A Hotline that works from Home

The Traunstein District Office actually wanted to be well prepared for the future.
Thus, they created the basis for modern workplace concepts with a new communications solution.
Then Covid-19 came along and the perceived investment into the future turned out to be the equipment that was needed right now.


When the lockdown loomed, the first question to IT was: "Can we enable colleagues to work from home?" A question that Peter Frimmel and his colleagues from the IT department were able to answer quickly: "Yes, we can." The IT team from the Traunstein District Office had already gained a lot of experience with remote workplaces in the past. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, this topic suddenly took on completely new dimensions: Within a very short time, many processes had to be changed.

Due to the distance regulations, only one employee was allowed to sit in each office. This was only possible if a third of the staff worked from home. For IT, this not only meant that around 200 employees work at home regularly. Since the employees were alternating, about 600 workplaces had to be made fit for the home office in one fell swoop.

The fact that they were already working with digital files in almost every department, meant that an important prerequisite had already been met. Now the most urgent issue was to ensure communication: "As a district office, our telephone load is above average at all times," Frimmel reports. "But in times of crisis, the administration is even more challenged to have an open ear for the citizens."

In just one weekend, the IT department switched all of the administration's communication to softphones. "The advantage of the softphone is obvious: Every employee can always be reached at his or her extension, regardless of the workplace," explains Frimmel. This way, citizens don't notice any difference whether their call is answered from the office or the home office. "Thanks to the softphone, all we need to work from home is a headset, computer and VPN. Also in the office we see a great advantage: Colleagues can sit at practically any desk and this flexible seating concept is definitely the future," says Frimmel.

Flexibility thanks to Softphone

In fact, flexibility was also the reason why Frimmel had originally opted for the softphone. When it came to choosing a new communications solution, the district administration decided on the Unified Communications software XPhone Connect. 

"XPhone has an extremely flexible softphone which was decisive for us," Frimmel emphasises. "We also appreciate the direct line to the manufacturer C4B: Many of our requirements were implemented directly. "Thanks to XPhone, Peter Frimmel can set up softphones for all employees in no time – and without having to touch a single workstation computer. "The XPhone client was already installed on almost all personal computers," says Frimmel. "We only had to activate the authorisation in the administration interface."

After a one-week test phase, the Traunstein District Office was going live. And in times of the pandemic, this brought with it completely new challenges. "In the health office, employees from other departments and medical students have supported us in the meantime to process the tracking of Covid-19 infections," Frimmel reports. Thanks to the AnyDevice, XPhone users do not need a CTI line: This way, the additional staff can be set up completely without a hardware phone and they can get started right away.

Presence management: Still keeping an eye on colleagues

However, not only a functioning telephony system is crucial. Thanks to the new work situation, presence management replaces the quick glance at the neighbouring office: Employees can see in the team panel whether a colleague is currently in an appointment or on the phone. "When I showed my colleagues that they could be automatically informed via pop-up when a colleague was available again, they were thrilled," says Frimmel.

Another feature that makes teamwork much easier despite physical separation is Screen Sharing. With one click, one's own screen can be shared and, if necessary, mouse and keyboard control can also be handed over. A function that the IT team had previously used for the helpdesk – and which now helps colleagues who are no longer allowed to share an office to share a screen. Equally helpful is the Business Chat for quick coordination within the team.

Appointment reservation at the vaccination centre via TeamDesk

In the meantime, the district administration office also coordinates the incoming appointment reservations of the Corona Vaccination Centre with XPhone and uses the hotline management "TeamDesk" for this purpose. 

Peter Frimmel: "The hotline runs absolutely stable and reliable. Thanks to the analytics function, we know exactly when the call load is particularly high and how long the waiting times are. This means that the team can be increased directly if necessary.

Of course, Traunstein is hoping for a way back to normality. Until then, the District Office is well equipped with a modern communications solution which enables them to be there for the citizens in times of crisis.


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