Category: Safety Services

Category: Safety Services
West Corporation

Posted on March 8, 2016 by West Corporation 

West’s E911 Solution, Emergency Gateway (EGW), Now Compliant with Avaya Aura 7.0

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.

Compliance Matters

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.

West Corporation

Posted on December 18, 2015 by West Corporation 

The E9-1-1 Holiday Tribute

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 >

West Corporation

Posted on December 17, 2015 by West Corporation 

M2M and IoT: 4 Industry Insights You Should Know

Last month we hosted a webinar, Building a Smarter Internet of Things, with Frost & Sullivan and our partner, Gemalto. Our panelists covered a lot of ground in 60 minutes, so I wanted to share some of the takeaways from our conversation around public safety.

Connected devices are all M2M but may not be part of the IoT.

A common misconception is that M2M and IoT are interchangeable terms, but in fact, they have very distinct meanings. M2M (Machine to Machine) describes devices and sensors that communicate with each other via any form of networking i.e., a cell phone connecting via Bluetooth to a car’s stereo.

IOT (Internet of Things) refers to the broad network of these devices communicating with each other, making decisions based on pre-determined thresholds and sending alerts to humans, allowing informed decision-making to create a safer world.

For instance, if a minor fender-bender causes traffic to come to a stop at an intersection, crash sensors in the vehicles can send data to first responders, helping them to prepare a response. Also, sensors in the road and traffic cameras can automatically send information to GPS satellites, re-routing traffic until the accident is cleared.

In the above scenario, each of these connections is a machine talking to a machine but the sensors are all connected to a larger network of objects, allowing them to be part of the Internet of Things and creating a much greater ability to communicate important information.

The infrastructure for a connected world is being built and implemented today.

The future of IoT involves communication on a massive scale. Networks, devices and sensors are slowing being connected to one another. The more the network grows, the more powerful a tool it will become to help create a safer world.

11 major cities across the US are currently developing or implementing a smart city infrastructure. Soon, data from healthcare, government, waste management, traffic cameras, first responders, utilities, railroads, etc. will be aggregated and analyzed to allow for faster, more informed decision making during emergency conditions.

As LTE networks are built out, rural areas are being integrated into the larger network, allowing authorities to track train shipments, truckloads of dangerous materials and improve emergency response times in remote locations. Of course, this infrastructure will take time to develop full potential, but the good news is that those efforts are well underway.

Data and information security are at the forefront of IoT design and infrastructure.

Standards associations, such as the GSMA, are already releasing IoT security guidelines to be built into IoT infrastructure. Collaboration between industry associations and vendor communities plays a huge role in the development of new IoT technologies and how they are secured.

Data security needs to be balanced against the value of the data. For instance, data such as the current weather conditions requires less protection than a patient’s health record data being pushed to an EMT’s tablet or other smart device. Recognizing the difference between these two scenarios and being able to have the hardware intelligently assess those distinctions will help create more secure methods of sending information without adding too much overhead.

Networks are being designed to handle increased traffic from M2M connections.

With the use of several different networks, including LTE, MTC, LTE Cat 0 and IoT (narrowband) LTE, traffic can now be spread out depending on the need and location. In addition, the technology already exists to prioritize the most relevant traffic through the network. For example, calls to 9-1-1 have priority in a cellular network over non-emergency calls. A similar protocol is being utilized for IoT signals to allow critical information to get to the appropriate responder.

Devices are also being designed to “behave themselves,” meaning they are built with a level of intelligence allowing them to send only relevant data. These thresholds can be programmed ahead of time with platforms like Emergency Aware Services (EAS), allowing for proper network utilization and to keep data traffic from becoming overwhelming.

Without question, these technology developments are going to revolutionize public safety over the next few years and, ultimately, protect and save lives. If you’d like to learn more about the IoT evolution, you can watch the entire webinar on demand here.

If you’d like to learn more about Emergency Aware Services from West, you can visit our website here.

West Corporation

Posted on December 9, 2015 by West Corporation 

Intrado/911 Enable Will Be ReBranded as “WEST”

We are very pleased to announce that Intrado/911 Enable will be re-branded as “West”. This change will take place during the first quarter of 2016.

