West Corporation

Posted on July 15, 2013 by West Corporation 



The Elements of a Great E9-1-1 RFP

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A well-researched and comprehensive E9-1-1 Request For Proposal (RFP) is an invaluable tool when selecting an E9-1-1 solution for your organization. It allows you to easily evaluate competing solutions and clearly decide, which one is most appropriate for your unique deployment. Getting the information you need to make an informed decision does not have to be a challenging or complicated matter, if you make sure to include a few key elements in your E9-1-1 RFP.

Elements of a Great E9-1-1 Request For Proposal

PART 1: Your Organization’s Communications Deployment

The first element of a great E9-1-1 RFP is to include a section that provides detailed information about your organization’s communications deployment. For example, the IP-PBX(s) and IP phones your organization has implemented (or plans to implement), your network infrastructure architecture, the number of existing and/or planned teleworkers, your use of on-site security staff, and additional location-specific details. This data allows an E9-1-1 solution vendor to craft a response that adequately addresses your organization’s unique network and its requirements.

Part 2: Required Features

The second key element of a great E9-1-1 RFP is to make sure it includes detailed questions focused on the features you need. Not all E9-1-1 solutions are created equally, so it is important that you ask the vendor to clearly explain the specifics of each feature that forms part of their enterprise solution. For example, when issuing an E9-1-1 RFP, many organizations look for automatic IP phone tracking capabilities.

However, not all enterprise solutions offer the same degree of automatic IP phone tracking capabilities.

Some solutions only support one method of phone tracking, whether it’s switch-based (Layer 2), subnet-based (Layer 3), or wireless-based. Or if they support multiple phone tracking methods, you may discover restrictive caveats – such as infrastructure requirements or limited support for specific types of phones – that could make the solution unworkable in your environment. Only by asking clear and specific questions about the solution’s automatic phone tracking features will you be able to determine whether the vendor offers the capabilities your organization needs.

Part 3: Q&A of Vendor’s Solution & Delivery

The third key element of a great E9-1-1 RFP is to make sure the vendor clearly explain how their solution works, by asking probing questions and requesting that the vendor provides solution diagrams. This goes beyond explaining what their features offer, into detailing exactly how their solution would deliver these features within your environment.

The benefit of this Q&A section is two-fold.

  1. First, it requires the vendor to show that they understand your architecture and how it would be impacted by the implementation of their E9-1-1 solution; and,
  2. Second, it forces the vendor to indicate whether any additional solution components are required, which may represent hidden costs or management requirements outside of the scope of the E9-1-1 solution itself.

911 Enable’s E9-1-1 RFP Prep Guide delves into the essential elements of E9-1-1 RFPs, detailing the key questions to ask and the common pitfalls to avoid when writing an E9-1-1 RFP for your organization.

To learn more, you can Download the Document Here.

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