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A mobile and hybrid workforce makes phone location and 911 call routing challenging. Explore ways to ensure your company is doing all it can to protect employees in an emergency.

For those who manage phone systems, a key responsibility is ensuring that calls to 911 are sent to the proper answering point, and accurate caller location information is available to emergency call center operators.

That task has been complicated by three fundamental paradigm shifts in the communications and calling space:

  • Employees are increasingly untethered to specific locations. They might work from home, a public space or from multiple hot desking workspaces within company offices.
  • More employees are relying on mobile devices — personal or company-provided — as their primary means of communication.
  • Cloud-based calling services are replacing on-premises private branch exchanges (PBXs), with varying capabilities to track user location. Their near ubiquity raises challenges and ensures that organizations are notified when a 911 call is placed on a personal smartphone from within an office location.
    The days of simply managing desktop telephones at fixed locations are over.

An effective Enhanced 911 (E911) compliance strategy has two important functions:

  1. To maintain accurate phone location information, regardless of the type of endpoint and whether it is on the enterprise network or remotely connected to company-provided phone services.
  2. To ensure 911 calls are transmitted to the proper emergency call center (ECC) or public safety answering point (PSAP) based on the caller’s current location. For example, if a person with a company office in Chicago is working from home in Milwaukee, the 911 call must reach the 911 operator in Milwaukee so emergency personnel are dispatched to the right location.

Meeting these goals in an ever-changing environment requires a proactive approach. Improper location management and call routing makes an organization vulnerable to regulatory liability, civil risk and, more importantly, employee health and safety.

Steps to ensure compliance and minimize risk

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