West develops technology-enabled communications that change the way we work and improve the way we live. The company manages complex, mission-critical communications for their clients and delivers operational and service excellence at extraordinary scale and across multiple verticals. Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on September 23, 2015 by West Corporation 

TDI Recognizes Advocates for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

TDI (formally known as Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) is a national advocacy organization focused on equal access issues in telecommunications and media. Every two years, TDI recognizes various individuals, organizations and corporations for their efforts to promote equal access to telecommunications, media and information technologies.

TDI’s Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunications Access Award is bestowed on individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to improve accessibility to telecommunications and media in the U.S. I’d like to congratulate Richard Ray and Donna Platt as recent recipients of this award. As a lifetime advocate for equal access to 9-1-1 and a proud recipient of the TDI award, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many individuals who share my passion that no individual be denied access to emergency services.

Richard has spent his entire career advocating for equal rights. He is the ADA Compliance Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability and has helped jurisdictions across the country with various issues and projects such as Emergency Notification Systems, Personal Caller Information, VRS/IP Relay Service, and Text to 9-1-1. He became a member of the NENA Accessibility Committee, and I was thrilled when the late NENA President Bill McMurray appointed Richard to chair the committee in 2006.

Donna Platt was asked to join NENA and jumped at the chance to serve on the NENA Accessibility Committee. In 2007, NENA advanced their committee structure and Donna became co-chair with Richard. Donna trained Washington State’s 9-1-1 professionals under a contract with the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSCDHH), and now is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with the NC Division of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She, too, has shared her expertise with emergency communication professionals across the country.

Together, these two have been unafraid to take the issues head on and have garnered the respect of 9-1-1 professionals nationwide. Both are recognized leaders serving various roles with the FCC and other entities, and I could not be prouder that these two amazing people have been recognized for all their hard work. Congratulations Richard and Donna!

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

West Corporation

Posted on August 4, 2015 by West Corporation 

Before You Go VoLTE, Read This

When I’ve spoken with non-nationwide carriers recently, I’ve noticed that there are more and more concerns about Voice over LTE (VoLTE), especially when discussing E9-1-1 for VoLTE. Questions vary widely. Here’s a list of six key areas (in no particular order) before embarking on a VoLTE project.

  • If your network is hosted, develop your VoLTE project plan with your IMS core and UTRAN solution provider(s) and, if you’re already working with Intrado, include us in the 9-1-1 portion of the project plan.  Specifically for VoLTE E9-1-1, you’ll need to consider the call path changes in your IMS core and new signaling e.g. diameter.
  • Consider location servers for Phase 2 location. You’ll need either an eSMLC network for E9-1-1 location or you’ll need to identify a solution provider, like Intrado, for hosted eSMLC.
  • Start the conversation early about SIP for voice path and signaling to your MME for location. The right partner should review all the signaling and connections needed to support VoLTE E9-1-1. Choose a provider that supports the signaling connection needed to support home and roaming device location queries in their MME. Remember, VoLTE is a new voice path that is IP-based (or SIP) and uses new signaling for location queries to and from the eSMLC to the MME and the devices.
  • Create a network checklist for all the regulatory requirements and changes that have to be supported with VoLTE i.e., E9-1-1 and CALEA. It’s essential to engage with the right provider early for planning and testing interoperability of your IMS voice core and MME.
  • As most carriers know, the customer voice call experience is key to a successful VoLTE launch. Not all devices are equal, so you’ll need to look at VoLTE support in your device ecosystem. We encourage testing each VoLTE device out to the cell site edge to ensure you don’t lose significant coverage when you migrate your customers from 3G voice to VoLTE. Beyond providing the best call quality possible, the new FCC rules on wireless indoor location means location technology support is more critical than ever.
  • Network location performance is a crucial component to a successful VoLTE launch. You need to consider tools that help you optimize location performance on your network, such as Intrado’s Location Performance Management (LPM) solution. This tool helps carriers meet compliance for coming changes in E9-1-1 accuracy, as well as enhancing overall commercial location performance on your network. You’ll be able to pinpoint which 3G areas are optimal to turn down first—and you’ll improve your overall customer experience as you roll out  exciting new services with VoLTE.

