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Horizon Mobility BroadWorks Platform

A Guest Blog from RedSky Technologies

It’s 2:30 on a Sunday. Football season is over and spring training hasn’t started. So you head into the office to get ahead of a long week. No one is there, no distractions, just the pile of work. Halfway through the first white paper, the room starts to get hot. A pain in your right shoulder is getting stronger. The last thing you remember is dialing 9-1-1.

Here’s what happens.

Your 9-1-1 call is routed to the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP based on the address associated with your telephone number. If you’re lucky, the system administrator included your building address, floor, and room or area when they provisioned your phone. Sometimes they do, sometimes they only put the building address. Sometimes, they just leave the main billing address, which may be in a different state.

That is what the law requires them to do. Less than half of the states have any regulations about 9-1-1 and multiple line telephone systems. Less than half of those require the system operator to put room level detail in the 9-1-1 database.

Back to you. Your system administrator put the building address, but not floor or room data into the 9-1-1 database. So, because you couldn’t tell the 9-1-1 call taker where you were or what the problem was, they send the police. The police come to the building, find the front door locked, and go back on patrol.

Or

Back to you. Your system administrator put the building address including floor or room data into the 9-1-1 database. So, because you couldn’t tell the 9-1-1 call taker where you were or what the problem was, they send the police. The police come to the building, find the front door locked, call dispatch to contact the building manager to let them in. When they get to your office, they start CPR and call the Emergency Medical Techs.

Or

Back to you. Your system administrator put the building address including floor or room data into the 9-1-1 database. So, because you couldn’t tell the 9-1-1 call taker where you were or what the problem was, they send the police. The police come to the building, find the front door locked, call dispatch to contact the building manager to let them in. When they get to your office, no one is there. Why? Because you moved your phone a month ago and forgot to tell anyone.

You're toast right? Not anymore.

BroadSoft worked with RedSky Technologies on a new 9-1-1 solution that accomplishes three goals Find. Route. Notify. Welcome to Horizon® Mobility. It makes sure your 9-1-1 calls are delivered to the right 9-1-1 call taker without manual provisioning every time you move your telephone.

FIND. Every time your Polycom, Cisco, or Yealink phone powers up, resets its software, or changes it IP address, it pushes its local connectivity data like MAC and IP into the RedSky Horizon® Mobility cloud. Based on this data, Horizon® Mobility now knows exactly where in the enterprise your phone is. It doesn’t matter in which building on what floor or even in what state you are in. All of this happens in the background without you having to do anything. No more service orders. Your location is updated in real time.

ROUTE. Now that Horizon® Mobility knows where you are, when you dial 9-1-1, your call will be routed to the location appropriate PSAP. Not only will your 9-1-1 call get delivered where it is supposed to be; the call taker will see your location with all of the granularity that was built into the system.

NOTIFY. Remember when the front door was locked? Horizon® Mobility can pop a screen at the security desk, or send a text message to the security patrol or even send an email to the building manager. All of these notifications should trigger a response based on the day/time and location. That means the front gate will be expecting lights and sirens and ready to get them to the right building. Someone in security might have checked your office, found you, and called 9-1-1 again and received CPR instructions from the call taker. Remember, seconds save lives.

But wait!

Your shop is heavy into softphones that employees take home or on the road. Does Horizon® Mobility work with UC-One or Team-One? It does. When the softphone is outside the physical enterprise, an application that runs in the background prompts the user to tell the system where it is. If it is a “smart device” an address is suggested. If not, the address is only as good as the user knows. It’s this location that is used to Route a 9-1-1 call anywhere in the United States and Canada. It also has some intelligence built into it. If you take your laptop home every night, the app knows where you are without you telling it the second time you get home.

So why do this if your state doesn’t require you to? Aside from providing a safe environment for your employees and guests, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1221 v2016) has issued a Standard that says you have to, much like the Standard that guides sprinklers and alarm panels. Not enough? The Federal Communication Commission (FCC Docket 17-239) is trying to figure out if they should impose a national regulation because the patchwork of state laws isn’t getting equal protection across the country.

The need for Horizon® Mobility increases in environments where BroadWorks excels—first, by supporting user mobility. If you were lucky enough to attend BroadSoft Connections in the last two years, you would have heard keynote after keynote telling you to prepare for users that will no longer be chained to the desk. Desk sets are being replaced with softphone clients like UC-One. They can go anywhere. The old 9-1-1 model just doesn’t work anymore. Think about the mechanic’s cart that has a laptop built in rolling around a factory that is three city blocks in size. Getting someone to the front door just isn’t good enough. Or because anyone can have corporate dial tone anywhere there is an internet connection, think about your road warriors sitting in any one of the 13,930 Starbucks in the US, setting up their next three appointments. All making calls that go back to the BroadWorks platform and then out into the public switched telephone network. User Mobility needs Horizon® Mobility.

For more information, please contact sales@redskytech.com.

Article Keywords: RedSky Technologies, BroadWorks

About the Author

Jerry Eisner, ENP, is the VP, of Public Safety at RedSky Technologies and has over thirty years of experience in public safety communications and volunteers with the National 9-1-1 Program Office, the National Emergency Number Association, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions Network Reliability Steering Committee.