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E911 and UCaaS: What Enterprises Need to Know
Successfully managing enterprise 911 location and call routing requires taking advantage of automation capabilities to reduce or eliminate manual processes for tracking user location. This need is even more urgent as organizations rapidly migrate from on-premises phone systems to cloud-based UC platforms.
Today, most UCaaS providers only support per-phone manual location configuration, making it impractical for customers to configure Enhanced 911 (E911) location information as deployments scale into hundreds or thousands of phones. This is especially the case when users frequently change location or shift to work-from-home.
Misconfigurations and the inability to track the movement of phones could potentially lead to first responders being dispatched to the wrong location or to a location without sufficient granular information, such as floor, wing, desk, or office. Not only does this create liability risks for organizations, it fails to meet E911 regulatory requirements.
Complex location management procedures and workflows can also result in organizations incurring significant administrative costs associated with location management, as well as facing deployment delays.
What organizations need to counter these risks and challenges is an automated solution that leverages Next Generation 911 (NG911) standards. This would enable endpoints to determine their own location, in real-time, even as they are moved throughout the office or to the home in support of telework.
An automated location management solution reduces not only the administrative burden on IT resources, but also operational costs. It helps organizations meet their regulatory obligations and remain ahead of emergent E911 regulations. Automated location management accelerates rollouts and enables organizations to realize maximum value as quickly as possible. Most importantly, it reduces human error that can result in routing a 911 call to the wrong Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) with inaccurate location information, and, as such, potentially improving emergency response outcomes.
UCaaS providers can leverage NG911 location management capabilities to provide granular location management for their customers, and to allow dynamic tracking of user locations without requiring users or administrators to configure location information manually. The emergence of NG911 standards enables dynamic location management even as endpoints are moved throughout the office or to the home to support telework. Over time, NG911 will offer support for dynamic location tracking for a growing number of UCaaS software clients and desktop phones.
If you have a current or future cloud-based UC deployment and are looking to simplify E911 location management, or to comply with state and federal E911 requirements, then please download our most recent whitepaper, “What Enterprises Need to Know about E911 and UCaaS,” written in collaboration with Nemertes Research. The whitepaper is a deep dive into E911 compliance, E911 location management challenges, the state of E911 management in UCaaS, and how to leverage NG911 to support UCaaS.