Friday, April 14, 2006

Make VoIP Tracking A Breeze

eTelemetry Introduces Locate911, A Low-Cost e911 Compliance Solution

More and more businesses are deploying VoIP telephony because of perceived cost and productivity benefits. Under FCC rules, each business must know where those VoIP phones are and who is assigned to each phone at all times. So if you’re contemplating VoIP and want to minimize the tasks for compliance with the FCC’s e911 mandate, a look at a product called Locate911 is advised.

Locate911 is a plug-and-play appliance from eTelemetry that provides real-time VoIP location tracking by automatically linking the VoIP phone to building/room and person.

Contact info is dynamically pulled from the organization’s system of record and may be shared with your call management system or other enterprise solutions via XML Web services. This provides the accurate ALI (Automatic Location Identification) the FCC requires for e911 compliance.

Managers can lock a phone to a specific location (for example, the phone will not work if it is moved)—or they can configure Locate911 to email the assigned end user when the device is moved. The end user must then approve the move and verify the location of the IP phone before the phone will work again. In this way, IP phone losses are reduced, and the location of the phone is always known without devoting staff time to the effort of tracking assets and administering changes manually.

Installation is quick and easy. When the appliance is connected and VoIP phone documentation is loaded, Locate911 automatically discovers all phone locations. The data is available on a searchable, exportable database that includes the phone IP address, MAC address, network switch and port, physical location, and all contact information for the assigned user.

The Locate911 price is $2,995 with unlimited licenses.

Competing products include Redsky Technology's E911 Manager (www.redskytech.com) and Cisco Systems’ CallManager Emergency Responder (www.cisco.com), which only works with CallManager and Cisco’s equipment. Both products handle traditional as well as VoIP telephony but do not provide asset tracking capability (no locking down or asset change verification), and each is significantly more expensive than Locate911. Total costs for a 100-license E911 Manager installation are close to $10,000. Costs for a 100-license Emergency Responder installation are about $4,600, not counting fees for auditing and installation.

by Alan Petraske

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