Smart911Connect – Changing the Game for MLTS/PBX E911

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For years I have been talking about the E911 problem in the enterprise. It’s my passion for the emergency services industry, coupled with my frustration from the technology side, that drives me forward.

In 2011 at the APCO show in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, emergency service Apps were starting to take hold and become the new technology rave. In the past, many have had similar ideas, however despite their novelty or innovation, none have received any widespread acceptance by the Public Safety industry. As far as understanding “why?” the industry felt this way, I can tell you that based on the information that I have, there hasn’t been a solid single reason.

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But then, in steps Smart911, by Rave Mobile Safety from Framingham Massachusetts. Smart911 supports PSAP’s in 28 states that serve more than 300 municipalities, protecting millions of citizens. With Smart911 citizens can create their own safety profiles online that contain details they would like to see displayed to the 911 dispatcher when their device originates a call. Instead of forcing the 911 operator in the PSAP to rely on ANI (your telephone number) received with the call, and forcing them to query the telco database to return location data that is stored against that telephone number (ALI), with Smart911 installed in the PSAP, the entire location conveyance process is drastically changed. With a Smart911 enabled PSAP, the Smart911 database is dynamically queried for each call arriving at the 911 center. When a match of the telephone number, pushes that all of this additional detail and information directly to the 911 dispatcher. So how does this affect, or better yet benefit, my PBX deployment?

MLTS/PBX E911 configuration has always, been considered as, a bit of a “black art”. Understanding how E911 works, is just as cryptic for many users. When you put the two together, it’s not difficult understand why you will have varying configurations both across networks of partners, or maybe even a single user swearing that there “PBX is possessed”, based on the way that its operating. Another challenge for enterprise class users, is getting relevant data to a 911 call taker. Although technology and automation exists to track user moves, quite often identifying to a IP subnet is not granular enough for either internal or external responders. Likewise, reporting to a very specific granular level can have the same affect. “HELP! I having chest pains, and I and in cube 2C231 in the 1527 Main St. building!”

Although that seems very detailed, it actually is not as the 911 dispatcher has no idea where cube 2C231 is located in the building. Not until now at least. You see, Smart911Connect is a comprehensive program based on the patented Smart911 platform. Its job is to provide the very first open, standards-based programming interface for third parties to deliver diverse data sets to 911 centers. The value for the enterprise PBX customer, comes from the Avaya DevConnect ecosystem of partners. No longer are localized 911 applications within the enterprise limited to archaic legacy 911 database entries (ANI/ALI) that are often difficult to maintain with accurate information in a timely manner without incurring a significant cost overhead. The enterprise can now take the intelligence that already exists in their network, and provided to Smart911, where it is in turn provided to the 911 call taker over an encrypted secure link.

In addition to Smart911Connect gaining widespread acceptance and support from PSAP’s, it is also received recognition within the industry from many leaving solution vendors including Avaya DevConnect Select Product Partner, Conveyant Systems.

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“Effectively delivering detailed real-time data on emergency callers from within a corporate campus has not been possible until now,” said Tim Kenyon ENP, president of Conveyant Systems, a Smart911Connect data partner and supplier of the SENTRY 911 ELM solution and TeleDirectory PC-based operator consoles for the enterprise. “Combining our Sentry solution with the Smart911Connect platform exposes relevant real-time MLTS/PBX data from enterprise networks, providing [emergency 911] call takers with exact location within a large campus, and response instructions specific to that locale. As a result the issues and expense with inaccurate and static private switch automatic location information (PS-ALI) can finally be eliminated.”

On the public safety side, Smart911Connect is already partnering with Cassidian Communications, manufacturers of CTI integration products for 911 call centers, and network provider Telecommunication Systems Inc. (TCS), who is also a leading player in the industry for text to 911 initiatives recently announced by the Federal Communications Commission.

While many in the industry are worrying how to bridge the technology gap between today’s archaic analog-based, voice only 911 network, and tomorrow’s framework of a NENA i3, environment, Smart911, Conveyant, TCS and others, took the action to deliver this new level of data to ANY PSAP today, using technology available today, at a price point that is affordable, and often less than what enterprises are paying today. Next Generation 911 networks are well underway, and in the deployment stage. Even though there is no question that NG 911 networks will become widespread in the next 3 to 5 years, there is no longer any reason to delay the deployment of technology such as this right now.

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The model above is simple.
(1) Caller ID/ANI is delivered over the network as it does TODAY
(2) A Smart911 enabled PSAP queries the Smart911 network for matching ANI
(3) If a match exists, Smart911 queries the relevant SENTRY Server in the MLTS environment
(4) The additional data is then conveyed to the 911 Call Taker.

Building the NG911 network of tomorrow is very similar to building, or should I say replacing, and old tired bridge over a river. We can’t take the old one down, to put a new one in its place because of heavy commuter traffic, and we’ve repaired it time and time again to make it last. At some point you need to build the new bridge while you continue to use the old bridge. When the new bridge is done, is simply divert the traffic, and if you’ve done your job correctly, the traffic jams for commuters become a thing of the past.

I feel this is the way NG911 should be built as well. Why not deploy technology such as Smart911, as I consider that “low hanging fruit” with a dramatic increase in technology and situational awareness for several communities of users. If you want more information on the Rave Mobile Safety Smart911 solution, you can find them on the web at www.smart911connect.com. You can also find Avaya DevConnect Select Product partner Conveyant Systems, in the Avaya DevConnect marketplace at www.devconnectmarketplace.com where you can find information on their Sentry product, and integration with Smart911Connect, as well as a listing of all partners in the Avaya DevConnect ecosystem.

Want more on the Enterprise side of this?
Don’t forget to join me on February 20, where IAUG and Avaya will be hosting a webinar specifically taking a deep dive into this new environment for enterprises. Be sure to check out the IAUG website at www.IAUG.org for more details. You can also follow me on Twitter under #APNpodcast and @Fletch911, and you’ll also find my colleague Guy Clinch and his weekly podcast, Avaya Tech Talk. You can follow Guy on Twitter, @Gclinch.

Thanks for reading the Avaya CONNECTED Blog! We’ll see you next week!


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Until next week. . . dial carefully.

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