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.
But practically any change to the configuration of your UC system can impact 911. It can critically affect the ability for your users to dial for emergency assistance and get the help they need. Awareness that there is an issue is the first step to resolving the problems around enterprise 911. But once you’ve garnered some awareness of the problem, two more common obstacles tend to pop up.
E911 Obstacle 2: Believing that E911 is Only an Expense
Once you realize that your enterprise’s ability to effectively support E911 for your users is critically affected, it can be easy to get caught up in thinking that 911 is going to add an additional cost to your already strapped IT budget. But did you know that implementing the right E911 solution can actually save your enterprise money? That’s right.
Research assessing West’s 911 solution, conducted by Nemertes Research, found that many organizations were able to save money on their UC expenses after implementing our enterprise 911 solutions. Centralizing 911 call routing with a SIP-based national call routing service can drive down the costs associated with dedicated DIDs for 911 purposes, local trunks and gateways. Deploying 911 automation tools can reduce the resource expenditures associated with manual 911 location management.
E911 Obstacle 3: Getting Caught Up in Single Vendor Solutions
Now that you’ve determined you need an E911 solution, and are optimistic that implementing a solution can have a positive impact on your bottom line, you need to make sure you don’t get trapped by the third and final obstacle: getting caught up in single vendor solutions.
There are a variety of 911 solutions on the market that can meet some of your enterprise’s 911 requirements. But beware: many of these solutions can only support a single platform. So while the price tag might be attractive, the reality is that you may end up with a patchwork, piecemeal solution that only partially supports your deployment and limits your ability to implement additional UC technologies in the future.
Your IT team’s time is already stretched managing the various UC vendors your enterprise has deployed, both on-site and in the cloud. 911 shouldn’t pile on to this administrative load. When you evaluate your 911 solution options, make sure you look for a vendor-agnostic option that can support various UC architectures. This way, you won’t end up with more on your plate than you had bargained for.
The three common obstacles we see enterprises face when it comes to 911 can be intimidating at first. With the right 911 solution partner, you can easily overcome these hurdles without compromising the safety of your users or the integrity of your UC network. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you to make sure your own 911 house is in order.