Federal regulators last week approved the merger of West’s Intrado and IPC Systems’ command systems segment—better known as Positron Public Safety Systems—clearing the way for the $167 million acquisition between the two 911 vendors.

Announced earlier this month, the purchase of Positron is designed to provide Intrado with greater software expertise as the company prepares to offer new 911 services in a sector that promises to become increasingly dependent on software and IP-based architectures, said David Pleiss, vice president investor and public relations at West, Intrado’s parent company.

“If we are going to roll out a new service at the Intrado level, it would have to interface with that software that the PSAPs use, so being able to have that all under one roof will make it a lot more streamlined as we go out and offer these things to our clients,” Pleiss said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “A lot of the new services that Intrado wants to roll out in its intelligent emergency network are IP-based services, and Positron’s system is already IP-enabled. That’s why it made a lot of sense for the two companies to get together.”

Having greater knowledge of the software side of the 911 business will become more important as PSAPs begin migrating to next-generation 911 architectures that are expected to enable new services and greater communications flexibility into the emergency-calling arena.

With regulatory approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act secured, Pleiss said the deal could close “soon” but declined to offer a date more specific than the companies’ original target of completing the deal by the end of the year.

When the deal is done, Pleiss said West will spend the next several quarters trying to integrate the two companies. Positron’s employee base is expected to remain largely intact, he said.

“We didn’t do the purchase with a lot of expectation of cost savings—there are some, because there are some back-office functions that can be shared—but for the most part, we wanted the entire business, including the employees,” Pleiss said.