TMCnews Featured Article
April 04, 2012
Finding the Right Fit in E911
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Finding the right fit in E911 services takes several variables into account. You want to be in compliance with state laws regarding E911, but you also want the best system that fits the needs of your company in keeping employees safe and to keep your liability risks as low as possible.
According to this RedSky (News - Alert) white paper, smaller companies are finding success with PS-ALI accounts bought through their local law enforcement centers. Smaller companies generally have fewer phone lines, which is perfectly suited for a PS-ALI.
With a larger company, however, the needs become more complex. They tend have many more phone lines, any of which could beckon the services of a first responder.
A wiser choice for larger enterprise is a solution that is based on the premises. These larger companies are also looking at managed solutions. For instance, companies that have older technology such as TDM PBXs, using a managed service allows technicians to inform the managing service provider the location of phones, which can be plugged into the database for automating purposes.
Gaining steam on these E911 options is the hosted model of service, or SaaS (News - Alert) model. This was originally established to offer services to the growing networks that support mobile phones. But the service has evolved to where companies pay monthly fees for services that take your company’s 911 calls and routes them to the service.
The service then takes that call and routes it through to a public safety answering point.E911 offers enhancements such as on-site notification. These systems will monitor the PBX (News - Alert) for any 911 call. It will then automatically send an alert, perhaps in the form of a text message or email, to alert the people who need to know that a 911 call has been made, and from which phone. The enhancements also include location data that is always maintained.
Systems that aren’t monitored are more prone to error, especially when it comes to location data for phones. An audit of every phone in the enterprise can help make sure that the database is current and error free.In choosing which E911 service is best, small, medium, large, and extra large companies have several choices.
Massive companies with 25,000-plus phones will go with on-promise E911 software with 911 call notification, and in some cases, will also take on a national call routing service. Large and medium-sized businesses will also take on-premise software as their E911 solution, but they will also consider hosted solutions. Smaller businesses generally find a good fit in PS-ALI solutions.
Edited by Juliana Kenny