Today’s enterprises are complex. First, they often have multiple locations scattered across the nation, from large campuses with multi-story complexes to small branch offices with only a few employees. Second, thanks to the flexibility enabled by Unified Communications (UC), users often move within and between these locations with ease. Third, and finally, in addition to moving around on the enterprise network, users often access the voice network remotely, either from home or from other non-enterprise locations (e.g. coffee shops, conference centers, etc.).
Employees are traveling across the nation to attend meetings and conferences. Businesses are adopting tele-working policies and corporations are allowing teams to meet and brainstorm off-site. However, what happens when one of your remote employees dials 911 from their soft client? Does your organization know where they are? Can you connect them to the help they need in a timely manner? Though the ability for users to work remotely can provide organizations with greater flexibility, connecting these workers to E911 can represent a challenge to an enterprise.
By Charles Van Hoose, Sr. GIS Analyst at West
LEAD THE WAY
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is front & center in the march toward a fully-realized i3-based Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) environment. No longer considered a secondary, reactionary tool for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), GIS is Identified as a key foundational element in the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 specification.
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By Charles Van Hoose, Sr. GIS Analyst at West
The importance of mission critical Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for call- and dispatch- mapping in the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) cannot be overemphasized. Accurate data combined with tactical mapping is critical for locating incidents, callers and devices, for dispatching appropriate resources, and for communicating situational awareness to first responders.
If you’ve been tasked with choosing an E911 solution for your enterprise, it can be tempting to set up an on-site notification alert and have emergency responders receive the location details they need once they arrive on-site.
While this strategy seems to be able to keep your organization safe, make no mistake: implementing notification alerts on their own as an E911 solution can place your organization and your employees in grave danger. For E911, relaying an accurate, dispatchable address to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is essential; this ensures that first responders arrive with the information they need to quickly locate and help the caller.
By Nicole Pianalto, Sr. Support Engineer, West, Safety Services
Have you noticed? A wave of downsizing is sweeping across the country in the form of the Tiny House. According to The Tiny Life website, the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical small or tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Smaller houses are easier to clean and maintain; they require less land and allow more time for experiences. I like the idea that our culture may be headed in a direction that indicates experiences are more important than things.
By John Snapp VP of Technology for West, Safety Services
A significant goal was achieved in 2009 when a public safety answering point (PSAP) located in the basement of a county jail in Waterloo, Iowa, accepted the first ever text message to 9-1-1. The Blackhawk County center made history when they successfully received a simple message to send help.
Today, thanks to the voluntary commitment of the carriers to enable the support and routing of text-to-911 calls, PSAPs can prepare their centers to accept and respond to 9-1-1 text messages. Industry leaders have developed standards and hundreds of PSAPs have registered with the FCC to certify their readiness to accept text messages.
By David Peck, Sr. Account Executive, West, Safety Services
An integrated approach to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is essential to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). There are many benefits to be realized – geospatial routing, data sharing, precise address referencing and more.
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Last month, West’s Emergency Gateway (EGW), an on-site appliance that streamlines E911 management and tracks IP phones, received a Letter of Compliance for Avaya Aura Session Manager 7.0 and Avaya Aura Communication Manager 7.0.
911 is the most essential service your end users will ever require. As enterprises move towards adopting new technology platforms like Avaya Aura 7.0, there are obvious and important benefits behind those business decisions: increased communication and collaboration, better security, ease-of-administration and decreased total cost of ownership. At West, our job is to make sure our customers who are making IP-PBX purchases or upgrades don’t overlook 911.
West, a technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect Program
West has been a Technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect program since 2007. Our ongoing collaboration with Avaya helps us to deliver products and services that are designed and rigorously tested to seamlessly integrate with Avaya platforms, providing our customers with an enhanced level of confidence in our products’ interoperability and ease of deployment.
West is the link between the public and public safety, so it’s critical that our enterprise solutions are tightly synchronized with our customers’ current deployments while, at the same time, anticipating where the next technology shifts are occurring.
We’re extremely pleased to receive the Letter of Compliance from Avaya. West’s enterprise solutions are compatible with every major IP-PBX platform, which translates to millions of employees, student and end users who will be quickly routed to the nearest public safety agency when they need help—and thousands of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and first responders will know exactly where to find them. We can’t imagine a time when we won’t need emergency assistance but, fortunately, we live in a world with technologies that can improve the outcomes of the first response.
The holiday season is officially under way. If you are like me, you are probably in a frenzy trying to complete your projects before year end and your weekends and evenings are booked with activities, holiday shopping, office parties, and friend and family get-together.
As the year draws to a close, I wanted to use this time to say thanks to our wonderful staff, customers, suppliers and you, our loyal readers. The closing of the year also represents a good time to reflect, count our blessings and take stock for tomorrow. Read More >