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E911 and the Cloud: Dovetailing with Voice App Consolidation


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March 11, 2010

E911 and the Cloud: Dovetailing with Voice App Consolidation

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Those of us who follow the technology and especially the IP communications space know that cloud computing and its cousins – Software-as-a-Service, virtualization, hosted solutions and so on – are transforming the way businesses and individuals store, find and share information.

Emergency communications is no exception – and one expert recently shared his views on some of the ways that enhanced 911 is leveraging cloud-based technology. Enhanced 911 or “E911” leverages location-based technology to help emergency responders pinpoint the exact whereabouts of distressed callers.
According to Nick Maier, senior vice president at Chicago-based E911 solutions provider RedSky Technologies, cloud-based E911 is evolving into two models. First, there’s a hybrid solution for larger, more complex enterprises that combines on-premise servers and software with consolidated cloud-based 9-1-1 call routing. Then there’s a fully hosted E911 solution for small and mid-sized organizations with more basic emergency calling requirements.
“For organizations with more complex communications networks and requirements, on-premise servers and software still represent the best path to E911 location information management primarily due to the cost-savings that result from a fully automated solution that captures, manages and delivers real-time location information for all voice clients on the network,” Maier told TMCnet.
He knows what he’s talking about. At VoiceCon in Orlando, Maier will serve on a panel during a breakout session, “IPT and E911 in Crisis Situations,” to be held at 8 a.m. on March 23.

During our interview, Maier noted that last year, RedSky (News - Alert) launched E911 Anywhere Network Services, which captures all 9-1-1 calls in the data center along with the location information from the on-premise E911 software and sends them to an E911 service “in the cloud” that routes the emergency call its location to any public safety answering point in the United States and Canada.
“This service is really taking off because it aligns perfectly with customers who are consolidating their voice applications in the data center and supporting their connected sites with IP trunking,” he said. “For SMB customers with fewer locations, phones and users, a pure cloud-based E911 solution such as our E911 Anywhere Hosted represents a fast, cost effective way to comply with E911 legislation and speed emergency response. There is no software to buy and it’s easy to set up.”

Michael Dinan is a group managing editor for TMCnet, overseeing TMCnet's Web editorial team and covering news in the IP communications, CRM and VoIP industries. He also oversees production of e-Newsletters in the areas of 4G wireless technology and smart products. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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