The City of Buffalo, the second largest city in New York state and home to more than 250,000 people, established its 311 Call & Resolution Center in July 2000 to deliver a highly responsive way for citizens to get information, request services, and report problems. Whether residents want information about programs and events, need to access non-emergency police services, or request that a tree be removed—and so much more—when they call 311, they expect answers. That’s why, when New York’s governor issued statewide stay-at-home orders on a Friday due to COVID-19, the City needed to quickly transition its agents from a call center to a fully functioning work-from-home operation over a weekend.

Cisco IP Phones
Cisco IP Phones and Cisco Webex Contact Center solutions keep a city connected through a crisis.

“311 is the lifeblood of the City,” Oswaldo Mestre, Chief Service Officer with the City’s Division of Citizen Services, explained. “It shows citizens that there is always a way to reach out to City Hall.”

The call center typically handles up to 600 calls a day, but when compounded by the state’s shutdown and around-the-clock news about the coronavirus, the helpline was perhaps more needed than ever. Buffalo’s Mayor, Byron Brown, added: “It was essential to keep channels of communication open.”

Learn how Cisco helped the City of Buffalo in a 48-hour race, from a Friday statewide shutdown to a seamless work-from-home operation where agents picked right back up on Monday morning, providing residents with vital communication continuity.


Share your story with us

We love highlighting our customers’ successes. If you’re a Cisco customer using our technology in ways that are making a difference in your job and for your company, tell us about it.


Connect with us on social

Follow The Gateway on social for the latest Cisco customer stories and more!






Ann Kelly

Communications Manager

Global Advocacy