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911inform, Avaya Launch Emergency Call Upgrade Tool

The product, called the Gateway, is designed to bridge the gap between new and old emergency call technology. The joint software launch from the two companies comes amid larger improvements for 911 communications.

Dispatchers and call takers with the Los Angeles County Fire Department answer 911 calls from the public.
Jason Pack DHS/FEMA News Photo
As police and fire agencies across the country improve their communication systems, two government technology firms have teamed up to make sure the new equipment works with the old gear.

911inform, a company that sells a notification and security management platform, and which has offices in New Jersey and Colorado, has launched a product called Multifunctional LTE Gateway (the Gateway) with North Carolina-based Avaya, which sells communication tools to governments.

The new product connects premise-based 911 call handling with Avaya’s OneCloud unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platform, according to the statement announcing the deal.

“Many police departments, municipalities, schools and other large-scale organizations are switching to cloud-hosted phone systems,” Ivo Allen, CEO of 911inform, told Government Technology via an email interview. “However, most of these organizations have legacy on-premise technology that is simply too expensive and complex to overhaul. Our integration with Avaya OneCloud bridges that gap to help these organizations.”

Much more specifically, the Gateway comes as an appliance with integrated LTE for automatic connection redundancy and the preservation of calls — always an important task for first responders. Other features of the product include connecting hosted phone systems with call recording gear and fax servers. According to 911inform, the tool is vendor agnostic and does not require APIs or direct Session Initiation Protocol trunk connectivity.

As Allen explained, the new product might prove attractive to local governments that, for instance, are upgrading departments or locations one at a time, efforts that result in a mix of old and new technology still in use.

“The Gateway allows the hosted phone system to drop in and communicate with any legacy system, making it simpler to upgrade and easier to communicate,” he said. “In terms of public safety, some police departments have a mixed hosted versus on-premise system. The Gateway will allow the dispatcher to connect to officers and other municipal departments and vice versa seamlessly, no matter what phone calling system they have on site.”

This new product launch reflects a larger trend around communications in the public safety world — a trend that is helping to drive new gov tech business and deployments. Police and fire and emergency communication departments are upgrading their 911 call center technology, often via such work as text-to-911 capabilities and better call-tracking tools.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.