E-911 is complex with UCaaS – Here’s how Zoom’s doing things different

April 13, 2022

In an emergency, we expect to be able to pick up any phone anywhere that will not only connect us to emergency responders like police and fire but also let them know where we are calling from so they can find us. That may not be the case if you are using a cloud-based phone system. As businesses switch from on-premises phone systems to cloud-based Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), they need a plan for managing E911. With legacy on premise phone systems, your location is associated with your desk phone. Now that your phone moves around with you on your smart phone, tablet, or PC, your location information needs to match up. Successfully managing 911 locations and call routing requires automation to reduce or eliminate manual processes for tracking user location. The inability to track the movement of phones could potentially lead to first responders being dispatched to the wrong location. When moving voice services to the cloud, it is critical to understand how emergency calls will be handled when employees are at the office or working remotely. Providers can each handle it differently. 

Zoom has recognized the urgency of having reliable Enhanced 911 (E-911) service and implemented Zoom Phone Nomadic E-911, which provides the ability to track the location of users as they move around and ensure their location is up to date in the event of an emergency. In the U.S. and Canada, Nomadic E-911 can be used from either Zoom Phone’s native PSTN calling plans and numbers or through Bring Your Own Carrier with supported third-party service providers.  

When at a company’s physical office location, Nomadic E-911 will use the company’s wireless network data to map their physical location, which is defined and set up by a business’s administrator. If E-911 is dialed from a business’s network, the corresponding physical street address will be passed along to public safety authorities and can be reported to an emergency response team.  

When not at a company’s physical office, Zoom Phone supports the ability for users to define Personal Locations. When a user is at an unknown location (i.e. not an administrator-defined Company Location) like a home office, they will be prompted to review and confirm their emergency address. Once a user enters their physical street address, Zoom will automatically record and remember the corresponding network data. 

It is essential for companies to have designated personnel alerted when an employee makes an emergency call. Zoom Phone sets up an internal safety team and configures call routing to distribute calls where they can receive or monitor emergency calls and provide additional safety assistance. An administrator can configure when a Zoom Phone user dials E-911 to route the call to both the internal safety team and the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Members of internal safety can record, listen in, and join the call at any time.    

We work with the best UCaaS vendors, and Zoom Phone is unique in how it handles emergency calls with Zoom Phone Nomadic E-911. As the workforce begins to shift between in-office, at home, and hybrid work schedules, it is vital that your company’s emergency services are up-to-date and trustworthy. Contact us at Access Tech where we can show you how to ensure you have location accuracy in the case of an emergency. Access Tech has been helping businesses for 12 years to connect business strategies with IT solutions.  

For more information, here is Zoom Phone Nomadic E911 Service — and Why It’s So Critical Now.