? According to 311 Manager Melanie Swenarchuk, technology is evolving quickly and the city wanted to engage citizens on the go. The app, which cost $15,000 Canadian, was done in conjunction with the city's CRM provider Kana Lagan, and integrates into the city's back office systems. "Having an issue reported does not require additional staffing," said Swenarchuk. "It may mean additional issues are coming to the surface which should have been reported anyway."

Each type of service request or report has its own template, and Winnipeg is considering adding others. For things that do not fit one of the current reports, a resident can click on the feedback link which sends an email directly into 311. And while Swenarchuk said that 311 telephone conversations have some advantages for complex issues, the ability to submit photographs and GPS coordinates on the mobile app provides additional details that were not possible before.

"We're getting more photos and it's certainly advantageous to our work crews," said Swenarchuk, "as they can immediately see at a glance the nature of the service request and adequately prepare. On the phone, we're relying on the citizen providing really detailed information as to the location, the curb lane, which direction, whereas the app has the actual GPS coordinates ... so the citizen is actually selecting the location on a map."

Swenarchuk is monitoring the rollout closely. Comments have been mostly positive as to ease of use. The app also runs on iPads, with BlackBerry devices and iPODs under development. "The reports will help us keep the neighborhoods clean and safe and engaged with the citizens of Winnipeg," said Swenarchuk. "It will increase the pride of living in the neighborhoods and help us to be accountable and more responsive."

Five or more years ago, when the city first rolled out 311, one caller wanted instructions on how to cook a Christmas turkey. These days, however, the residents of Winnipeg are sophisticated users of one of the more advanced mobile 311 systems in North America.

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
Meeting Constituents Where They Are With Dynamic, Real-Time Mobile Engagement
Leveraging the proven and open Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, organizations can rapidly integrate powerful mobile engagement solutions across the spectrum of mobile image capture, mobile data capture and complete mobile process integration. Kofax differentiates itself by extending capture to mobility, supporting multiple points of constituent engagement. Kofax solutions dynamically orchestrate the user’s mobile experience from a single platform—reducing time to market, improving process perf
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
View All

Featured Papers