Category: Safety Services


Category: Safety Services
West Corporation

Posted on March 5, 2013 by West Corporation 


The Top 3 Reasons Why You NEED to visit 911 Enable at Enterprise Connect

Enterprise ConnectEnterprise Connect is the year’s biggest enterprise UC event, with sessions covering every aspect of UC, numerous receptions and networking events, and an exhibit hall packed with over 140 different solution vendors. Even with all that going on, you can’t afford to miss 911 Enable in the Exhibit Hall. Here are the top three reasons why you should make a point to visit booth 1513:

  1. You may be violating your state’s laws, and not know it.
    17 states have already implemented E911 regulations, and more are in the works. Add on to that OSHA requirements for a safe, hazard-free workplace, and E911 isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have. In addition to tough, legislated penalties, failing to provide E911 service to your employees opens you up to increased liability risk in the event of a tragedy. Why take the risk? 911 Enable has cost-effective solutions that can get you in compliance with any legislation you’re required to meet, and can help you establish E911 best practices for your deployment.
  2. Implementing E911 isn’t a complex as you might think it is.
    911 Enable’s experienced team makes setting up E911 easy, and our solutions make ongoing management a breeze. Features like automatic IP phone tracking keep phone location information up-to-date for 911 purposes, eliminating the need to manually administer moves, adds, and changes. Record provisioning and updates are automatically processed in real-time, so administrators don’t have to upload records themselves, and then wait for them to be processed in 48 hours. When E911 can be this simple, there’s no reason not to have it.
  3. More solutions for more platforms, period.
    Though competing E911 solutions are available, no one offers solutions for more of today’s leading platforms than 911 Enable. We’re constantly developing and enhancing our solutions, which regularly undergo interoperability and certification testing with leading UC platforms from Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, ShoreTel, Aastra, Alcatel-Lucent, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence, and more. This means that no matter what your deployment is today or in the future, we can provide you with robust, seamless E911 support that is proven to work.

See for yourself why 911 Enable leads the pack when it comes to E911 solutions for UC. Stop by booth 1513 to ask questions, find out what makes us different, and see our solutions in action.

To learn more before you go, check out our solution briefs for Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, ShoreTel, Aastra, Alcatel-Lucent, and Genesys.

West Corporation

Posted on March 1, 2013 by West Corporation 


Making a Difference

My whole life has been spent solving problems. If I perceive that a problem exists, I feel the need to solve it. It doesn’t always matter what it is – problems just need to go away. I know I’m not the only one out there either. There are lots of you just like me that I’ve met along the way. You are the ones that clean out the coffee pot at work so the coffee doesn’t taste bad. You are the ones that refill the paper in the copy machine when you see the light blinking. You are the ones that stay at work an extra 15 or 20 minutes on a ridiculously busy shift just to make sure you thoroughly briefed your relief.

When I became a dispatcher, I quickly learned that I couldn’t solve all the problems I faced. There were always more calls that needed to be dispatched than I had officers to handle them. Dispatchers all know that the calls holding actually translate to people who need assistance. But even when the call is dispatched, it doesn’t mean the problem was solved. That bothered me for a long time. Dispatching felt like painting a fence in the rain; the paint never actually dries. What was I actually accomplishing?

Then I realized something that changed how I thought about the work I did and shaped the work that I do now. First, I did realize that the problems were not specifically MINE to solve. But I felt that my job was to send someone who COULD solve the problem. Sometimes it actually worked out that way. I will always remember the call I broadcast on the radio “in the blind” (because there were no available officers) of a child not breathing. Luckily an officer on a call not far away, spoke up and said “I’ll take it”. He got to the scene and got the button dislodged from the child’s throat. On the officer’s next radio transmission I could hear the little guy crying in the background. Problem solved with a happy ending.

I hadn’t personally solved that problem, but my actions had made a difference. So when I thought about that call and others, I figured out what my purpose really was – to make a difference. Over the past years (okay, decades), I’ve worked in just about all parts of the 9-1-1 business both on the public and private sides. But one thing has always stayed with me and kept me going at the end of an awful day – the thought that my actions made a difference!

