Call-handling software certification brings California NG9-1-1 closer
California is home to approximately 40 million people. Protecting them all is a responsibility shared by hundreds of emergency personnel across the state and coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES). Managing the upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems is a major strategic project for the OES and Lumen has good news to report on our participation.
The OES certified the first of our three call-handing software packages offered as part of our NG9-1-1 solution. This certification will enable Lumen to expand our California Public Safety platform to include MicroAutomation’s Omni911 call handling solution and is an important milestone for California’s first responders and its citizens.
The Lumen platform and ecosystem approach allows us to offer best-of-breed solutions for standing up a NG9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The certifications for these call-handling packages are significant milestones because they will be served to PSAPs from the cloud, not from an IT room onsite.
A cloud-first approach to software
The certification expands Lumen’s role in bringing NG9-1-1 to the people of California. The OES is managing a staged process to implement this upgrade across the various regions in one of America’s largest states. Lumen was already involved, even before the certification.
NG9-1-1 systems have many components that must be integrated. OES divided this broad, diverse state into four regions and Lumen is the provider of the Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) for southern California. We believe the network is the foundation for any complex deployment of multiple technologies that have to work together seamlessly. Lumen brings experience at integrating complicated solutions from across the public sector and enterprise spaces. We do this all the time.
California’s approach makes integration even more important. The OES has mandated that the software applications used in PSAPs will be served from the cloud. The rigorous certification process is aimed at making sure the applications work robustly, without impacts from being hosted offsite such as latency. Once again, this is something that Lumen has long experience in across many usage models since virtually all our customers use some sort of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that must be optimized. In the case of the PSAPs, the applications will use a portion of ESInet bandwidth constantly. That needs to be managed in a way that does not slow the rest of the traffic over the ESInet, such as the data being assembled from various sources (video, location details, digitized records etc.) that help first responders tackle the situation. The whole point of NG9-1-1 is pulling together this wealth of information for the benefit of the first responders and the public. Lumen manages this kind of complexity all the time for customers all over the world.
By mandating cloud-hosted software, California frees up space in the PSAPs that would otherwise go to servers and other hardware. With this approach, the PSAP doesn’t have to worry about maintenance or even added power consumption. The provider takes care of everything and because the software is in the cloud, using the applications is simply an operating expense, not a capital outlay.
These certifications cover the entire state. So, while our ESInet foundation will only be deployed in southern California, we will be able to bring our integration expertise in call-handling software to any PSAPs across the state.
Our thanks to Cal OES for managing a smooth process. And if you’re responsible for California PSAPs, let’s talk.
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