Category: Safety Services

Category: Safety Services
West Corporation

Posted on February 5, 2013 by West Corporation 

First Trade Show in 2013: IT Expo East

IT ExpoIT Expo in Miami Beach marks the beginning of the trade show season for us at 911 Enable, and is always a highlight on the calendar. This year’s show proved to be no exception, with service providers from across North America congregating at the Miami Beach Convention Center to learn about the latest innovations in the world of VoIP, and find solutions for the issues facing their networks.

911 Enable at IT ExpoAs the only E911 provider at the show, we noticed that emergency calling was a hot topic for many of the attendees; whether they were establishing VoIP services for the first time or looking to improve upon their existing E911 solution, we answered a steady stream of questions from “What exactly IS E911?” to “How can I solve my specific E911 problem…” Hopefully, those who came by our booth left with a better understanding of how to address the unique E911 challenges they face, and learned that E911 solutions can be easy and cost-effective to deploy and maintain.

One of the highlights of the show for us was receiving the IT Expo Best of Show Award for Best Service Provider Solution. This honor was given to our E911 management solution for UC as a Service (UCaaS) providers, the Emergency Gateway (EGW). The EGW simplifies E911 provisioning and management and speeds time to deployment, allowing UCaaS providers to ensure accurate E911 functionality can be easily implemented and maintained. To learn more about our award-winning solution for UCaaS, visit

If you couldn’t make it to IT Expo, you can always contact us via phone (877-862-2835) or email with your questions about E911 for your hosted multi-tenant VoIP, UCaaS, SIP trunking, or residential VoIP phone service – we’d be happy to help!

West Corporation

Posted on January 30, 2013 by West Corporation 

911 Enable Advances to Preferred Solution Developer Partner Status within the Cisco Developer Network

Preferred_Solution_Developer (2)911 Enable is pleased to announce it has been promoted to the Preferred Solution Developer Partner level within the Cisco Developer Network (CDN). This invitation-only level of membership is the highest tier within the program, and is limited to developers who have worked closely with Cisco to deliver enhanced solutions that deliver greater interoperability with Cisco networking solutions. 911 Enable is proud to work with Cisco at this elite level, with a demonstrated commitment to collaborating with Cisco and a proven track record of gaining market traction and addressing customers’ business needs. Our solutions regularly undergo Interoperability Verification Testing with the latest innovations from Cisco, ensuring they can be easily integrated with any Cisco deployment.

To learn more about 911 Enable and Cisco:

West Corporation

Posted on January 11, 2013 by West Corporation 

Milestones, or just pebbles along the way…

Having been part of the 9-1-1 industry since 1985 (you do the math) there have been a lot of huge developments that have impacted the industry. Lots of people nowadays move from one career to another, following a web-like career path across multiple industries, geographies, and professional levels. My own path has stayed close to the major branch that is public safety/emergency communications, even though I’ve branched out toward quality standards, compliance and business controls along the way.

When I got my first 9-1-1 position, the first day on the job I received a huge stack of green-bar computer printouts of all the MSAGs for the entire county. It was about 5 inches thick with maybe 60 street and address ranges listed on each page. My first task was to verify the data was correct, which involved checking in with 42 community Fire departments, then discovering 50,000 unaddressed structures in the county, and launching an addressing program that was not met with much enthusiasm by the farmers and ranchers surrounding the metropolitan area.  I attended lots of pot-luck suppers as I tried to explain how 9-1-1 would work to the rural residents of Tarrant County, TX!

We didn’t have laptops back then, and did everything on paper. So when I titled this article, I was really thinking about the huge technical challenges that we faced and overcame – Milestones – that now just look like bumps in the road in retrospect. The most technical acronyms I threw around back in 1985 were POTS, MSAG, ALI and ESN. My oldest son once asked me when his cousin, NENA, would come to visit him. Now there is an entire library of terms that are tossed about everyday!  We have come so far with 9-1-1 technology in a relatively short time!

Here’s my list of milestones that now resemble mere pebbles along the roadway.

Rural Address conversion – that was a big one in the 1980’s!  It’s not unusual to see five and six number addresses along the back roads nowadays, and lots more street signs!  We 9-1-1ers have definitely impacted the landscape. Along the way, we might have even impacted the tax roles as every structure with an address was included in the updated “9-1-1” database, which doubled as a mailing address for tax bills to be sent to.

PBX or private switch systems – there were campuses with private phone systems that operated with extensions and no address information at all. We had to figure out how to identify the location of each extension, which was tied to the phone system with a hard wire on a desk or in a dorm room at the time. We created an addressing scheme for Dallas International Airport where none had existed before.

Cell phones – my first one was a 5 pound brick, but my first exposure to a mobile was a built-in car console – it was really a radio and was connected to the car’s battery power and had a huge antenna attached to the car trunk. It had a curly cord and a rotary dial on the handset!  Of course, I was just a child when I experienced this sight, but it made me so hopeful for the future and all the amazing things we would have available in my lifetime. Now we have all that futuristic equipment, except for flying cars, and with the technology came a whole new type of 9-1-1 system. We had to locate those unconnected devices and display them on maps so we could send the right responders to them!  Huge change came along with this technology advance. Our ground-breaking project in 1996 in Houston, TX, was a live demonstration of wireless location and number display – we lovingly referred to it as pseudo-ALI, or PALI, and a whole bunch of new acronyms came out of it. In the rear-view mirror, that is so far behind us and left so many body parts on the side of the road, it’s amazing that we stuck with it!

Web based information – the phone companies used to publish directories of all the phone numbers in alphabetical order. These were giant tissue paper books that we received free of charge each year, which doubled as child seat lifts at the dinner table. Most families only had one number you could call, rather than one per person plus the home phone and multiple computers for each member of the household. Now, you can go on-line and look up just about anyone, anywhere and use your cell phone’s internet access to do it. We can also hook up our computers to make phone calls using Voice over Internet, or VoIP. This was another 9-1-1 hurdle – connecting computers to 9-1-1 wherever they might be located at the moment.

Texting – Who can live without it anymore?  It keeps us all connected, and people want to be able to text 9-1-1, as well they should. This is a boon for the deaf community, and a true lifesaver for anyone in a compromised position that needs to reach 9-1-1. 9-1-1 is in our pockets nowadays. The products and services of the industry had to come up with a way to meet every telecommunications advance that comes through the door – I guess there will always be a reason to do what we do!

West Corporation

Posted on January 8, 2013 by West Corporation 

MyAssist, a Leading Provider of Personal Assistance Services, Selects 911 Enable as their E911 Partner

MyAssist911 Enable is pleased to announce a new partnership to provide quick and efficient E911 call routing services to MyAssist,  the world’s finest concierge, emergency travel, and medical assistance service provider.

 911 Enable’s PSAP Link service seamlessly integrates with MyAssist’s proprietary technology to facilitate the transfer of 911 calls and location information to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) with the click of a button, reducing emergency response times and improving subscriber safety. With connectivity to over 5,500 PSAPs across the US, PSAP Link ensures that MyAssist can connect their subscribers to the help they need, when they need it most.

 To learn  more about how 911 Enable and MyAssist have leveraged their partnership to provide comprehensive E911 services for added customer value, read the MyAssist Success Story or view the Press Release.

 To learn  more about 911 Enable’s innovative PSAP Link solution for Telematics, read the Solution Brief or visit the PSAP Link Webpage.

West Corporation

Posted on January 7, 2013 by West Corporation 

Are You In?

Senseless violence seemed to be compounded daily in 2012 – from the Newtown massacre to the shootings of our brethren firefighters as they responded to calls for help. Horrific events made national news. There was the Aurora, Colorado movie theater carnage and those lesser known incidents like the eerily similar shooting at a movie theater mid-December in San Antonio. These catastrophes rattled us to the core and called the question – what is happening to this world when people kill our innocent children and take aim at emergency responders who risk their own lives day in and day out to save another?

If you are like me, you wonder, “What can I do to help and support those who are suffering from the chaos?”  I felt at a loss. But then I noticed, like the mythical Phoenix rising, that the human spirit emerged with a simple suggestion made by NBC news correspondent Ann Curry. She challenged us to commit to 26 Acts of Kindness, in honor of the children lost in Newtown. The idea has gone viral! Since its introduction, the concept has further evolved to include and honor other losses across our great nation as well.

