Workforce Optimization Featured Article

Houston Emergency Center Implements NICE Inform for 9-1-1 Center

June 30, 2008

By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor

NICE Systems (News - Alert), a global provider of advanced solutions designed to enable organizations to extract insight from interactions to drive performance, has announced today that the city of Houston, Texas, has selected NICE Inform for its 9-1-1 Center.

The Houston Emergency Center (HEC) is the consolidated center for the United States’ fourth largest city. The HEC is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that it is able to respond quickly to emergencies and provide service to its millions of constituents.

Houston recently added NICE Inform and other NICE solutions to its Emergency Center due to their unique ability to capture and manage high volumes of critical emergency communications and other vital multimedia incident information. The sheer volume of information that the center handles on a daily basis can create chaos if not managed properly within a robust solution.

The city consolidated its three communications centers into a single public safety answering point in 2003. Houston then invested in advanced emergency communications technology, while also employing separate voice-only recording solutions for police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS).

The NICE solutions, including NICE Inform, will enable the three departments to be able to share a single, partitioned and redundant solution to record and review emergency communications. This capability is expected to not only enhance reliability, but also reduce the department’s overhead and technical support requirements as well.

"The NICE solutions are the next step in our evolution as a technologically-advanced emergency communications center," said Matt Hyde, chief technology officer for the Houston Emergency Center, in a Monday statement.

"NICE offered us advanced capabilities, and greater reliability, ease-of-use and scalability than we had before. With NICE Inform, we're also laying the foundation to be able to extend our recording capability beyond voice to include data and video too."

"The Houston Emergency Center is one of the most impressive and technologically advanced emergency communications centers in the United States," said Chris Wooten, president, Security Division Americas, NICE, in Monday’s statement.

"We are very proud that the city of Houston has expanded its relationship with NICE by selecting NICE Inform and other NICE solutions for its advanced emergency communication facility."

The challenge for the Houston center is that the city is only going to continue to grow, creating more demand for services over a larger geographic area. These constituents have high expectations of what the center should be able to deliver and to meet both external and internal expectations, the HEC turned to NICE solutions.

NICE has a proven track record of delivering solutions to any call center-type environment, providing the ability to easily and seamlessly record and review calls, manage captured data and drive efficiency. In an area where such capabilities can make the difference between life and death, NICE is the optimal choice.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for Market Drive News. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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