VPI Communications Recording Eystems Enable State-of-the-Art Call Centers for the City of San Diego

Customer: City of San Diego

Industry: Government

State: CA


San Diego is one of the ten largest cities in the U.S., with a population of nearly 2.5 million spread over an area of more than 330 square miles. The City of San Diego's water department and treasurer's office collection department faced rapidly escalating workloads. San Diego Data Processing set-up state-of-the-art call centers which included VPI's powerful digital call recording solution.

Business Profile

The City of San Diego's strong economy, diverse population, great educational institutions, unsurpassed quality of life, and world-renowned location make it the ideal place to do business, to work, and to live. Because of its highly-educated workforce and mix of high-tech industry and recreational assets, a marketing consortium of high-tech industries has dubbed San Diego "Technology's Perfect Climate."

San Diego is one of the ten largest cities in the U.S., with a population of nearly 2.5 million spread over an area of more than 330 square miles. Providing high-quality services to San Diego's growing population is a constant challenge for the city's many departments and agencies.


The City of San Diego's water department and treasurer's office collection department faced rapidly escalating workloads. The water department today has 34 call center representatives and six supervisors who field an average of 1,500 calls daily from the city's water and sewer service customers - with up to 2,900 calls on its busiest days. The collection department in the treasurer's office employs 27 agents and five supervisors to resolve thousands of calls per day.

The specific requirements for the city's recording solution included:

  • The highest possible quality and reliability for the recordings in an easy-to-use, low maintenance design.
  • The ability to record calls onto reliable, long-term storage media, with exceptionally fast access times for retrieving archived calls.
  • A flexible reporting package to monitor call recording and to archive media activity and various call information including call averages by agent or group.


To keep pace with increasing call volumes, San Diego Data Processing, a city-owned organization which handles San Diego's data processing and telecommunications needs, set-up state-of-the-art call centers for the water department and the treasurer's office collection department. Included in each call center is a powerful digital call recording, logging and monitoring solution designed and installed by VPI.

Providing the backbone for the city's telecommunications infrastructures is a large PBX voice network and a wide area network (WAN). Linking 26 locations, the PBX provides 5-digit dialing and centralized voice mail for approximately 10,000 employees in various city departments and agencies. The two call centers are connected to this network.

Once the city decided it needed call recording, logging and monitoring, it solicited proposals from a number of contractors. VPI was selected to integrate its Digital Voice Logger into the water department and treasurer's office collection department call centers.

The recording solutions in the two call centers will allow the city to instantly retrieve and play back specific calls when investigating and evaluating customer calls.

In addition, the treasurer's office collection department expects to use call recording as a training tool to improve the communication skills and responsiveness of its personnel.

Building a unique solution for the city. VPI proposed a unique configuration that provides the city's water department and the treasurer's office collection department with comprehensive and highly flexible recording capabilities.

The Digital Voice Logger is built around a computer telephony integration (CTI) server, which communicates with an Aspect automated call distributor (ACD) over a TCP/IP connection. Two VPI servers are used - one to passively monitor the T1 lines connecting the ACD-based call center to the city's voice network; the other to connect in parallel with Aspect TeleSets and WinSets, (PC phones that some agents use to handle calls). Both VPI servers are linked to the CTI server to receive the real-time call events and other information needed to determine when to record a call. VPI's CTI channel manager monitors these call events, using inputs such as Automatic Number Identification (ANI), Dialed Number Information Service (DNIS), and Agent ID to ensure prompt and accurate call retrieval. The combination of the city's PBX voice network, the WAN and the Aspect WinSets presented significant engineering challenges. VPI's highly creative recording solution has performed well for both call centers.

All calls to the treasurer's office collection department are answered by an Aspect interactive voice response (IVR) system, which prompts the caller to enter his or her account number. The IVR system routes the call to an available customer service representative, who receives an instant "screen-pop" of pertinent account information and caller history.

If an incoming call is designated for recording, the VPI Digital Logger monitors the line for an agent to answer the call. The moment the call is answered, the logger starts recording and key information such as ANI, DNIS, trunk number and the caller's account number are stored in the solution's SQL-based database. As agents transfer calls and put callers on hold, the VPI solution turns the recording on and off, and keeps track of the true call times (including silent periods) for more accurate playback, without wasting storage space.

To provide reliable storage plus quick access to archived calls, VPI incorporated an ultra-fast, optical DVD-RAM device that can be modified into the solution. The media provides access to any calls within ten seconds, can be rewritten more than 100,000 times, has a shelf life of approximately 30 years and an incredibly low cost per megabyte.

Making the right call. The VPI digital recording, logging and monitoring solution has proven to be the right call for the city of San Diego's water department and treasurer's office collection department. Service levels in both departments have improved, and steadily increasing call volumes are being handled more effectively and efficiently.

As the city continues to grow and its requirements expand, VPI looks forward to providing innovative call recording solutions to help meet the needs of cities across the nation.