It’s hard to believe VoiceCon Orlando started a week ago, and now we’ve all returned back to our routines, albeit with some new food for thought.
911 Enable had a very busy VoiceCon, where we debuted our next generation E911 solution for Microsoft Communications Server “14” (aka Wave 14). Microsoft’s much-anticipated follow-up to Office Communications Server 2007 was one of the big stories at VoiceCon, and we were excited to both unveil our solution (an industry first) and take part in Microsoft’s submission for the mock RFP contest.
What makes our solution for Communications Server “14” so significant? Basically, it entirely eliminates the need for organizations to provision emergency response locations into ALI databases of any kind. When 911 is dialed, 911 Enable’s Emergency Routing Service (ERS) extracts the caller’s location directly from the SIP signaling originating from Microsoft’s location-aware endpoints. This makes E911 service incredibly simple and transparent from a management point of view, and also helps organizations to meet their state and local E911 legislation.
In addition to the excitement around our announcement, we had a busy booth in the exhibit hall, where we were demo’ing our solutions and helping attendees better understand the E911 issues they’re facing in their own deployments. And about 50 attendees stopped by to hear 911 Enable Director Lev Deich give an overview of the unique impacts of IP telephony on E911 on Tuesday morning.
Between the traffic to our booth, the attendance at the presentation, and the questions we fielded both at the booth and the presentation, it’s clear that many people are starting to consider how their own communications network handles E911, and what they need to do to keep the entire workforce safe.
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It’s been a busy couple of months since our last post, and since then we’ve made some exciting announcements, notably:
- Emergency Gateway (EGW) Certification with Aastra Clearspan
The EGW now provides essential E911 management capabilities – such as automatic IP phone tracking, on-site security desk notification, and support for remote workers – for organizations using Aastra Clearspan. The EGW and 911 Enable’s Emergency Routing Service (ERS) provide the industry’s only end-to-end E911 solution for Aastra IP deployments.
- Launch of the 911 Services channel on TMCnet.com
Check out http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/911-services/ for information on the most advanced E911 solutions for IP phone systems and in-depth reporting on the latest E911 news and trends affecting a broad spectrum of vertical markets.
And if you missed our booth at VoiceCon Orlando, we’ll be exhibiting at several other trade shows this spring, including:
- InAAU/INNUA The Art of Evolution: Global Connect
April 18 – 22, 2010
Colorado Convention Center
- ACUTA 39th Annual Conference and Exhibition
April 18 – 21, 2010
San Antonio, TX
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country
- UC Summit 2010
April 25 – 28, 2010
La Jolla, CA
- Aastra User Conference
May 2 – 5, 2010
- Cisco Live 2010
June 27 – July 1, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Make sure you stop by to say hi and see how our solution can work with your deployment!
In the span of less than a week, 911 Enable has made two exciting announcements regarding our E911 solutions for Avaya:
- E911 solution certification with IP Office, to provide critical E911 support for small and medium businesses; and
- Introduction of the E911 Softphone Locator (ESL) for Avaya IP Softphones
E911 Solution Certified with Avaya IP Office
E911 support for small and medium businesses (SMBs) is critically important, as they employ just over half of all private sector employees in the US (source: US Small and Medium Business Administration). Unfortunately, many IP-enabled SMBs don’t have adequate E911 support for their deployments, so their employees may not have access to 911 services in an emergency.
Avaya IP Office provides SMBs with access to advanced IP telephony features, and Avaya has certified 911 Enable’s Emergency Routing Service (ERS) with IP Office so SMBs can quickly and easily implement E911 services. The ERS provides SMBs with enterprise-class features like support for remote branches and teleworkers, and granular location provisioning. This certification means 911 Enable provides E911 solutions for all Avaya IP telephony platforms. Learn more here and here.
Introduction of the E911 Softphone Locator (ESL) for Avaya IP Softphones
More and more organizations are transitioning from traditional desk phones to softphones, to save money and provide their employees with greater mobility. For organizations using Avaya IP Softphones, determining the locations of these endpoints for 911 purposes was a challenge, and possibly even a barrier to implementation for those organizations in states with E911 legislation.
However, 911 Enable has now introduced the ESL for Avaya softphones to allow organizations to reap the benefits of softphones and still meet their E911 obligations. The ESL is software installed on PCs and laptops running Avaya IP Softphones, and is used to help 911 Enable’s Emergency Gateway (EGW) automatically discover and track softphone locations within an enterprise’s communications network. The great thing about the ESL is that it is completely transparent to the user, and does not require the user to manually enter and validate their location every time their softphone is activated. Click here to learn more about the ESL for Avaya IP Softphones.
911 Enable is pleased to announce that its virtual booth is now live in the Cisco Partner Space! This virtual booth was created as part of 911 Enable’s participation in the Cisco Developer Network, at the Solution Partner level.
The Cisco Partner Space (www.ciscopartnerspace.com) is an interactive platform that allows Cisco customers and Partners to connect and collaborate in a virtual 3D environment. If you haven’t visited the site yet, you should log in and take a look around – it’s an interesting way to learn more about Cisco’s different Partners.
At the 911 Enable booth, you can chat live with an E911 specialist, download our latest Cisco-related documentation, and more. To find us, simply click here and log in to the Cisco Partner Space.
Screen Shot of 911 Enable’s Virtual Booth in the Cisco Partner Space
VoiceCon San Francisco starts less than one week from today, on November 2, when an estimated 4,500 people will descend on the Moscone North Convention Center to learn about the latest and greatest in IP-based enterprise communications. Several recurring themes appear throughout the VoiceCon agenda, and it’s important that attendees think about E911 as they contemplate these subjects, notably:
- The implementation/integration of Microsoft OCS
- The increased deployment of SIP phones
- Communications mobility, from teleworkers to wifi phones
- The increased prominence of hosted services and solutions
- Advancing the communications network when budgets are tight
All of the above impact how your organization provides E911 access to users. Taking the “implement now, ask questions later” approach can create, at best, an avoidable headache for you and your IPT team, and at worst, a tragic and avoidable disaster for your entire organization.
Obviously, the sessions at VoiceCon can’t possibly conduct 360° reviews of every topic on the agenda. But if you want to know the E911 issues you also need to consider, or to discuss what you’ve heard at VoiceCon with our E911 team, stop by our booth (#406) in the exhibit hall, or attend the Breakout Session “IPT in E911 and Crisis Situations,” with 911 Enable Director Lev Deich on Thursday, November 5, at 9:00am in room 120.
Click here to learn more about VoiceCon San Francisco.
Click here to read Eric Krapf’s post on E911 on nojitter.com.
Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired and use Video Relay Service (VRS) may not have access to the help they need when they dial 911. Without an E911 solution, the VRS provider may be unable to connect the caller to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which can have serious consequences.
911 Enable offers its Emergency Routing Service (ERS) as a solution for VRS providers. The ERS provides connectivity to over 6,000 PSAPs across the US and Canada, so VRS callers have access to accurate E911 service regardless of their calling area.
To learn more about 911 Enable’s solution for VRS providers, click here to view an article on this topic.
As of July 1, 2009, the state of Massachusetts requires organizations to provide a callback number and the caller’s precise location to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) when 911 is dialed. The level of precision required in the location information depends on the organization type, and may be far more granular than what many may currently have provisioned. Fortunately, a solution can be easily and cost-effectively deployed. Click here to learn more!
Many IP-PBX phone systems require users to dial 9 for an outside line, and 1 to place a long distance call, so it’s easy to see how a sensitive keypad or slip of the hand can result in an accidental 911 call being placed by an unsuspecting user.
For many organizations, preventing these accidental 911 calls from going to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is a priority. Misdialed 911 calls can delay the answering of real emergency calls, cause fines to be levied against an organization, and foster complacency in security staff when the majority of 911 calls are accidents instead of emergencies.
To eliminate the frequency of misdialed 911 calls, 911 Enable’s Emergency Gateway (EGW) has a misdial protection feature which helps organizations reduce the number of accidental 911 calls that reach emergency services. This feature redirects all 911 calls to a brief recording that notifies callers they have dialed 911 and are in the process of being connected to emergency services. Callers can hang up if the call is an accidental misdial, or connect to the PSAP for immediate assistance if it is an emergency call, with minimal delay. Additionally, accidental misdials are tracked in the EGW’s call detail records, to allow organizations to track and manage their misdialed calls.
Click here to learn more about 911 Enable’s EGW.
To connect a distressed caller with the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), organizations with IP phone systems need an accurate and reliable call routing service. For small and medium businesses (SMBs) and Cisco deployments using Cisco Emergency Responder (CER), the largest E911 challenge they face may well be implementing a cost-effective call routing solution that also supports branch offices and work-at-home employees.
911 Enable’s Emergency Routing Service (ERS) offers an easy-to-deploy call routing solution that is cost-effective, reduces administrative burden, and supports branch offices and work-at-home employees. It provides the largest E911 coverage in the industry, includes a national ALI database which can be updated in real-time, and complies with FCC, CRTC, and NENA i2 standards. To learn how it works, see the links below: