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Enhancing Unified Communications with E911

Productivity, flexibility, and cost-savings are three of the most common benefits we hear about when we ask enterprises about UC's value. But one of the least discussed -- and arguably most important -- benefits is safety.

The Relationship Between E911 and UC
UC disrupts the physical association of a caller's location to an address; users can access the corporate voice network from virtually anywhere and can log in and log out of various phones with ease. Meanwhile, to support their UC systems, enterprises are implementing SIP trunks that centralize voice traffic, thus eliminating the connection between a caller and the location where the call exits the network. Ultimately, when a caller places a 911 call, the enterprise doesn't necessarily know where that caller is, to what public safety answering point (PSAP) to send the call, or even that 911 was dialed in the first place.

E911 support for UC systems is required by law in many parts of the country. It is essential for ensuring user safety and necessary to help protect against liability in the event of an emergency. As UC solutions have become prevalent in the enterprise, technologies have emerged that allow organizations to leverage the flexibility enabled by UC while simultaneously enhancing the way they handle emergencies.

E911 and UC: Working Together
E911 solutions for UC provide users with access to the assistance they need regardless of the devices they are using to place emergency calls. Beyond just providing reliable emergency calling support, these solutions add value to the deployment. They automate caller-location determination processes, enabling enterprises to integrate security personnel in the emergency response and pull together additional data to provide an augmented picture of the situation, all while staying on top of the latest trends. The result is a safer environment for everyone on the network.

UC and 911's Future
Even as enterprises start to adopt E911 solutions that address the rich feature set of UC, the promise of IP-based Next Generation 911 (NG911) is on the horizon. As such, enterprises are starting to plan how they can best leverage this new public safety network. This means that savvy organizations are not just looking to meet their needs today, but are identifying solutions with roadmaps to transition to the new NG911 architecture.

Understanding how 911 and UC can work together to provide your enterprise with enhanced capabilities that keep users safe and future-proof your network can be a large undertaking. West's Fall Webinar Series aims to break down these hot-button topics into the need-to-know information that will help your enterprise protect your network. Register now for one, two, or all three webinars, and learn more!