As originally published in NoJitter.
It can be difficult to know where to begin evaluating and solving emergency response and safety in the enterprise. IT/telecom professionals have to choose the best solution for their organization, launch the project, analyze their current voice environment, and advance the project—all while engaging all the pertinent organizational stakeholders.
Implementing the platform and finally graduating the project into day two ongoing support is a mammoth undertaking. How can these professionals carve out additional time and resources while supporting all the daily activities and projects already on the calendar?
Start by employing qualified subject matter experts to facilitate each phase of the project. Not only will doing so distribute the required workload at each step, but it will also save valuable time to compliancy. (Note that multiple organizational stakeholders will coordinate the effort with the enterprise 911 software/service provider while interacting with the local Emergency Call Center authorities to assure a coordinated effort of emergency reporting and response.)
The enterprise NG/E911 project can be segmented into five distinct elements:
- Assessment: This is a deep dive into the voice network to understand the exact 911 location, routing, emergency onsite notification, and regulatory requirements that this voice network needs to facilitate, as well as the enterprise’s policies and procedures regarding emergency reporting and response. An assessment will require interdepartmental cooperation to retrieve voice core, IT and voice network facilities, voice endpoint device inventories. The complete analysis must produce a needs assessment, converted into an easy-to-understand gap analysis that articulates the deficiencies of FCC compliancy within the organizations. Once the preliminary analyses have been completed, the project facilitators can begin to define a solution to address these gaps and ensure full legal compliance. They define the scope of the solution and the timeframes for implementing the solution.
- Evaluation: After they’ve completed the analysis, the enterprise project team applies the gap analysis findings to the development of a request for proposal (RFP). The statement of work (SOW), technical requirements, the scope of the project, service level agreements (SLA), with past clients who had similar requirements are all included in the RFP. In addition, the RFP needs to include stated organizational policy and procedures which software/service providers will address and adhere to with its RFP response. The RFP must be written fairly and neutrally. The project team must devise evaluation tools and a framework methodology to fully evaluate each enterprise NG/E911 solution provider.
- Selection: The selection process is framed around the RFP responses provided by the responding enterprise NG/E911 solution providers. Selection tools need to be created to properly compare the offers presented. Demonstration of all aspects of the operation and maintenance of the platform is required. Demonstration of administrator, end-user, and maintainers of the platform need thorough understanding of day-to-day activities. Future proofing of the NG/E911 solution may be considered in the selection process. Allowing the enterprise to easily integrate to a newly installed NG911 public ESInet may be a necessary consideration.
- Implementation: Approach the implementation as a coordinated team effort between the enterprise and the software/service provider. Both IT and client project managers should work together to re-engage each the organization’s key stakeholder’s to properly timeline and allocate departmental resources to successfully meet milestones of the project. When putting together the implementation team, consider using qualified professionals focused precisely on enterprise emergency response. This may help to facilitate completion of the organization’s emergency response project on-time and on-budget with minimal operational disruption.
- Day Two Support: An enterprise NG/E911 solution is not a set-it-and-forget-it platform/application. One must deal with ongoing management and maintenance and stay up to date on the continuously evolving emergency response technology and regulatory ecosystem. Ongoing testing of the integrity of the solution, database, and network connections are mandatory.
Understanding the different phases of the project, what skills they require and what the deliverables are, can help communications professionals plan before they begin implementing an emergency response and safety platform.
Vita Safety Partners is a team of emergency response industry professionals dedicated to helping enterprises clients improve their emergency management and outcomes. We can help, whether it be gap analysis, a road map to compliance, or formulating an assessment, the team at Vita Safety Partners is here to help! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.