Brian Osterloh

CIO, City of Albuquerque, City of Albuquerque

Supernova Award Category: 

Next-Generation Customer Experience

The Organization: 

The City of Albuquerque is the municipal government of the largest city in the state of New Mexico. The City’s 311 contact center receives nearly two million calls a year, and 14 million website hits for self-service inquiries.

The Problem: 

The City of Albuquerque takes great pride in ensuring that its constituents have the best services and the best access possible to those services. The City also understands that technology can be harnessed to improve citizens’ lives. This understanding drove city officials to invest in a 300Mbs fiber optic internet downtown; a 15-year “lighting master plan” which encompasses conversion of over 20K streetlights to LED; and the implementation of IoT architecture with the deployment of city-wide smart sensors and IoT-enabled sprinklers in an effort to save water in this notoriously arid climate. In fact, in 2017, Albuquerque was acknowledged as the second most digital city in the U.S. by the Center of Digital Government

Undoubtedly, all of these technology investments have improved the lives of residents, but Albuquerque knew it needed to do more to make it easier for its almost 1MM citizens to engage with local government and vice versa. So the City set out on a journey to improve citizen service. The goal: to deliver high-quality services to make Albuquerque safe, inclusive, and innovative.

The Solution: 

The City selected Oracle Service Cloud to meet citizens’ growing expectations and meet them wherever they are, regardless of channel. Extending beyond the traditional phone and self-service options, Albuquerque incorporated voice-first and mobile technologies to its strategy.

In 2018, Albuquerque became the first city in the world to integrate Amazon Alexa with its 311 contact center. Constituents can conveniently report issues (like missed trash pick-ups or abandoned vehicles), ask questions, stay informed, and keep up to date on what’s happening in their neighborhoods through a conversational UI.

Additionally, the “One ABQ” app also lets citizens’ access 311 services via iOS or Android wherever they are. Users can report issues, like graffiti right when they see it or check on the status of existing 311 tickets, link to other mobile applications, and receive important notifications from the City of Albuquerque.

The Results: 

By integrating Amazon Alexa with its 311 contact center, the City of Albuquerque delivers an innovative, user-friendly way to report issues and request assistance even outside of City business hours. The channel is also convenient for users with disabilities, such as the visually impaired.

Alexa's conversational UI is convenient for the community and helps enable the most effective and efficient use of 311 resources. By integrating emerging technologies with the government to ensure that people have easy ways to participate in civic life and utilize City services.

By diverting some of the more standardized questions from phone lines to Alexa and through self-service channels (like the mobile app), agents can dedicate more time to the citizens in their community who might have complicated issues to solve.


Albuquerque 311 receives approximately 1.2M calls per year filed by 51 employees. The City deployed Alexa 311 as part of its omni-channel strategy to divert traffic from the call center to other channels and to make interactive services available even outside call center hours. The initial roll-out of the Alexa voice capability started this journey with automated interaction with Oracle Service Cloud on a number of popular topics: reporting abandoned vehicles, reporting missed trash pickups, requesting large item pickups, reporting weed and litter violations, reporting graffiti, and looking up the status of a 311 ticket.

When constituents report new graffiti, whether by phone, email, chat or by talking to Amazon Alexa, it is quickly removed, sometimes within an hour. Regardless of the request, the City of Albuquerque’s 311 contact center connects the appropriate department to respond efficiently and effectively.

The Technology: 

Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Policy Automation, Amazon Alexa, One ABQ App

Disruptive Factor: 

Albuquerque has a history of innovation, and in 2017, prior to the Alexa project, ranked second in a Digital Cities Award. This environment created the right atmosphere for Albuquerque to explore innovative ways to extend its already successful 311 call center — keeping the same Oracle Service Cloud hub for managing requests, but looking for innovative ways to attract and manage citizen engagement.

“Turning government inside out to make it more responsive and accessible than ever is core to our mission,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “We have innovative thinkers inside City Hall and with our partners in the creative and tech community who are putting Albuquerque on the map as a leader in innovation.”

Shining Moment: 

The City of Albuquerque won the “National 2018 Government Experience Innovation Award” from the Center for Digital Government for making 311 service requests available through Amazon Alexa.

About Your Organization

Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a population of approximately 550,000 people in the city itself, and almost one million in the metro area. It is recognized as an innovative and technology-driven city.