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Leveraging Next Generation 911 to Support UCaaS
Managing locations for unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) deployments that scale into the hundreds or thousands of phones while supporting a large at-home or remote workforce can quickly escalate to a challenging task for any enterprise or UCaaS provider. Without the right automated E911 management technology, organizations may find that migrating to UCaaS requires additional administrative resources and time for managing E911 locations for all users effectively and for maintaining compliance with appropriate federal and state laws, resulting in significant costs and deployment delays.
NG911 and E911 Location Management
Simplifying E911 location management can be done by leveraging Next Generation 911 (NG911) technology. Rather than maintaining a static database that IT must regularly update, NG911 is able to use network-level information to assign the initial location of an endpoint, track its movement, and deliver the location data with a 911 call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
NG911 location management capabilities not only provide granular location management, they enable dynamic tracking of user locations without requiring users or administrators to configure location information manually. Automating E911 location management with NG911 technology represents a cost-effective and efficient solution for managing enterprise-wide E911 location data, allowing budget-conscious organizations to deploy their UCaaS platform in a timely fashion.
Leveraging NG911 for BYOC Options
Many organizations, especially large companies with global operations, see benefit in using bring your own carrier (BYOC) options that allow them to maintain their own SIP trunking as they migrate to UCaaS. With the BYOC model, they can take advantage of NG911-based dynamic location management capabilities by either leveraging a third-party E911 call routing service or using a combined SIP and E911 provider.
The Future Availability of NG911 for UCaaS
NG911 greatly simplifies both the initial setup of E911 location configuration and the ongoing administration of E911 location information. As a result, NG911 for location management is quickly gaining widespread support from phone manufacturers as well as UCaaS providers within their softphone apps. However, most UCaaS providers do not yet support NG911 capabilities. In most cases, manual intervention is still required to update locations, meaning additional cost, complexity, and potential for error for UCaaS providers and clients.
UCaaS and phone providers can team up with an E911 management vendor like Intrado for implementing automated location determination and call routing solutions. These services enable UCaaS providers to support vast deployments of softphones with a mix of onsite and remote users while meeting RAY BAUM’S Act requirements that will be effective for fixed devices on Jan. 6, 2021, and non-fixed clients on Jan. 6, 2022.
If you have a current or future cloud-based UC deployment and are looking to simplify E911 location management, or need to comply with state and federal E911 requirements, then please download our most recent whitepaper, “What Enterprises Need to Know about E911 and UCaaS.” 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.