West Corporation

Posted on March 1, 2018 by West Corporation 

What is E911 and Why Should My Enterprise Care?

Enhanced 911, or E911, is a technology that allows for the automatic delivery of a 911 caller’s location in addition to their phone number with their 911 call. When a call taker at a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) receives a 911 call, they know where the caller is and where to send help because that caller’s location is displayed right on their screen. This is particularly critical in those emergencies where a caller can’t speak: medical emergencies, emergencies in progress, etc. The question is, do businesses need to pay special attention to how E911 functions in the enterprise?

911 is so entrenched in our daily life that it often gets forgotten in the discussion around Unified Communications (UC). As enterprises embark on the project of selecting a new UC platform, implementing softphones, or migrating to a hybrid or cloud-based UC solution, they may only realize that they’ve critically impacted their ability to deliver 911 calls when it’s too late.

How does UC impact 911?

When enterprises move to UC, they are consolidating their trunks into a central data center. Before IP communications, calls would go out through the local trunks and gateways that were set up for each office. Part of the attraction to moving to UC is that enterprises can eliminate these trunks and gateways in favour of centralized SIP trunks. And because call signalling is IP-based, users can now access the corporate voice network from softphones at home or on the road – so they don’t even need to be on the enterprises premises to stay connected.

A consequence of this flexibility, however, is that when someone from a branch office or an off-site location calls 911, their call gets delivered to the PSAP serving the data center location and not their actual location. First responders have no idea where the caller actually is, and if the caller isn’t in a position to advise the 911 call taker of their true location, help may arrive at the wrong location entirely.

Who calls 911 from an office?

With the proliferation of smart phones, enterprises often assume that even if their UC system’s 911 functionality doesn’t work as well as it should, their users aren’t dialling 911 from their IP phones anyway; they assume that people just pick up their cell phones to dial 911. But the statistics show that this is a dangerous supposition: As Mary Boyd noted in her 911 Policy and the Enterprise webinar, almost 675,000 calls were made from Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) in the state of California in 2016 alone – more calls than there were people living in Wyoming that same year!

Why does 911 matter to the enterprise?

There are numerous reasons why fixing the 911 functionality gap is of paramount importance for enterprises. First and foremost, many states have legislation in place that requires enterprises with MLTS to deliver 911 to a specific standard. Secondly, many enterprises need to close this gap for liability reasons; simply put, if something goes wrong on your premises and you didn’t take adequate measures to allow for an efficient response, your enterprise might be on the hook. Finally, providing 911 service for your users is the right thing to do – if someone on your premises or network is in distress, you owe them the ethical duty to do your utmost to get them the assistance they need, as quickly as possible.

So now what?

Fortunately, solving for 911 can be simple – vendor-agnostic solutions that integrate with on-premises, cloud-based and hybrid UC deployments are available. Join us in booth #1513 at Enterprise Connect this year to learn how our solutions can unify 911 across your deployment, however your UC is deployed.

West Corporation

Posted on February 27, 2018 by West Corporation 

Call Center vs. Contact Center: 7 Key Differences

By Julie Wajda, Product Development Manager

Call center vs. contact center. Many use these two terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Call centers and contact centers are two distinct models for business communication. And assuming otherwise could lead to an embarrassing faux pas or a damaging business mistake.

The primary difference between a call center and contact center lies in the methods of communication and overall experience. But before getting into specifics, start by understanding what these terms really encompass. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on February 16, 2018 by West Corporation 

Kari’s Law now the Law of the Land

West commends Congress for the recent passage of H.R. 582, commonly known as “Kari’s Law Act of 2017.”  The new law, which amends the Communications Act of 1934, is named in honor of Kari Hunt Dunn whose tragic passing in 2013 alerted the nation to the dangers of requiring a dialing prefix to access 911. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of 911 champions like Hank Hunt, Kari’s father, Americans across the land will benefit from easier access to 911 when connecting to the service from certain private phone systems.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on February 12, 2018 by West Corporation 

The History of 911: A Timeline

Throughout 2018, West is celebrating 50 years of 911. This timeline provides a look back at the history of 911 and emergency communications. It tracks the key legislative events and technological advancements that have helped shape 911 into the system we know today.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

Top 3 Benefits and Best Practices of Contact Center Modernization

By Jil Fisher, Vice President of Product Management

Some things never go out of style, like The Beatles, evenings by the fireplace and homemade apple pie.

Unfortunately, your contact center isn’t one of them, and if you haven’t replaced or upgraded your solutions recently, there’s a good chance your customers have noticed. In that case, it’s probably time for a little contact center modernization. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on by West Corporation 

30 Customer Experience Questions to Guide You Through the Jungle

By Jarrett Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Sales

Create great customer experiences. For an ever-growing number of businesses, that’s the golden goal — the El Dorado of customer care.

But as new theories, technologies and market demands continue to sprout, business owners and leaders can soon find themselves enclosed by thick vegetation. Soon, the once-clear path has fallen out of sight. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on January 22, 2018 by West Corporation 

27 Stats That Show What Consumers Expect from Brand Communication

By Ben Page, Director of Sales

Not long ago, grocery shopping happened solely in-store, and banking was done with the help of a human teller. But the internet, social media and mobile devices have dynamically changed this relationship, and consumers have come to expect much more from their brand communication. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on January 15, 2018 by West Corporation 

10 Proven Champion-Challenger Optimizations To Improve CX

By Jay Harris, Senior Director of Client Operations

It can be a challenge keeping up with ever-changing customer demands. Consumer trends shift from one year to the next, and so must your communication plan.

But how can you afford to constantly try out new practices without breaking the bank? Well, a major U.S. pharmacy is one of many businesses that has achieved just that. They improved customer experience (CX) and raised prescription refills by 8.8 million thanks to one important strategy: champion-challenger testing. Read More >

West Corporation