Want to learn more about upgrading to VoLTE? Contact us at or visit us at booth #217 at CCA 2015, October 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale.

West Corporation

Posted on July 21, 2015 by West Corporation 

Wireless UC E911 Technology At-A-Glance Guide Now Available!

Our Wireless UC E911 Technology At-A-Glance Guide is available for download on-demand. This guide walks you through the location tracking solutions that are commonly deployed to track wireless users on an organization’s network. The goal, whether your enterprise is a large multi-campus entity or a single building, is to choose the right-sized wireless tracking solution that meets your organization’s unique needs.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on June 25, 2015 by West Corporation 

Why NENA Matters to 9-1-1 Matters

Throughout its history, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has represented The Voice of 9-1-1™, focusing on 9-1-1 policies, technologies and operations’ issues while promoting educational opportunities for its members. Intrado has been a proud supporter, participant and beneficiary of these efforts.

Learn. Connect. Discover. Grow.

The NENA 2015 Conference & Expo is in our own backyard! We are proud of Colorado and proud to once again be a Platinum sponsor of NENA’s annual national event. The theme of this year’s conference is aptly named, “LEARN CONNECT DISCOVER GROW”. Those are, in fact, the sentiments that Intrado employees express when describing what NENA has done for them through the years:

  • “I’ve attended every NENA conference since 1982. NENA has served as my constant companion and invaluable resource throughout my career in 9-1-1.”
  • “NENA’s work in the 9-1-1 Industry has inspired me to do the job worth doing.”
  • “Being a NENA member gives me many opportunities to increase my industry knowledge and I am proud that I’ve recently become an ENP!”
  • “I joined NENA for the opportunity to bring attention to equal access services for 9-1-1 They didn’t let me down! NENA was the first public safety organization to address critical issues for people with disabilities and continues to lead the nation to ensure all citizens through standards development.”
  • “Throughout almost 30 years in the 9-1-1 business, NENA has been a driving force for improvements and change in the industry.”
  • “Through NENA, we all come together as 9-1-1 professionals, ensuring technological advances are addressed, and securing this vital public service for our nation.  I’m proud to have had such a rewarding career and engagement with NENA and Intrado, and all the other dedicated people in this industry.”
  • “When I was coming up in the industry, NENA made me feel welcome.”
  • “I appreciate the HEART of NENA – the heart that looks forward and gives back.”

Click here to learn about the Run for 9-1-1 benefit for Friends of 9-1-1, how to meet keynote speaker Amy Van Dyken in Intrado booth #822 and see demos of cutting-edge technology and products that can help you plan your migration to NG9-1-1.

See you there!

West Corporation

Posted on June 23, 2015 by West Corporation 

911 Enable Provides Seamless Support for Customers Upgrading from Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business

Montreal, QC – June 10th 2015 – Intrado/911 Enable announced that its E9-1-1 solutions for Microsoft officially support Skype for Business, Microsoft’s rebranded universal communications client. Organizations upgrading to Skype for Business or kicking off greenfield deployments can count on a complete and certified solution that meets all E9-1-1 requirements.

Read More >

West Corporation

Posted on June 10, 2015 by West Corporation 

“Help Man With Gun In House.” 6 Years of Text-to-911

Today I was reminded that six years ago on June 9, 2009, Black Hawk County, Iowa received the first successful test of a 911 text message in the country, supported by our TXT29-1-1® service. At the time, the simple text of “help man with gun in house” was considered a breakthrough for the speech and hearing-impaired community. Today, a text-to-911 message is the best alternative to a voice 9-1-1 call in emergency situations.

Over 500 PSAPS enabled with Text Capabilities

West has helped enable over 500 PSAPs with text capabilities, and wireless carriers provide 911 text support where available.

There are still challenges ahead, including improving funding to upgrade current 911 systems and increasing the public’s awareness about this capability in their jurisdictions.

Still, milestones like these remind me what a privilege it is to be part of a community that works collaboratively to leverage every available technology in the interest of public safety.

Calling 911 is always best, but if you can’t, send a text.