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Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Regional Phone Line Proposal – August 2007 Is it folly Click to continue… a practical undertaking whose time has.

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Presentation on theme: "Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Regional Phone Line Proposal – August 2007 Is it folly Click to continue… a practical undertaking whose time has."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Regional Phone Line Proposal – August 2007 Is it folly Click to continue… a practical undertaking whose time has come? A Regional Phone Line OR

3 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Regional Phone Line Proposal – August 2007 This presentation uses a lot of animation. Please refrain from clicking or pressing any keys unless prompted to do so. Click to continue…

4 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Regional Phone Line Proposal – August 2007 Parts of this presentation have sound components, so please make sure your sound is turned on. turned on. Click to continue…

5 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Intent Click to continue… The intent of this proposal is three-fold: 1.To provide the Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous with a phone line that is affordable, easy to use and maintain, and consistent with shared services efforts – much like our Statewide Web site. 2.To provide easy-to-understand information that each area can review prior to discussing this proposal at the regional meeting. 3.Finally, to provide the Michigan Region with a phone line proposal that resolves the issues with past proposals and, if implemented, benefits everyone involved.

6 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Overview 2. A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line 1. History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues 3. Management and Cost 4. Where Do We Go from Here? Click to continue…

7 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Even before N.A. areas were formed in Michigan, early attempts were made to provide a means by which people seeking recovery could find it. Early phone lines usually consisted of a phone number, placed in an addicts name, and a tape-driven answering machine. Phone line training was provided to those willing to receive it. This occurred informally, at workshops, or at conventions. Some time later, a few areas used answering services and software-based systems to provide meeting information and / or connect callers to recovering addicts in their areas. Click to continue… History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues Beginnings

8 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Currently, each area has its own phone line. They vary in type from answering machines to fully automated systems. Some have no contact information for addicts in a given area, while others provide personal numbers of addicts. Some areas pay answering services to provide live meeting information and connect callers to addicts that need additional assistance. Some phone lines are difficult to update and sometimes do not get updated for exceptionally long periods of time. Click to continue… History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues Recent Past

9 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Phone lines were (and still are) funded by 7 th Tradition donations from groups to their respective areas and / or fundraising events. Occasionally, phone lines receive direct donations from members. Click to continue… History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues Funding

10 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Some past proposals involved purchasing an out-of-the-box system, which requires us to maintain the hardware and software ourselves in addition to maintaining phone line information and scheduling volunteers. The issues with this type of solution are as follows: Computerized systems, with hardware and software that N.A. purchases and maintains, often requires skills that the average recovering addict does not possess. This creates a dependence upon a one or two addicts (if youre lucky) to manage these systems, which often leads to burnout. The alternative is to pay someone to do it, but that often gets complicated and costly. These phone line systems are best housed in a neutral location rather than at an addicts home, which adds to the overall expense of the system. These systems can spontaneously go offline due to hardware, software, or power failure, and excessively high call volumes. To prevent these things from happening, one must install redundant backup systems, which adds to the cost of the system and its maintenance. To do nothing makes these systems highly susceptible to frequent and extended downtimes. Phone line system failure not only tarnishes the image of Narcotics Anonymous, it adversely affects those seeking help via the phone line, as well. All in all, this solution is cost-prohibitive and difficult to manage. History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues Issues with Past Regional Phone Line Proposals Click to continue…

11 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Other proposals involved using a phone company solution, such as what AT&T would offer. Issues with these systems are as follows: These systems are very expensive. The base cost, alone, of such systems averages $20,000 for hardware and start-up fees plus an additional $1000 per month for two T1 lines that a region of our size would require. These systems also require additional phone hardware and base locations to install it, which would require us to have offices in the areas that would participate in a regional phone line of this sort. This would tie us down and cost more money than we have to spend. Call information is not normally available with these systems. Therefore, we could not use its data to assist us with decisions regarding the phone line and other decision-making processes that benefit from caller information. All in all, this solution is cost prohibitive and inflexible. History: Beginnings, Recent Past, Issues Issues with Past Regional Phone Line Proposals Click to continue…

