How One University’s Tech Kept a City Running During the Pandemic

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It was a Friday in outpouring 2020, and COVID-1 9 had just touched Buffalo, N.Y. A frenzied week of planning for the rotate to remote see was coming to an intent as Steve Heist, administrator of structure and communication services at the University at Buffalo, to turn the flares in his office. As he was powering down his computer, he received an unexpected label from Cisco. He given to understand that his occupation was far from over: The metropolitan of Buffalo needed his help.

Buffalo, the second-largest city in New York state, was been closed down. The city’s critical 311 ask middle needed to transition to remote procedures within 48 hours.

Although the city passes an online entrance and an app to log important solicits, the 311 Call and Resolution Center’s primary communications are via telephone. The core takes up to 600 calls a day from Buffalo tenants. Without a remote telephone system, the city would not be able to meet citizens’requests. Broken streetlights would likely remain dark. Fallen trees would continue blocking roads. Garbage embankments could rise.

As Oswaldo Mestre, conductor of Buffalo’s Division of Citizen Work, describes in a Cisco blog post, “3 11 is the lifeblood of the city.”

Back at its term of office, Heist slipped any plans to rest over the weekend. “This is too critical of a service for the city, ” he says he recollects thinking.

Heist had to make a few calls to confirm, but he was fairly certain that UB’s collaboration infrastructure would be able to help the 311 announcement centre scale up. “Because we’ve offset those investments, we were in a position to share that infrastructure with the city of Buffalo in order to maintain their critical services to the Buffalo community, ” he says.

The University at Buffalo cured the city’s all-important 311 summon centre transition to remote work within 48 hours.

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