Within days, the hashtag “#26acts” was trending on Twitter. A Facebook page was created for “26 Acts of Kindness” and now has over 94,000 likes. Currently, there are 86 similar Facebook pages where people are sharing their own random acts, or thanking their anonymous benefactor for the kindness they received. I am amazed at the creativity – great ideas out there! and confess that I shed a few tears upon reading some of the stories of heartfelt generosity. The gestures range from dropping a few extra coins into a parking meter or delivering a bag of dog food to the rescue center to buying diapers for a struggling parent or paying off a layaway account.

So now we begin a new year. With my faith in humankind restored, I now know what I can do to help. I’m ready to join the Acts of Kindness campaign. And I challenge YOU to do the same. If we keep the movement going, maybe – just maybe – we can bring a smile and make a difference in someone’s life. If everyone pays-it-forward, we could see a dramatic change in our world.  Are you in?

Toni Dunne, ENP, is External Affairs Manager at Intrado.

West Corporation

Posted on December 21, 2012 by West Corporation 

Automatic Location Discovery for Cisco Jabber Soft Phones

Cisco JabberCisco Jabber integrates unified communications (UC) capabilities for users, centralizing presence, instant messaging (IM), voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing in a user-friendly interface. The comprehensive UC functionality and highly mobile nature of the Jabber soft phone allows users to switch seamlessly from one mode of communication to another, with access to the complete suite of UC and collaboration tools from anywhere in the enterprise.

However, the high degree of mobility afforded by Jabber can create challenges when it comes to providing E911 support to users. Because it includes voice functionality, organizations that implement Jabber must ensure that users receive the same high-quality E911 support as they would from any other device accessing the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM). That means that when 911 is dialed, their accurate location information must be available to be delivered with the call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

To help organizations support the Jabber soft phone and its inherent mobility, 911 Enable offers robust, reliable E911 management capabilities that ensure accurate location information is always available. 911 Enable’s Emergency Gateway (EGW) appliance can automatically track the locations of Jabber soft phones using layer 2 (switch-based), layer 3 (subnet-based), or wireless LAN discovery methods. An organization simply uploads a network map into the EGW that associates network elements to Emergency Response Locations (ERLs) to enable this functionality.

Support for Jabber is delivered in conjunction with 911 Enable’s E911 Softphone Locator (ESL) software. The ESL updates the EGW with a Jabber soft phone’s unique provisioning data (e.g. MAC, IP address, BSSID, extension) each time it is activated or moves on the network, and at pre-configured intervals. The EGW references this data to the layer 2, layer 3, or Wireless LAN network maps to determine the location of the Jabber soft phone. For added functionality, the ESL enables the EGW to successfully maintain unique identifiers for Jabber soft phones so regardless of the logged in user profile, it can be located based on the mapping between the layer 2/layer 3 address or wireless access point of the phone and the provisioned emergency location. This ensures that when 911 is dialed, the Jabber soft phone’s precise, accurate location is ready to be delivered to the appropriate PSAP.

For more information on 911 Enable and its support for Cisco soft phones, call 1-877-862-2835, email, or visit

West Corporation

Posted on December 13, 2012 by West Corporation 

911 Enable Solutions Complete Certification with Latest from Avaya

DevConnect Tested911 Enable is pleased to announce that it has successfully re-completed compliance testing with Avaya. Two of 911 Enable’s solutions were tested, the Emergency Gateway (EGW) and the Emergency Routing Service (ERS). Certification was completed with the following Avaya systems:

  • Avaya Aura Session Manager 6.2
  • Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.2
  • Avaya IP Office 8.1

This recertification reflects 911 Enable’s commitment to remain up-to-date with Avaya’s latest technologies and innovations, and ensures that customers can deploy our solutions with ease, knowing they’ve achieved Avaya’s rigourous standards for interoperability and support.

911 Enable is a Technology Partner member of Avaya DevConnect. To learn more about 911 Enable’s solutions for Avaya, read the press release here, or visit our Avaya webpage.