12 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Volunteers. Finding addicts with enough clean time and willingness to manage a phone line at a regional level is difficult, but not impossible. Often this is due to some volunteers unwillingness to be tied to a particular place (i.e., an office or home) or not desiring to have his or her number published on a phone lines recorded list of contact numbers, as well as the daunting task of answering calls for the entire region. Determining and maintaining meeting and area activity information for each area on a regional phone line would be best managed by a system that can allow areas to manage its own information. Having one very long list of information, however, is not at all desirable. Phone Line Information must be compartmentalized, easy to update, and accessible only to those responsible for its accuracy, as well as Regional P.I. members responsible for the overall function and dependability of the phone line. Oftentimes, proposed phone lines have long wait times that not only discourage callers, but also add greatly to usage fees. Most phone systems involve a lot of up-front costs and have expensive recurring and usage fees. Who will pay for it? Neither areas or the Region want to bear the full cost of a regional phone line. Past regional phone line proposals have met fierce opposition in part because they are so expensive and plans to fund them were not equitable. Brief Michigan N.A. Phone Line History Other Issues with Implementing a Regional Phone Line Click to continue…

13 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Each area would control the information and handle the calls for its areas portion of the phone line without interfering with other areas. This autonomous approach mirrors that of our Web site. There would be one number for people to call, yet t his system can handle multiple calls simultaneously without failure. We can also configure up to two separate phone numbers per extension. This allows us to have back-up volunteers, and, in the case of two simultaneous direct calls to addicts on the same extension, each call can be answered either by the same or two different volunteers. Those areas choosing to take direct calls can easily tell the system at which phone number (or numbers) to contact them, as well as the hours theyre available to take direct calls. This allows callers immediate access to recovering addicts regardless of a callers or phone line volunteers geographical location. In addition, "after-hours" and missed calls go straight to voice mail. Whats more, we can configure the system to send text messages to notify P.I. Chairs and / or phone line volunteers immediately of new voic s, so we can quickly return those calls. Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System General Information

14 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal We would project a larger, more professional image and let callers choose what they want from menu options we create rather than having callers suffer through a linear list of meetings, events, and phone numbers. There would be a single standard followed for all calls to the phone line, thus accessing information and/or finding an addict to speak with is done the same way regardless of the area. The reporting features of this system are excellent. This allows both areas and the region to mine important call data. The ability to compile and analyze accurate call data easily will provide us with factual information regarding those who seek our assistance by phone. We can use this information in our decision- making processes, which will help us carry our message more effectively. This system greatly reduces access issues, maintenance, recurring costs, usage fees, yet costs less (on average) than each area pays currently for their respective phone systems. A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System General Information (continued) Click to continue…

15 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received The Vendor A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System Workeasy has been in business since Located in Gig Harbor, WA, they service many small businesses located throughout the continental United States. The six-year relationship that the GGRASCNA has with Workeasy laid the groundwork to negotiate an excellent pricing structure on which this proposal is based. To read more about Workeasy, please visit their Web site at Click to continue…

16 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call is Received Choose a Geographic Region Choose an Area Meetings and event info Each caller will hear a greeting that identifies our service and the region we serve. Callers choose from one of three primary geographical regions: 1. W & SW Mich 2. Central, E, & SE Mich 3. Northern Mich Callers choose an N.A. area from the geographical region they chose in the previous menu Callers may choose to access meeting and event information, and/or speak with an addict (if available) from the area they have chosen. Speak w/ a Recovering Addict Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System Flow of a Typical Call

17 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received Somebody calls the Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous phone line. The initial custom greeting plays The caller is then prompted to choose the geographic region where they would like to attend a meeting or from where they wish to speak with a recovering addict. Call Received Choose Geographic Region Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

18 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received This will play information to the caller that will help them decide which area to choose. Suppose a caller presses 1, which lists the areas in the Western and Southwestern parts of the Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous Choose an Area Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

19 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received Suppose a caller presses 2 to select the Greater Grand Rapids Area. Choose an Area This information, which would be managed by the area itself, will play a greeting of the areas choice along with instructions on what they may choose next. Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

20 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received This information, which would be managed by the area itself, will play instructions on how to retrieve the times and locations of meetings and area events. The meeting information is sorted by the day on which meetings occur. Suppose a caller presses 1 to get meeting times and locations from the Greater Grand Rapids Area. Meetings and event info Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

21 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received This information, which would be managed by the area itself, will play the time and location of each meeting for a given day, or, in this case, Wednesdays meetings in the Greater Grand Rapids Area. Suppose a caller presses 4 to get Wednesdays meeting times and locations from the Greater Grand Rapids Area. Meetings and event info Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

22 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received The caller would hear waiting music until a recovering addict volunteering to take calls answers the phone. Suppose a caller wishes to speak with a recovering addict. At the outset, they can press 2 to do this directly or they may press 0 at any time (except when reviewing an infobox). Speak w/ a recovering addict Click to continue… A Tour of the Proposed Phone Line System A Simulated Demonstration

