Level 3 Communications has announced that it is working with Microsoft to provide SIP Trunking with nomadic E-911 (enhanced 911) designed to integrate with Microsoft Lync.

Nomadic users in the enterprise space are those who migrate workspace locations, taking advantage of VoIP services that allow phone calls to be made anywhere Internet access is available. Due to the nature of VoIP, it has traditionally been very difficult to offer E-911 solutions, which identify the physical location of the caller to the appropriate emergency response centers.

"Enterprises expect their 911 voice services to connect them with the appropriate emergency contacts," said Warren Barkley, general manager, Microsoft Lync. "Microsoft Lync is able to offer enterprises the benefits of a unified communications deployment with an easy-to-manage, dynamic and reliable 911 routing solution through Level 3, even as workers change locations."

SIP trunking allows enterprises to converge voice and data on a single network, creating tangible network and operation expense savings while laying a foundation for next-generation communication and collaboration tools. The solution takes advantage of Level 3's SIP Trunking and E-911 networks, enabling Microsoft Lync users to move throughout the workplace while still providing location-specific 911 information to the correct emergency responders. 

While the inherent mobility of VoIP solutions can increase productivity and reduce costs for UC users, it also introduces 911 risk and management overhead since users can change locations frequently. Level 3's solution allows a user's location to be provided at the time of the emergency call, enabling routing to the appropriate first responders, compared to alternative nomadic 911 solutions which can only provide pre-registered locations. This allows enterprises to garner the productivity and cost advantages of VoIP and UC while efficiently managing emergency services' calling needs.

"Leveraging Level 3's SIP and 911 networks with Microsoft Lync, which was designed for next generation SIP networks, enables enterprises to enjoy the full benefits of unified communications without unanticipated management headaches," said Sara Baack, senior vice president of Voice Services for Level 3. "Effective emergency services are the cornerstone of ensuring a safe work environment, and Level 3 is dedicated to continually improving the network capabilities that these services rely on every day."

Using the Microsoft Lync platform, the new solution enables emergency services to receive current information on a user's location, offering workers a safe work environment, gaining compliance with strict safety codes and simplifying enterprise IT management. Level 3 offers this nomadic capability for Microsoft Lync as part of its enterprise SIP trunking offering in the United States, allowing customers to benefit from the functionality built natively into the Microsoft platform and helping avoid the need to purchase additional hardware or services.

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