West Corporation

Posted on June 11, 2018 by West Corporation 

How to Power Up CX for Utilities

As a utility provider, you’ve kept the power on, you bill fairly and your technicians respond in a timely manner. That’s a great way to boost CX for utilities. But in today’s experience-driven world, it may not be enough to satisfy your customers.

Like all industries, customer expectations of utility providers have changed dramatically in the last decade. People aren’t just looking for the best product or service at the best price anymore. Instead, they want customer experiences (CX) to remember and brands that remember them.

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West Corporation

Posted on June 7, 2018 by West Corporation 

Inside the Journey of a 911 Call

When an emergency strikes, you pick up the phone and call 911. A helpful call taker confirms your address, gets the details of the emergency, and help arrives within minutes. Sounds simple, right?

If you’re dialing 911 from your office, a hotel or a remotely connected softphone, that simple interaction may actually be a pretty complex transaction. It requires multiple systems to integrate and communicate to get you the help you need. West supports the journey of a 911 call from start to finish. Read on to find out what happens behind the scenes and learn about the technologies that enable enterprise 911.

Dialing a 911 Call

Since the first 911 call was made in 1968, it’s become second nature to dial those three digits in a crisis. E911 technology, which enables a 911 caller’s location to automatically display on the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call taker’s screen, has also been broadly adopted across North America.

However, the advent of IP telephony, and the proliferation of IP-enabled communications systems throughout enterprises, has complicated the ability for accurate locations to automatically display on a call taker’s screen. Because the call now egresses the enterprise network from a centralized data center rather than a local trunk, the call is inadvertently delivered to the PSAP serving the data center and displays the enterprise main billing address, rather than going to the PSAP serving the caller’s true location, with the caller’s actual geographic coordinates.

To address these scenarios, technologies like West’s enterprise 911 solution have emerged. This solution allows enterprises to identify precisely where a 911 caller is coming from, whether at headquarters, a branch office, or even off site, and determine where the call and caller data should be delivered. This is the first touch West has on a 911 call.

Delivering a 911 Call

Once West’s enterprise 911 call routing solution determines where the emergency call should be delivered, it integrates with the call routing network to send the call to the correct PSAP. The PSAP either receives the caller’s location directly from a West-built NG911 network, or queries West’s national 911 location database to reference the caller’s location.

Dispatching Assistance

West’s journey with the 911 call doesn’t end with call delivery. Within the PSAPs, the call takers use advanced dispatching systems to receive the caller’s location and engage the right public safety responders. West’s PSAP dispatch systems are deployed in PSAPs across North America, enabling call takers to leverage the critical call handling features necessary for an effective emergency response.

The Importance of a Full-Spectrum Approach to 911

West’s end-to-end approach to 911 gives enterprises several key advantages in an emergency. First, our team of 1100+ emergency services employees is comprised of experts who understand the full spectrum of 911. We know what data the PSAP call takers need, how the 911 networks work, and how to get that data through from the caller to the call taker. Secondly, because of our network strength and breadth of experience, we support 911 for many of the largest carriers and enterprises in North America today.

Whether you need to enable 911 for a small mom-and-pop operation or a Fortune 100 company, you can rest assured that West has field-tested and proven solutions, backed by robust technologies and comprehensive networks. Finally, West’s mission to deliver technology-enabled communications across the enterprise ensures that we understand the myriad communication challenges facing your organization, and can take a holistic approach to 911. Our emergency solutions will not compromise your ability to empower your teams with the most advanced UC capabilities, and conversely, our UC technologies are deployed with 911 in mind.

If you realize that a 911 call placed from your organization might not route correctly or lacks accurate location information, don’t settle for an incomplete solution and risk the safety of your users. Trust West’s depth and volume of experience to deliver the robust support your organization requires. We’ll also be at Cisco Live 2018 so make sure to come by our booth to find out how our solutions can integrate with your environment.