West Corporation

Posted on December 12, 2012 by West Corporation 

History repeats, experience matters and doing the right thing

Hark! Do you hear what I hear – collective sounds in the 9-1-1 universe, from sighs of relief and cheers of happiness to groans of frustration and despair? I’m not talking about 9-1-1 callers. These sounds are coming from people in our industry.The FCC has responded to an agreement between APCO/NENA and the Big 4 wireless carriers with its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the subject of text-to-9-1-1 (see For those of us who have been watching and waiting to learn what will be done about SMS, and for those of us involved in moving toward equal access for all, this is a monumental decision!

After talking with regulatory gurus, colleagues in PSAPs, and several Deaf friends, I am reminded that our industry already has tremendous experience in rolling out new 9-1-1 technology. They say that history repeats, and it appears that text deployment challenges may be very similar to the challenges faced by PSAPs with wireless 9-1-1 implementation. Processes had to be put in place, equipment and networks had to be upgraded, and the PSAPs and carriers worked together toward the delivery of that call for help.

Today the challenge is delivering and receiving text. Similar to those earlier days with a consensus agreement, PSAPs and carriers have an opportunity to once again do the right thing! This time, however, we should be able to better manage the change and do so in a much faster timeframe.

We are fortunate to have had these experiences, as well as real-world experiences with text! From the delivery of the first text to 9-1-1 in Black Hawk County Iowa to other trials happening across the country, we understand what is required when we talk about PSAP readiness. For Black Hawk, there were 3 components: (1) an IP-based network connection to the PSAP;  (2) a method of delivery and display for text messages at the PSAP; and (3) training for call takers.

There is an inevitable passage of time required to implement text to 9-1-1 nationwide. However, with this agreement from the Big 4 and the FCC’s involvement, real progress continues to be made.

And as carriers move forward, it becomes critical for PSAPs to begin taking the necessary steps NOW. Time is of the essence.  Our citizens, family and friends are depending on us!  If we fail to do so expeditiously, the collective sounds in the universe are going to become much louder!

By Toni Dunne, ENP, External Affairs Manager, Safety Services – West

West Corporation

Posted on December 7, 2012 by West Corporation 

Better E911: Lync and the Emergency Gateway

EGWWhen Microsoft was first working on their follow-up to Office Communicator, their team reached out to us at 911 Enable to collaborate on how to provide E911 support for their new Lync platform. Out of this collaboration, Microsoft Lync included revolutionary E911 capabilities not found in other UC platforms. The Microsoft Lync clients were made to be location-aware. This meant that an E911 solution did not need to “find” the device when a call was made, because the device would send its location during a 911 call.

This location awareness is enabled by a proprietary location request made by the client to the Lync Location Information Service (LIS) at client sign-in. Since the client itself is making the request, they can be located at the device level regardless of the line appearance of the Lync client logged into that device. Locating clients at the device level is critical in the enterprise due to the use of shared lines, multiple concurrent logins, and the mobility of soft clients. This location request process enables administrators to pre-configure enterprise location data in the Lync LIS database. 911 Enable is one of the only certified Microsoft partner to interoperate with these features to provide real-time MSAG Address validation and SIP emergency call routing support for Microsoft Lync.

The native E911 support built in to Lync, combined with 911 Enable’s call routing solution, enables organizations to meet basic E911 regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, simply complying with basic E911 regulations may not be adequate to meet all the corporate E911 requirements in the Enterprise UC space. To enhance the native E911 support provided by Lync, many enterprises are choosing to install 911 Enable’s Emergency Gateway (EGW) appliance to meet all their requirements. There are many benefits to installing the Emergency Gateway appliance into the Lync environment and I have included some of the highlights below:

