Multi-channel platform renovated to improve assistance to the general public

Monday, March 27, 2023 - 13:46

The Information Services and Citizen Assistance Department, with the IMI’s support, starts up its multi-channel platform changes to provide better assistance to the general public.

On 15 February the changes made to the multi-channel citizen assistance platform (PMAC) – through which the City Council responds to calls received by its helpline – were implemented in an example of co-creation and flexible methods involving the Information Services and Citizen Assistance Department and the Municipal Institute of Information Technology.

The new platform, with updated hardware and software, has more lines than the previous version (390) and allows 300 operators to connect simultaneously. One of its main new features is that its capacity for assistance in the face of contingencies and new demand flows can be expanded much more speedily than was the case with the previous platform. It is also better protected against service crashes, as its information is fully duplicated in two servers. In addition, it is easier to install new features of the IT systems and the applications used in the platform’s set-up.

Among other things, the platform is used to attend to calls to the 010 helpline, to the Civic Behaviour line, to Social Services Centres, to housing information services, to the women’s information and assistance services PIAD and SARA, as well as the City Council switchboard. It also responds to the online procedures’ help chat.

In all, 2,212,705 phone calls were dealt with through the old platform in 2022. It is worth pointing out that public demand for telephone assistance has grown a great deal over the last 4 years, mainly because of the Covid-19 health crisis and restrictions on face-to-face assistance. Between2019 and 2022, telephone assistance kept pace with the growth in demand, with a 53% rise in number of calls attended to. So the platform could continue growing and respond to the public’s needs at all times, however, it needed to be updated and adapted to the new times as well as new technological and social realities.

The improved platform offers more and better possibilities for assistance, facilitates relations between the general public and the City Council and makes the municipal authority more accessible and transparent.

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