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What Enterprises Need to Know about E911 and UCaaS

Published on: October 6, 2020

Author: Irwin Lazar, Vice President and Service Director

Successfully managing 911 location and call routing in the enterprise requires automation 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 Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). Absent an easy way to manage location, organizations create several potential risks including:

  • Delays in migrating, leading to revenue loss by UCaaS operators, as well as an inability to rapidly leverage new features by customers
  • Excessive administration cost due to reliance on labor-intensive manual processes for initial configuration as well as moves-adds-changes-deletions
  • Complex administrative schemes that make it difficult to validate compliance with Federal, State, and local / municipal E911 regulations.

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, especially as users frequently change location or shift to work-from-home. Misconfigurations, and/or the inability to track the movement of phones, could potentially lead to first responders dispatched to the wrong location, or to a location without sufficient granular information, such as floor, wing, desk, or office.

What is needed is an automated solution that leverages Next Generation 911 (NG911) standards to enable endpoints to determine their own location, in real-time, even as they are moved throughout the office or to the home to support telework. Over time, NG911 will offer support for dynamic location tracking for softphones, as well. Adoption of such a solution:

  • Reduces administrative burden and operational cost
  • Speeds rollouts to enable customers to realize maximum value as quickly as possible
  • Ensures auditable processes to enable compliance
  • Reduces potential for human error that can result in incorrect location information being transmitted, or the routing of 911 calls to the wrong PSAP.

This report provides insight into UCaaS adoption trends, E911 requirements, and how enterprise IT leaders and UCaaS providers can optimize E911 management by leveraging NG911-based location tracking capabilities.

Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • UCaaS Adoption Accelerating
  • E911 Compliance: What You Need to Know
  • E911 Location Management: The Challenge of Shifting to the Cloud
  • The State of E911 Management in UCaaS
  • Leveraging NG911 to Support UCaaS
    • Defining NG911
  • E911 and “Bring Your Own Carrier”
  • Future Availability of NG911
  • Conclusion


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