West Corporation

Posted on May 30, 2018 by West Corporation 

FCC And Congress Respond To Need For Location-Based Routing For Wireless 9-1-1 Calls

Those who serve public safety are especially concerned about the need for improved location accuracy for wireless 9-1-1 callers. Accordingly, on March 23, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in PS Docket 18-64 to examine how to route wireless 9-1-1 calls to the proper 9-1-1 call center more quickly.

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West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

Abandoned 9-1-1 Calls – What is a PSAP to do?

By Grant Milner, Sr. Product Manager

Most people don’t dial 9-1-1 and then hang up. Most people don’t realize that a 9-1-1 abandoned call taxes already limited emergency response and communications resources. Most of the time, when someone dials 9-1-1 for help, it is the worst moment of their life and they need immediate emergency assistance.

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West Corporation

Posted on May 21, 2018 by West Corporation 

5 Tips to Get Utility Customers Excited About Peak Energy Demand Credits

Peak energy demand credits are great. They put less stress on utility infrastructure, reduce wasted electricity and give many customers a discount on their bill.

But none of those benefits are possible if utility customers don’t know about them. Or just as unfortunate, they know but choose to ignore them. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on May 14, 2018 by West Corporation 

Summer Prep: 3 Best Uses of Inbound Communication Tools for Utilities

Proactive communication helps guide utility customers down the right path. But sometimes you need them to make the most efficient, cost-effective or responsible choice on their own. Yet even when customers want to make the right decision, they oftentimes still need to contact you for help. That’s where inbound communication tools for utilities can help, and summer is a great time to get started.

Inbound communication tools for utilities are really no different than tools used in other industries. They include solutions like chatbots, contact center software, interactive voice response (IVR), webchat, email, web portals and more. So you may already be quite familiar with these tools and just need some guidance on how to get more from them. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on May 9, 2018 by West Corporation 

West’s 50 Influential People in 911

Mary Boyd, VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs

The first 911 call placed on February 16, 1968 marked a turning point for our country. More importantly, however, the 911 ecosystem that we take for granted would not be possible without the contributions of an extraordinary group of men and woman who have dedicated their careers to saving lives.

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West Corporation

Posted on April 30, 2018 by West Corporation 

How to Create a Better Healthcare Patient Experience

By now, you’ve heard that millennials are paying more for experiences and that customer experience will be the driving factor for the majority of businesses in the next few years. But does that hold true for healthcare, too?

In recent years, patients often elect to receive healthcare through mobile apps, outpatient treatment and clinics instead of hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare. That’s driven heavily by cost and changes to insurance, but it opens the door to a larger shift. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on April 26, 2018 by West Corporation 

Q&A: The Revolution of Wireless 911 Location Technologies

By John Snapp, VP of Technology

Earlier this month, I presented to carriers and PSAPs about new solutions that promise a better location earlier in the 9-1-1 call flow. I also spoke about the methodology and results from West’s location testing and trials with Google’s Android-based ELS (handset-initiated location).

The following addresses the questions I wasn’t able to respond to during the live event.

Q: We received many similar questions around the timing and availability of the wireless 9-1-1 location technologies discussed. Many asked, when will these solutions be made available? How soon will PSAPs start to benefit from the improved location? What are the potential implementation impacts to carriers and PSAPs?

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West Corporation

Posted on April 17, 2018 by West Corporation 

The Top Three E911 Obstacles Facing Enterprises

When we talk to enterprises about 911, we often hear about the E911 obstacles they face to making sure they can provide appropriate support to their users in a crisis. From roadblocks around awareness, to cost concerns, to management burden, the top three obstacles to enterprise 911 arise again and again in our conversations. Fortunately, enterprises can overcome these obstacles.

E911 Obstacle 1: Not Knowing that E911 is Broken

Perhaps the first obstacle enterprises face when it comes to 911, is knowing that they have a problem to begin with. When embarking on a transition to Unified Communications (UC), or implementing softphones, or adding another UC system to the mix, there are literally thousands of factors your IT team is considering. It’s easy to lose 911 in the shuffle.

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West Corporation