Information Technology Director, Ernie Anderson, was at the Lincoln County Commissioners meeting Jan. 30 with two proposals for the new voice recording system to be installed for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.
Currently the sheriff’s office uses NICE recording software for emergency services.
The two proposals presented by Anderson included VoiceProducts recording software that would integrate with the NICE system already in place, and the Mitel Oaisys Voice Documentation and Contact Center Management Solutions through Frontier Business.
When asked which system the sheriff’s office wanted to go with, Anderson replied, “Frontier.” The sheriff’s department is set to receive a new phone system in the near future, which has been put on hold pending the outcome of which voice recording software will be chosen.
Anderson said both the new phone system and the new recording system will go in at the same time.
“We don’t have a set date for that yet, we have to get the installation of the new voice recording system,” said Anderson. “That’s the only reason we don’t have the new phones now.”
Anderson said starting last fall, his office approved new phone systems to be installed in south Lincoln County offices but had to stop short with the sheriff’s office. At the moment, the phones throughout the Sheriff’s Office are still on a separate phone system from all other county offices.
After looking over both proposals, the commissioners decided to go with Frontier Mitel Oaisys as well.
Not only was it easier for them to go with Frontier since that was who the new phone systems would be through, it was also cheaper, Anderson said.
Mitel Oaisys Frontier will be installed at a cost of approximately $28,829.26 while VoiceProducts would have cost the department approximately $29,863 with a $10,000 to $15,000 annual maintenance fee on top of that. The maintenance fee is already included in the cost of the Frontier system.
“As far as Frontier, we, the county, have never had a problem,” said County Administrator Darren Coldwell. “We’ve had problems with Frontier in the county but not with us.”
Anderson explained to the commissioners how the current phone system has two Key-1 lines. A key system uses a central control device called the key system unit (KSU) to provide more features than traditional lines. These lines serve both the sheriff’s department’s E-911 system and the phone system itself as two separate entities making it, essentially, four lines.
“It gives us the redundancy we need,” said Anderson. “It’s called trunking. The Oaisys works off of trunking, which covers the whole thing.”
Trunking is a method for a system to provide network access to many clients by sharing a set of lines or frequencies instead of providing them individually.
“What this means is, if someone makes a 911 call or calls one of the deputies and half-way through the conversation, the deputy decides he needs to record the conversation,” said Anderson. “He can reach over and push a button and the recording goes back all the way to the first ring, before it was even answered.”
Coldwell said the county’s staff favors Oaisys. The board’s vote was unanimous in favor of the Frontier Business Mitel Oaisys call recording software.