In my life on the commercial side, I was able to be a part of a team which helped a Sheriff to achieve the goal he had set of bringing 9-1-1 service to his community. When the project was complete, the community had gone from 7 digit phone numbers for each individual agency to 9-1-1 for all public safety. An entire team of people had worked diligently for years to make this happen and I was only one small piece of the effort. My one small piece made a difference. I’ll never forget the smile on his face when the first call was answered. I remember thinking to myself, “I have the coolest job in the world”.

So to all of you in this business, regardless whether you are on the public or commercial side of 9-1-1, the next time you have a particularly trying day, please remember:  YOU do make a difference!

And if no one has said it to you recently, thank you for making a difference.

West Corporation

Posted on February 22, 2013 by West Corporation 


Cloud Computing for 9-1-1

The term “cloud computing” seems to be encroaching on every aspect of the technical scene these days,   but do you really understand what that means and    how it applies to 9-1-1? 

In the past, to have a real-time software experience, we had to load software onto a personal computer at the desk. Your experience depended upon how fast your processor was, how fast your drive was, and how much memory your computer stored. We all envied the person with the latest X86 processor because their experience was better than ours on the same software.

We evolved past this stage to server-based software. The software could reside in a back room on a bigger, faster server and deliver us a real-time user experience via the CAT-5 cable running to our desk from the back room. We all became dependent upon IT gurus that kept that server alive and functioning back in that closet. Remember that love/hate relationship from the ‘90s?

With the advances in network speeds and reliability nationwide, and actually worldwide with the major carriers, we have entered the age of “cloud computing”. Now we can have a real-time experience just like we had with the server in the back room, except the back room can be thousands of miles away!

There are several advantages to having your 9-1-1 solution in cloud-based architecture. First is geographic diversity. If your PSAP is affected by an event (flood, fire, tornado, gas leak, electrical failure, etc.), your equipment is safe and functioning. If you are in a cloud-based solution shared with other agencies, your staff can log in at those agencies and keep receiving calls. You also don’t have to worry about security, air conditioning, electrical, software upgrades, security upgrades, or not having a trained technician to work on your call handling equipment.

Cloud computing solutions for 9-1-1 have really been tested recently. We never thought we would see another Hurricane Katrina type situation, but Tropical Storm Irene was just that for Vermont. We saw twelve communities cut off by flood waters, one PSAP underwater and a host of other state facilities compromised. All of Vermont’s capabilities are cloud based. Throughout the storm, the network stayed up and they did not lose a single 9-1-1 call. Their 9-1-1 network was the only statewide network that stayed up during Irene.

Super Storm Sandy hit next generation sites in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Despite the massive 9-1-1 problems reported on the East Coast, these next generation systems were still able to handle the incoming calls. In fact, to illustrate the power of cloud computing, the Government Services Administration (GSA) had moved its employees in New York and New Jersey to a cloud-based solution; despite the massive power outages and loss of a major part of the telecommunications network in New York City, their 4,000 employees stayed online throughout the storm and even helped in the relief efforts.

West Corporation

Posted on February 18, 2013 by West Corporation 


911 Enable Participating at Inaugural Lync Conference

Lync Conference 2013The inaugural Lync Conference kicks off tomorrow, and 911 Enable is pleased to announce it will be participating as a Silver Sponsor. Lync Conference brings together the best and brightest Lync professionals – from Microsoft Partners and MVPs to Lync Developers, Consultants, Support Engineers and customers – to learn, share and interact.

This year’s sold-out conference takes place February 19-21 at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA. If you’re planning to attend, make sure to visit us in Booth K3 to learn more about our unique solutions for Lync. To learn more, read the press release.

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 www.911enable.com/ucaas.

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 sales@911enable.com, or visit www.911enable.com/cisco.


West Corporation

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