This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
The launch of Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync, the new unified communications platform from the folks in Redmond, Wash., represents a new era in terms of how enterprise networks handle emergency calling.
Microsoft is the first company to use IP phones that store their own location information. Among other uses, emergency dispatchers at public safety answering points can use this information in the event of a 911 call. The process Microsoft Lync uses to retrieve this information is equally ground-breaking. When an IP phone plugs into the network, it registers with the Microsoft Lync call server and sends a request to a network element called a location information server, or LIS, which returns a location object that is stored on the device. In the event of a 911 call, this location object is sent out via the SIP addressing stream.
The way Microsoft Lync takes advantage of a LIS and smart SIP devices capable of storing their own location information represents a huge step forward in enterprise E911. It’s the first to market with a standards-based approach that also allows enterprises to leverage the next-generation 911 emergency networks being built by many states.
To take advantage of this revolutionary real-time location information transmission, Microsoft Lync networks need to be paired with a cloud-based E911 service that can take the location object and use the information to route the emergency call to the right PSAP. Going one step further, best-in-class hosted E911 services will not only route the 911 call and the location of the caller to emergency dispatchers, but also will send a notification back to the enterprise via SMS text message or e-mail to alert on-site security and administration that a 911 call is in progress.
This combination of quickly getting accurate location information into the hands of the right emergency responders and notifying on-site response teams of an in-progress emergency saves critical minutes and saves lives.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi