- Cloud-based voicemail storage and transcription
- Built on Twilio, Amazon Web Services, and Google Voice
- Streamline constituent phone communications with direct integrations in constituent management systems
- Still a fairly new product
- Test-piloted in only a few offices
- Unclear pricing at this stage
Congress routinely deletes constituent voicemails due to its lack of voicemail storage space and staff capacity to listen, log, and respond to them. This is where a platform like Article One steps in.
Deploying Article One
Article One is a cloud-based calling system that integrates into an office’s existing phone infrastructure. Built by The OpenGov Foundation (OGF) with the Twilio API and leveraging Amazon’s GovCloud and Google’s Voice Transcription engine, Article One offers unlimited voicemail space, automatic transcription, and real-time data capturing.
The OGF has partnered with companies who develop government CRM products, integrating the platform’s constituent capabilities with tools like Fireside21 and Intranet Quorum. Article One has built-in constituent verification, so calls are appropriately routed to the correct Member of Congress, saving constituents time as well.
How it works
As mentioned above, Article One was built to integrate with — and eventually, augment or supplant — an office’s existing phone system.
Once you transfer your office’s primary phone number to Article One, all calls are then subject to automatic recording and transcription. Other metadata is collected from the calls your office receives and automatically populated into a CRM platform.
The recorded calls and transcriptions are then securely made available to CRM vendors so that voicemails are logged automatically.
The metadata capturing and voicemail logging can also be deployed in offices that don’t have integrated CRM vendors. Metadata received in these scenarios will be populated in a separate CSV file.
Performance and “pilot” testing
The Article One platform was recently released after a pilot testing phase. The OGF announced the new product at the 2017 Congressional Hackathon and has been implemented in nine “pilot” offices.
Article One was deployed in the office of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) over the Thanksgiving break. According to OGF, 480 constituent phone calls were automated; it takes an average of 90 seconds to process each call, reducing overall processing time from 12.5 hours to only 30 minutes.
Since Article One is technically still in its “testing” phase, its pricing is still under consideration. Seamus Kraft, OpenGov’s executive director, told us the price would land between $50-$100 per month for each office.
Between the cloud-based storage and integrations with existing CRM vendors, The OGF’s Article One could be a game-changer for constituent calls to congressional offices. Granted, the platform is very new, so patience may be required to work out any bugs if you wish to use the Article One at this early phase.