Why municipal parks departments need strong UC

City parks are an important part of our heritage.

The day-to-day duties of a municipal employee in a parks and recreations department are far more extensive than most people probably realize – any public space in a city or town that is open to residents falls under the purview of the parks and recreation. 

The many responsibilities associated with upkeep and management of these spaces include, but are not limited to, maintenance of public facilities such as walkways, restrooms, drinking fountains, playgrounds, gardens, picnic pavilions and other park infrastructure; scheduling of city events such as concerts, festivals, plays, visits from political figureheads and other gatherings; ensuring the safety of visitors; permits for mobile vendors and street performers; and much more.

Needless to say, parks departments have a lot to stay on top of.

The need for streamlined communications

"How could a parks department possibly function without reliable unified communications?"

Apply all of the above duties to a city such as Chicago – where there are more than 8,000 acres of public park space, not to mention several free conservatories, a zoo, multiple beaches, swimming pools and myriad museums – and the need for streamlined communications becomes very apparent. In addition to staffers and volunteers that are responsible for operating these spaces and facilities, there are hundreds of city contractors responsible for creating new equipment, for landscaping and more. 

Furthermore, transportation, sewage and sanitation, law enforcement, health and human services, and of course, city dwellers, also have a stake in these shared municipal environments. It almost makes you wonder: How could a parks department possibly function without reliable unified communications?

It takes a lot of collaborators to envision, build and maintain a shared municipal space. It takes a lot of collaborators to envision, build and maintain a shared municipal space.

UC brings order to chaos

Most industry experts would agree that the future of unified communications looks bright. This isn't just the fruit of its many new use cases (i.e. enterprise mobility, the Internet of Things), but also because of how pre-existing workflows can benefit from the ability to consolidate many disparate channels of communication.

For a parks department, this could entail the ability to quickly contact other municipal offices, to reach out to staffers who may be working the field via mobile VoIP, to collaborate on projects with donors and private contractors thanks to audio conferencing, screen sharing and video conferencing, and most importantly of all, to respond to the queries and concerns of the people – be they sent and received by email, phone call, web forum, social media, instant messaging or some other communication channel.

What's more, it's far less straining to a city's budget to have all of its communications under the umbrella of a single vendor than it is to work with multiple providers. For a parks department that's operating on a tight budget, UC provides the most bang for the buck.