Network changes that compromise E9-1-1 often serve as a catalyst for action, spurring organizations to search for a new E9-1-1 solution. As organizations convert their legacy voice solution to VoIP or upgrade their Unified Communications system to a new version, they often discover that their old E9-1-1 solution does not make the transition seamlessly, putting them in conflict with their own E9-1-1 standards and/or the E9-1-1 requirements legislated by the state.
By asking a few simple questions when evaluating E9-1-1 solutions, you can avoid the same problem when the time comes to upgrade your system again.
The first question to ask is how an E9-1-1 solution provider handles upgrades.
Such as, do they stay up-to-date with the latest version of your selected system? Will your organization be required to purchase a new version of the E9-1-1 solution to stay in line with the latest from Unified Communication features, or are version upgrades included as part of the standard maintenance? The answers to these questions will give you a clue as to how labour-intensive your E9-1-1 solution will be, and what hidden costs you can expect over the solution’s life-cycle.
The next question to ask is how flexible the E9-1-1 solution is to support your organization’s upgrade process? Case in point: organizations running multiple instances of a UC system may find it impractical to upgrade the entire network simultaneously. Can your provider still deliver seamless E911 support for all your users, even in the case of a phased upgrade process? Knowing how your E9-1-1 solution works with the UC upgrade process will allow you to avoid any “gotcha!” surprises when you begin an upgrade.
The final question to ask is does the E9-1-1 solution support the rich features offered by the Unified Communications system vendor, or will you have to compromise this advanced functionality to ensure the safety of your users?
For example, wireless endpoints are becoming more common in the enterprise, with users running softphones on laptops as their primary communication device. Even if your organization has not deployed softphones, you still want your E9-1-1 solution to be capable of providing detailed location information for these types of endpoints, should your organization elect to deploy these devices in the future.
Network changes need not render your E9-1-1 solution obsolete. By asking the right questions when selecting your E9-1-1 solution, you can avoid needlessly having to replace your E9-1-1 solution again.
To learn more about how to choose an E9-1-1 solution, attend 911 Enable’s upcoming webinar series, Choosing the Right E9-1-1 Solution for Your Deployment www.911enable.com/pages/2014_fall_webinars