911 Enable is pleased to announce it now offers complete, end-to-end E911 solutions for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
As more organizations make the strategic decision to move their UC capabilities to the cloud, UCaaS providers must be able to offer the robust E911 solutions customers expect, while meeting E911 legislation. This can be further complicated if the provider needs to deliver and manage E911 support for multiple UCaaS platforms.
Our solutions for UCaaS help providers meet their key E911 challenges in an elegant and cost-effective manner. They ensure emergency calls and detailed caller-location information are delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the US and Canada, automatically discover IP endpoints, and include a complete suite of advanced security desk notification features. Together, these features help UCaaS providers meet E911 legislation, and give their customers the E911 experience they expect. They also integrate with today’s leading UCaaS platforms — including Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, Avaya Collaborative Cloud, Microsoft Lync, BroadSoft and more — simplifying E911 for UCaaS providers who support multiple voice platforms.
To learn more about 911 Enable’s solutions for UCaaS:
I had to have it. I was going to die without it. That car with a chrome horse on the grill and a turbocharger under the hood. It was 1979, Ford had just re-released the Mustang and I had to have one. It finally arrived from the factory and it was great, except for one little thing: if the ground was icy (or even wet) that car couldn’t get out of my apartment parking lot. This wasn’t really a surprise, just a harsh reality. Not a good situation for an on-call Radio Tech.I had succumbed to overwhelming temptation (some would say seduced) and suffered the consequences that, in retrospect, may not have been worth it. In most cases seduction requires the victim to limit their view to focus entirely on the object of desire and consciously reject balanced thought or due consideration. Most times it’s not a simple oversight or case of unintended consequences – rather it’s a case of not listening to that little nagging voice…
Most of the discussion surrounding NextGen 9-1-1 is all about new features, capabilities and flexibility that come to 9-1-1 as we move to NextGen and why it’s so great. Not unlike the chrome horse or the turbocharger. This is what we all talk about when we are positioning the project for approval and funding to move forward. I would suggest that those are in fact the right things to talk about in those venues but it’s easy (and fun) to be seduced by these new and advanced things. Like most seductions there is danger in focusing too narrowly on the exciting new features and not keeping a broad view of what real, long term 9-1-1 success looks like – including all the details that require attention to get there. This discussion is about making sure we don’t forget to keep our eyes and minds open as we move forward implementing NextGen.
Over that last 40 years or so our 9-1-1 infrastructure in the US has successfully processed billions of calls from people seeking assistance. Granted many of those calls never should have happened in the first place, but that’s a subject for another day. The overwhelming majority of those calls worked just as intended and helped produce positive outcomes to often tragic situations. Unfortunately, it also turns out that there are of plenty of calls that didn’t work out all that well for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these resulted in our industry learning hard lessons, sometimes at the cost of someone’s life. Over the years, some were the result of inadequacies in the design, implementation, operation or maintenance of the actual 9-1-1 system itself.
Just like public safety agencies that change their practices when an after-action review suggests it’s warranted, so too has the 9-1-1 industry continually evolved and adopted new ways of doing things to address shortcomings when appropriate. As a result, we have formed a large body of “best practices” that help maintain high efficacy 9-1-1 service. We can’t take for granted that the new technology that underpins NextGen automatically addresses these best practices. I have observed this assumption playing out around the country – and it’s dangerous. People are so focused on implementing the new technology in pursuit of the new features that they aren’t paying attention to the reality of what it takes to assure that the system operates at the level of robustness that we have all come to expect.
Certainly, the legacy 9-1-1 system suffers insults differently than a NextGen system does, and some of the specific best practices we use today are not the same best practices that we need in the new context moving forward. Nor does the simple adoption of new technology automatically address everything we have learned and implemented over the years. That said, when contemplating a NextGen system, during system design, proposal review and system implementation each of the underlying situations that lead to the formation of a legacy best practice in the first place must be played against the envisioned new system and appropriate new NextGen best practices be confirmed or established.
Listen to that little voice. Pay attention to all of the details.
Trite, certainly – but never more appropriate for where we find ourselves today in the world of 9-1-1. How people communicate with each other has changed dramatically over the last 40 years and it turns out that our 9-1-1 environment hasn’t kept up.That is in the process of changing. By now you have heard, and maybe are even sick of hearing about, NextGen or Next Generation 9-1-1 coming down the path.
NextGen seems to suggest the future but in reality it’s happening in an evolutionary sense in many places RIGHT NOW. As someone who started his 35+ year career in public safety as a Dispatcher I have to say that I find it exciting and way, way overdue!
Depending on whom you ask you may get different technical definitions of what NextGen 9-1-1 is but I would suggest that when we take a big picture view we see simply that it is all about doing a better job of helping those in need, and providing a more efficient and safer environment for everyone providing the help. The big picture is what I want to chat about today.
For the past four decades a 9-1-1 call has been about a caller talking to a call-taker. Virtually all information related to the situation at hand, save a bit of automated location, is conveyed in the dialog of the conversation. The NextGen 9-1-1 world envisions a dramatically expanded “9-1-1 Continuum” where the 9-1-1 system enables a flow of information (notice I didn’t say the 9-1-1 voice call itself, but it’s certainly possible) between a much broader range of appropriately involved players. The idea here being that certain information is important at different times to different people as the event and response unfolds and that ideally everyone should have access to the information they need to do their job efficiently and safely and not be distracted by information that is useful to others but not them. So this means that not all of the information that finds its way to the field has to go via the ears and fingers of a call-taker to the eyes and mouth or fingers of a dispatcher to the eyes or ears of a first responder.
Now this is where it really gets interesting. Since traditionally the technology, process and business of 9-1-1 has focused somewhat narrowly on the caller and the call-taker, the circle of participants in the operation and vision of the 9-1-1 system has been small, generally stopping with the PSAP or the oversight body of 9-1-1 in a given area. Not much to be gained by involvement by the first responders. This is one of the biggest areas of change with NextGen 9-1-1. There is HUGE opportunity for NextGen 9-1-1 to positively impact the first responders and I strongly urge that as you contemplate your NextGen 9-1-1 evolution that the Police, Fire, EMS and oft-used secondary responders be invited (compelled?) to actively join in the planning and implementation process. Much of the functionality of NextGen 9-1-1 is to benefit them directly, in some cases even more so than the PSAP. Also remember that these folks are in the continuous process of upgrading their systems and processes just like we do in 9-1-1, and the big win for the public and the responders is for public safety operations, and the underlying systems used to support these operations, all to work together over time.
It’s going to be an exciting and challenging journey. I look forward to it and hope you do as well.
Back in May/June, we conducted a customer satisfaction survey to get a better understanding of why our customers chose us, and their impressions of our customer service, staff and suite of solutions. We were overwhelmed by the positive results and were thrilled to learn that over 90% of our customers would reward us with the best compliment possible – they would recommend our solutions to their colleagues. A big thank-you goes out to each one of our customers who took the time to complete the survey. To learn more about the survey and responses, see the press release here.
The emergence of New Hampshire’s E911 legislation was a hot topic this week, as little had previously been known about Granite State’s regulations. Here at 911 Enable, we did our research so you can now find the details about the New Hampshire state E911 legislation on our website, and in our State-by-State E911 Legislation Summary white paper. If you’re an organization based in New Hampshire, or have remote branches or employees working out of New Hampshire, you need to understand what the state expects from you when it comes to 911 – don’t delay until it’s too late!
As more and more organizations are looking to adopt voice-enabled Microsoft Lync, they are choosing to deploy it alongside existing third-party IP-PBX systems for a variety of reasons. This allows them to maximize ROI on existing infrastructure investment and deploy at a pace that suits their network, minimizing cost and risk. However, it also presents some issues when it comes to E911.
This white paper outlines the issues that organizations must be aware of when deploying Lync in a multi-vendor environment. It also presents 911 Enable’s simple and elegant solution to the challenges faced in these Lync and third-party PBX deployments.
To learn more, you can download the document here.
Healthcare call centers provide valuable triage service to their members, helping them to determine the best course of action when a health issue arises. Sometimes, though, the health issue is an emergency and the call center agent needs to be able to connect the member to the right Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) immediately. This has often meant stumbling through costly, outdated lists to manually determine the appropriate PSAP – and even if the right PSAP is selected, the agent may only reach the administrative (i.e. non-emergency) line. At the end of the day, this means the member in crisis has to wait longer for emergency assistance, which can profoundly reduce the likelihood of a positive outcome, and exposes the call center to unnecessary costs and liability risks.
To help call centers address this common challenge, 911 Enable introduced PSAP Link. PSAP Link is an E911 call routing service that seamlessly integrates with the contact management console and allows call center agents to deliver member calls and real-time location information to the correct PSAP’s priority line with a single click. We will be featuring PSAP Link in Booth 5 at the upcoming 24th Annual Conference of Healthcare Call Centers, June 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA. If you’re in the healthcare call center realm, this is a not-to-be-missed event.
For more information on PSAP Link, visit www.911enable.com/psaplink, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-862-2835.
911 Enable is sponsoring the New York City Lync User Group’s meeting on Wednesday, June 13, focusing on Location-Based Emergency Routing.
Randy Wintle, from Unify Square, is organizing the event, and will be kicking off the evening with a presentation focused on location-based emergency routing in Lync. After Randy’s presentation, 911 Enable will be presenting our E911 solutions along with use cases to attendees. This promises to be a very educational evening – if you’re in the New York area and are interested in learning more, check out the NYC Lync User Group Meetup page here: www.lyncusergroup.com.
911 Enable will be spending next week in Southern California, exhibiting at the Cisco Live and NENA shows.
Cisco Live 2012
The 2012 edition of Cisco Live US is being held June 10-14 at the San Diego Convention Center.
911 Enable will be demoing our solutions for Cisco in booth 533 at the World of Solutions Expo, which will be open starting at 4:30pm on June 11 until 2pm on June 14. Our team of E911 experts will be available to show you some of the advanced features that set our solutions apart, and to answer any E911 questions you might have – make sure to drop by our booth to say hi and see what’s new!
For more information on our solutions for Cisco, visit www.911enable.com/cisco.
NENA is holding it’s annual show at the Long Beach Convention Center June 9-14.
The exhibit hall will be open June 11 and 12, and we’ll be in booth 943 to provide attendees with information on our industry-leading E911 solutions for enterprises, service providers, call centers, and telematics providers. We look forward to seeing the public safety community at this show, and hope you’ll stop by our booth for more information on how our products and services help ensure that organizations can provide PSAP dispatchers with the critical information they need when 911 is dialed.
We’re getting ready to head down to Boston for the IAUG Global Education Conference, which starts this Sunday at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. The show is the premier Avaya educational event, featuring comprehensive learning opportunities exclusively for Avaya customers.
The show will also feature “The Great E911 Debate” on Sunday May 20 at 3:30pm in room 310, moderated by Mark Fletcher, Avaya’s Product Manager for Public Safety Solutions. 911 Enable Director Lev Deich will participate in the debate along with other industry panelists, which will focus on the hot topics in E911 and the E911 challenges facing organizations today.
Don’t miss this once-yearly event – and make sure to stop by booth 734 on the exhibit hall floor to learn more about our E911 solutions for Avaya.