Authors: Barry O'Sullivan
It seems like every five years a major shift takes place and is debated at the collaboration industry’s premier conference: VoiceCon. Now called Enterprise Connect, this year’s conference got underway yesterday in Orlando, FL.
In 2001, the great debate was around the convergence of voice and data, as industry leaders...
Authors: Nadee Gunasena
Last week, Cisco Digital Media Systems (DMS) wrapped up another year at the world’s largest international trade show and conference dedicated to digital signage – the Digital Signage Expo 2011, held in Las Vegas. This year’s event came at an exciting time, just as Cisco was able to announce its 3000-customer milestone in...
Authors: Lync Team
Interoperability (sometimes also shortened to just “interop”) is a topic that the Lync team pays a lot of attention to. And interop isn’t just a focus for us—it has been a huge topic in the unified communications industry as well. At the Enterprise Connect conference in March and the Lync sessions at...
Authors: Leslie Ferry
A modern day Thomas Edison. The Jack Welch of the telecommunications industry. If you have not yet heard of Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, his biography does not make for light reading (http://bit.ly/gAFnmn). Well known for his revolutionary role with AT&T as President of Bell Laboratories, CIO and CTO until 2006, Business ...
Authors: Avaya Insights
So, this week is Interop, Las Vegas. "Geeks Go Gambling?" That, in a way, is the subtitle to this blog. The answer is...not really. Let me explain.
Engineers are notoriously analytical. About everything. Just ask their spouses. And when it comes to hosting a bunch of engineers...
Authors: Avaya Insights
Like I wrote a few weeks ago, a few things have changed since I was last a CTO.
The very first "TCP/IP Interoperability Conference" was held in the fall of 1986. There were some lapel pins printed up that read "Geeks By The Bay in Monterey". There were less than 100 people in attendance, three companies...
Authors: Avaya Insights
As I'm sitting here, eating my Father's Day breakfast that my daughter Haley cooked for me, a day early, I'm reminded of the best father's day gift that I ever got from anyone. But it didn't come on Father's Day.
That gift was given to me by the 911 industry back in October of 2009. To make a long story short, I was lying on...
Among the most critically important functions of government is the communications interface between the organizations that provide public safety services and the civilian population. Predominantly this function is served by the Public Safety Answering Point. The PSAP is the call answering center that receives incoming 9-1-1 calls and either coordinates directly or functions as the communications lynchpin between the public and the dispatch and command and control of police, fire and emergency medical services.
As citizens we might think that this particular function of government would be on the top of the list of priorities for the allocation of government resources. After all it is truly of first line of defense against all manner of disruption to our society and most of us pay specific taxes to support 9-1-1.
The fact is that although this critical government function has served our society well for most of the over 30 years since the 9-1-1 system's inception, in recent years 9-1-1 in North America has atrophied. The system has suffered from decreased investments while at the same time the rapid evolution of communications technologies used by the public has outstripped the ages old system's ability to function. Even though dramatic new technologies for the communication of information have evolved, the 9-1-1 system today remains almost exclusively voice oriented and primarily based on analog technologies.
This is all about to change. Led by organizations including the National Emergency Number Association and the US Department of Transportation a roadmap to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) has been developed. This visionary future is based on modern communications protocols and a rich environment for potential innovation. Money is beginning to flow and the industry is seeing new Requests for Proposals based on the NG9-1-1 vision emerging all across the country.
Now the hard part: making it real.
One of the key challenges for the 9-1-1 industry is not only that it has fallen behind in technology investment but that it has also fallen out of pace with the many innovations that have swept the commercial world. I have nothing but the highest level of respect for the people and vendors who have created this system and who through many years of challenges have kept it running. The plain fact, however, is that in some ways this is an industry that has been trapped in time. The lack of public investment in the 9-1-1 system has meant that the tremendous innovations we have seen in the commercial world, have in many cases, skipped over the 9-1-1 industry.
Innovation in the 9-1-1 industry had become Balkanized and prior to a recent spate of industry consolidations dominated by niche firms who have solved point problems in serial fashion. An example of the impact of this innovation gap is that basic telephony concepts that drive operational efficiency in linking resources to problems such as Automatic Call Distribution are absent from all but the largest and most sophisticated of operations. The average commercial contact center agent even in the most distant geography has far superior problem solving tools at his or her disposal than the person who is responsible for making sure the ambulance arrives expediently at our home if one of our loved ones is in dire need of emergency services.
Next Generation 9-1-1 is a significant challenge. Much great thought and collaboration between the Public Safety community and vendors both traditional as well as new innovators has been put into the design. I don't mean to say that there is any deficiency there. What I do mean is that sometimes we don't know - what we don't know. There are additional layers of value that if applied, will help to create the emergency safety net of the future that our society deserves.
This is not just a challenge for those most familiar with public safety. We all have a stake in this transition. The change that is coming to the world of public safety communications will only include the best practices that have been developed outside the 9-1-1 industry to link resources to problems if those of us who understand these technologies, operational concepts and implementation of modern contact centers insert ourselves into the public dialog during this time of significant new official interest and investment in 9-1-1.
Avaya has begun to make our voice heard. Will you join the chorus? Please visit the Avaya.com to learn more: http://www.avaya.com/usa/solution/public-safety