23 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received Important Terms Infobox – an audio information storage file that allows you to store up to 10 minutes of audio per box. Each area will have 8 infoboxes at their disposal (one for each day of the week and one for area activity information). Ring-To Destination – this is where calls are directed to when a caller prompts the system to speak with a recovering addict. Pressing either 2 or 0 (zero), when at the top of an areas phone system or 0 (zero) when not inside an infobox of an areas phone system rings a phone line volunteer. Control Panel – a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use, Internet client that allows area and regional P.I. chairs to configure and report on their respective portions of the phone line. Click to continue… Management and Cost System Management

24 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Call Received Management of this system is simple All hardware and software for this system is managed by the vendor – Workeasy. We are not responsible for any of this. All recordings, voic retrieval, and primary ring-to destination configuration are done using a touchtone phone. You can manage this from anywhere in the country. System configuration, reports, accounting, and billing are done using the Workeasy Control panel, which is an easy-to-use Internet client. You can manage this from anywhere in the world. Click to continue… Management and Cost System Management

25 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal To record meeting information on an infobox: 1.Dial the Michigan Regions phone line number 2.When it answers, press the * key 3.Key in the three-digit extension number of the infobox (there will be a unique extension for each infobox) followed by a four-digit pin number (one pin number accesses the eight infoboxes assigned to each area). 4.Press 1 to listen to the message; press 2 to record a message. Click to continue… Management and Cost System Management – Using a Phone

26 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal To review voic and change the ring- to destination: 1.Dial the Michigan Regions phone line number 2.When it answers, press the * key 3.Key in the ring-to extension number for the area (an area can have more than one, if necessary) and the pin number for that extension (this is set by the area). 4.To review voic , press 1; to change the ring-to destination, press 2 and follow the verbal prompts. Click to continue… Management and Cost System Management – Using a Phone

27 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Areas can review their own call data and Region can review all data from all areas. This is done by accessing infoboxes and/or speaking w/ an addict. Workeasy logs each call with a time/date stamp, along with information showing which options were selected during the call and how long a caller spent listening or talking within a selection. The data can be sliced and diced any number of ways. We can use this data to carry more effectively our message of recovery. Call is Received 1 Caller gets info 2 Call is Logged 3 Call Reviewed 4 Info is used to carry our message 5 Management and Cost Callers access the system. Once they reach the area they chose, they may listen to meeting or event information or speak with a recovering addict. Reviewing and analyzing data in each phase of the information cycle allows us to make better decisions regarding our phone line system. Ultimately, this provides us the opportunity to tweak and improve our phone line system, the information we provide, and the manner in which we provide it, so those who call us get what they need accurately and efficiently. For example, reviewing and analyzing data in the information cycle allows us to identify:...and resolve process inefficiencies phone line training issues and document revisions trends in call types call locations where we currently have no meetings and handing that information over to an outreach subcommittee to help bring N.A. to those areas Click to continue… Information Cycle

28 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Workeasy Control Panel Phone numbers & call location What occurred during each call Time/Date Stamps Error tracking (both user & system). Click to continue… Management and Cost Data Collection

29 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Management and Cost Control Panel Overview This is the Workeasy Control Panel Home Page Use these functions to configure call menus, how calls are handled, and the hours addicts may take direct calls. This function allows you to listen to voic messages online. These functions allow you to pay for the service online, arrange auto- payment (if desired), and review current and past statements. These reports provide up to two months worth of data, except for accounting history, which provides entire account history (if desired). Each report allows you to set specific parameters. This interface is a summary of all calls up to the moment and goes as far back as a week. You may double-click a call to review its details. Call header information for a given call. Description of what actions a caller took during a call… …and at what point in the call an action occurred. Click to continue…

30 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Management and Cost Control Panel Reports Each time you choose to run a report, you must first define the reports parameters. Choose a Date Range for each report Select how you wish to sort the report You may search for data by a callers phone number You may run reports on individual infoboxes and extensions You may choose multiple formats in which to run reports and export this data into MS Excel, Access, or MapPoint for graphical reports and data processing Click to continue…

31 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Management and Cost Click to continue… Control Panel Reports Click to continue…

32 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal The vendor, Workeasy, has set a flat-fee cost for recurring system charges at $150. This includes all the submenus, infoboxes, and extensions. Given the number of areas involved in this endeavor, the costs for these services alone would normally be over $700 a month. The estimated usage charges, if all 12 areas were to participate and turn on the direct call features, would be anywhere from $350 to $450 per month. There is also a cost to place the phone number in the phone book. The deal currently in place with AT&T, with regard to this proposal, is $169 per month for a Yellow Page listing of our regional number in all the major markets in the Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous. Based on all 12 areas participating, a high-end estimate of the total cost per month would be approximately $ per month. More specifically, $150 (recurring costs) + $500 (usage fees) + $ (Yellow Page listings) = $ Click to continue… Management and Cost Cost Summary

33 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Costs Average Cost Per Area Regional CostsNotes Base System $150 per month$0$150 per month Usage (Incoming and outgoing) 5.9 cents per min. for incoming and an additional 5.9 cents per min. for outgoing calls. NOTE: outgoing calls are calls answered directly via the system. $15 to $45 per month depending on call volume and call length. Areas would cover the cost of their incoming and outgoing usage. Area donations to Region would be consistent with usage costs plus its normal donation. This is equitable because an areas size has a direct effect on its respective call volume and 7 th Tradition contributions (high or low). Therefore, smaller areas with low call volumes can afford their piece of the Regional phone line. Furthermore, their monthly costs will most likely be less than what theyre paying for their current phone line solution. Phonebook Listing $169 per month (major market listings only based on MRCNA territory) $10 to $30 per month, depending on market share Pick up the cost of minor market listings for areas that cannot afford it Cost is based on market pricing and each areas listing for each areas major city market(s). This cost will likely rise up slowly as time goes on, given that prices tend to rise with market forces and inflation. Training Free $0 Workeasy and WSO have free training materials. Also, Im volunteering my time and material development costs. TOTALS Highly estimated at $ per month. $25 to $75 per month depend- ing on each areas usage & listing charges $150 per month plus minor market phonebook listing fees, if necessary. These totals are based on all 12 areas using the system with their usage charges highly estimated. Management and Cost Funding Proposal Click to continue…

34 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Have areas review this proposal. Have RCMs bring amendments and issues to region and determine whether or not to continue. If issues are resolved, approve the proposal. Determine a go-live date. Elect Regional P.I. Phone Line Coordinator (2 yrs.) Conduct training for areas Participating areas contact their local phone listing provider to list number. Initialize change-of-number recordings with regard to the go-live date. Turn on the system. Regional P.I., with its Phone Line subcommittee, provides support to areas needing assistance with phone line issues. Monitor and resolve issues as they arise. Provide regular reports to the Region. Click to continue… Where Do We Go from Here? Three Major Steps

35 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Where Do We Go from Here? Risks of Implementing the Proposed System Once we turn it on, were committed to it. Those areas that choose to go with the proposed phone line must know that we cannot easily turn back. Why? Yellow Page listings cannot be undone for at least a year-and-a half. Unlike many area numbers changing over to one number, areas cannot redirect a single number to their individual area numbers. Each area must maintain their end of the phone line within the standards agreed upon at the Region. Finally, we would be putting all our eggs in Workeasys basket, so to speak. However, this would be the case regardless of the vendor. Based on the information presented in this proposal and my experience in dealing with the company, I believe we can take this leap and land safely. Click to continue…

36 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Where Do We Go from Here? Benefits of Implementing the Proposed System Click to continue… The proposed system is: Flexible & Mobile. Areas need only turn on the features theyre willing and able to maintain. Even if they choose to take direct calls, they can set the hours that they receive them, and do so from anywhere in the country. Cost-effective. For an average cost of 30 cents per call, callers will encounter a system that provides them more service, more features, and faster access to information and addicts. Easy to manage. All recordings are done with a touchtone phone. There is no need to have access to a building, house, or notify a third-party of any changes to meeting schedules. It can be done anytime, anywhere in the country. Secure. This system provides us with our best defense against system failure, third-party services doling out advice, and excessive turnover or lack of involvement of members responsible for the phone line. Immediate. Given the nature of addiction, we have only a small window of time when an addict reaches out. This system provides an avenue for addicts and other callers to get information and / or speak with an addict immediately. Powerful and Autonomous. The power to record and update information and take (or not take) calls directly – any time we choose – rests with each area that participates. We can also easily review call data and use this information to improve our service, better manage our information, and provide the best support for callers needing our assistance.

37 Michigan Region of Narcotics Anonymous – Regional Phone Line Proposal Where Do We Go from Here? Contact Information If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this proposal, please send an to with your phone number, and I will return your call. Additional documentation and details used to develop this proposal are available upon request. Just your requests to


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