  • One pair of Emergency Gateway appliances can manage multiple UC vendor deployments at a time. Since Lync is still a new platform, it is very common to have a multi-vendor environment as users migrate to Lync. The EGW acts as a central E911 administration point for all your UC deployments, which greatly simplifies management and integration. It is not uncommon to have enterprise deployments that have been trying to replace their old legacy PBX for years, with many factors keeping the old beast in production much longer than expected or desired. Using the same pair of EGW appliance, both the Lync users and the old legacy users can be supported.
  • With the Emergency Gateway, administrators can easily manage E911 configuration using a simple web administration GUI instead of PowerShell applets.
  • The Emergency Gateway appliances can be automated to integrate into third-party systems using a variety of interfaces. This allows for further automation of E911 management.
  • The Emergency Gateway appliance has advanced security personnel notification capabilities. This includes enhancing the existing Lync capabilities with the ability to have security conferenced in during 911 calls, using the 911 Enable Desk Alert screen pop application, and integration into existing security CAD systems. A single pair of EGW appliances can provide the same notification capabilities across multiple UC vendor platforms, so onsite security personnel receive the same notifications regardless of which UC platform the call originated from.
  • The Emergency Gateway has advanced overlaid discovery methodologies compared to Lync, allowing administrators to customize location determination preferences to adjust to the uniqueness of their environment. This means administrators can control which network element is used to determine a location for a user. The administrator can choose any order of either MAC (switch/port), wireless BSSID, subnet, or other factors to locate the user. The Emergency Gateway also allows administrators to build “Safety Net” supernets to minimize errors in data entry, instead of Lync’s native E911 capabilities which require all device subnets to be entered one-by-one. For example, say you have one building with 10 floors and each floor has its own 10.45.xx.0/24 subnet. Each floor can be provisioned as 10.45.x.0/24 or you can provision the entire building as Additionally, the Emergency Gateway does not need to rely on third party network discovery systems to obtain MAC/switch/port data.
  • The Emergency Gateway can use any combination of E911 destination routes. The native Lync E911 support routes all the emergency calls to a certified E911 routing service such as the 911 Enable Emergency Routing Service. This may not be appropriate if you have a large number of client devices all on the same campus, served by the same Public Safety Answering Point. In these cases, the Emergency Gateway can route the calls out local gateways to be used with legacy PS-ALI solutions while routing mobile or work at home users to the Emergency Routing Service. The Emergency Gateway has been designed to route to either a local gateway or through the Emergency Routing Service.

This is just a small subset of highlights of what the Emergency Gateway brings to the Lync environment. Due to the location awareness of the clients, the Emergency Gateway can locate Lync users at a device level and not just using line-appearance. The Emergency Gateway appliance is qualified in the Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) for Microsoft Lync, as is the Emergency Routing Service. 911 Enable continues to be an active partner with Microsoft to ensure that Lync continues to provide progressive E911 support. Microsoft has done an excellent job implementing innovative E911 support capabilities and the Emergency Gateway appliance extends this functionality to provide a robust, feature-rich E911 solution.

To learn more, visit or call 1-877-862-2835.

West Corporation

Posted on November 30, 2012 by West Corporation 

9-1-1 Call Taking and ESInets

Very often, when PSAPs are looking to migrate to a next generation 9-1-1 solution, they request on-premises 9-1-1 call handling systems. Typically, the preference to deploy the equipment on the premises is intended to accommodate a severe network outage, ensuring survivability of the 9-1-1 call-taking operations at the PSAP.

However, the PSAP will not be able to receive 9-1-1 calls during such a scenario if it experiences a severe network outage that knocks out both redundant paths to the IP network. The only possible path into the PSAP may be the plain old telephone system (POTS) lines that deliver 9-1-1 calls via seven or 10-digit lines. In the most severe network outages, POTS lines would also be affected, as they may be served via the same end office or central office that processes 9-1-1 calls and/or provides the last mile connectivity into the PSAP.

On-premises 9-1-1 call-processing equipment (CPE) does not provide any more survivability during this scenario once a PSAP has migrated to an IP-based call-handling infrastructure. As a matter of fact, PSAPs that migrate to an IP-based call routing solution or an emergency services IP network (ESInet), only gain greater survivability when the CPE is located in geographically diverse data centers accessed via a public-safety-grade IP network or cloud. Admin or POTS lines are terminated at the PSAP premises using “Admin Gateways” which terminate seven or 10-digit lines at the PSAP, allowing the PSAP to still process admin calls even if both IP paths are out of service.

With CPE in the cloud, PSAPs can ensure greater survivability as they easily move their operations to an alternate location and quickly connect to their data and configuration to answer 9-1-1 calls.  This model of adding call taking capability to the ESInet via a cloud-based solution provides PSAPs with the greatest level of operational continuity. In the event of a planned or unplanned outage, PSAPs can sustain 9-1-1 services by leveraging additional resources at various levels from neighboring jurisdictions.

By Ashish Patel, Systems Architect, Safety Services – West