Customer stories

City of Baltimore

City of Baltimore modernizes communications. Large U.S. city government achieves mobility and ROI within one year with OpenText CX-E Voice


  • Outdated platform hindered productivity
  • Zero downtime requirement demanded resilient solution


  • Supported 5,000 users and high call volume with room for growth

  • Achieved ROI within one year with resilient, productive architecture

  • Managed communications effectively from any location


A change was needed and the City of Baltimore sought a solution: it needed a next-generation unified communications (UC) platform that supported transition to VoIP, high call volumes, a new level of mobility, and resiliency.

Women on a cellphone.

We knew it would be a perfect fit for us… in one year, CX-E paid for itself.

Simon Etta
Director Department of Communication Services, City of Baltimore

The City of Baltimore technical team set out to find a replacement and OpenText™ CX-E Voice came up early in the search. The team interviewed resellers and looked at customers with similar environments: The University of Maryland Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University were both happy customers that participated in the review process. “CX-E had stellar references. If their solution was the right choice for the number one ranked hospital in the U.S., we knew it would be a perfect fit for us too,” said Simon Etta, Director of the Department of Communications for the City of Baltimore.

The city government carried an impressive track record itself: In November 2013, it was ranked as one of the top 10 most tech-savvy city governments in the 2013 Digital Cities Survey. Having earned this ranking by the Center for Digital Government for the second time, the City of Baltimore held its place for its innovative and effective use of information technology to deliver government services. To keep company with a tech-savvy entity like the City of Baltimore, CX-E went through a rigorous review process and came out shining. CX-E met the city government’s requirements for robust automated attendant; voicemail; unified messaging; presence; open architecture; speech-enabled personal assistant; easy learning curve for end users; and an IP-enabled, highly scalable, redundant UC platform. The City of Baltimore was ready to place its trust in OpenText and the CX-E platform.

To make it all come together, the City of Baltimore selected Altura Communication Solutions, a trusted OpenText partner, to assist in the procurement and implementation process. Altura came with the highest references, a long track record of success, preventative maintenance practices, and the ability to support the city locally.

Altura organized a series of classes for end users who eventually served as trainers in their respective agencies or departments. While basic features like Octel TUI emulation and robust reporting were important, the key for the City of Baltimore was the ability to transition to VoIP. This transition was imperative to the city’s future growth plans and CX-E supports over 400+ telephony integrations.

Today, CX-E supports over 5,000 users and handles 120,000 calls per month for the city, with plenty of room for further growth. With a robust automated attendant, the city created hundreds of menu trees to transfer calls to the right departments. To support a requirement for zero downtime, CX-E was deployed with a resilient architecture including survivable call servers. With reliability and productivity, the City of Baltimore achieved ROI quickly: “In one year, CX-E paid for itself,” Etta said.

The City of Baltimore rolled out CX-E Personal Assistant to support mobile requirements of busy staff. Personal Assistant identifies important incoming calls, so city officials know if they should accept a call, acknowledge the call with a brief message, send it to voicemail or redirect the call. Employees have the ability to access their email, voicemail and faxes in one location.

Personal Assistant is quite an innovation and clearly demonstrates how robust CX-E is.

Simon Etta
Director, Department of Communication Services, City of Baltimore

Personal Assistant is also speech driven, so users simply instruct the system to get new messages or today’s calendar. “Personal Assistant is quite an innovation and clearly demonstrates how robust CX-E is,” noted Etta. The context-aware software brings a new level of personalized automation that has reduced labor costs for the city by making employees more efficient.

About City of Baltimore

Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is not part of any county; thus, it is the largest independent city in the United States.

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