Intrado hopes to use 911 Enable acquisition to enter enterprise PBX space
Intrado has positioned itself to compete in the emergency-communications space for enterprise customers that utilize IP-based private branch exchange (PBX) systems with the recent purchase of Montreal-based 911 Enable, according to an Intrado official.
A business of Connexon Group, 911 Enable was acquired by Intrado parent company West Corporation in a deal that closed on Sept. 2, according to John Kearney, Intrado vice president and general manager of the mobility business division.
“[911 Enable] was founded in 2005 and has emerged as the leader in the enterprise space—specifically focused on 911, as are we—in terms of integrating with leading IP PBX solutions or hosted IP PBX to create a solution for the discovery and management of IP endpoints,” Kearney said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
“We’re very excited about moving into this enterprise space. We believe there’s a lot of opportunity to bring a public-safety-grade solution and sort of grow and expand the scale that 911 Enable already has. The timing is good, and it complements everything we already do today.”
Enterprises increasingly are using IP-based PBX systems to enable flexible communications, regardless of the location of the remote office or employee. But this convenience creates complications when dialing 911 for emergency help at a location other than the physical location of the PBX solution—complexities that 911 Enable is able to address with its solutions, Kearney said.
“You may have a national financial institution that has branch locations spread around the country. If they’re moving to an IP infrastructure, they may have a single PBX located in New York or one central location that manages their entire infrastructure, from a voice perspective,” he said. “So, if you have a bank location trying to call 911 out of California or Colorado, they’re having to maintain separate trunk groups to make that call and allow for the relevant ANI and ALI information to go through to public safety.
“What the set of solutions that 911 Enable has brought to the market does is tightly integrate to those PBX products and solutions and enable the fully automated management of all the endpoints, whether they’re phones, desk phones, soft phone or even wireless clients that may be using a Wi-Fi access system throughout the campus environment.”
Kearney said Intrado officials believe the combination with 911 Enable is especially timely, given recent regulatory focus on PBX-based multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) and their impact on 911. Historically, these systems have been regulated at the state and local levels, but FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has been outspoken in his criticism that many such systems require the caller to dial “9” to get an outside line, meaning someone simply dialing “911” on a phone in such a system would not reach a public-safety answering point (PSAP).
Intrado anticipates consolidating 911 Enable’s less-than-50 employees in a Montreal facility that Intrado owns as a result of its Positron acquisition, Kearney said. There are no plans to reduce the overall number of employees during the consolidation; in fact, Intrado expects to see growth in the business, he said.
“This is less about buying a technology and customer base and more about building on the success of two leaders in their respective spaces,” Kearney said.
“Our interest and excitement in this is having a more vertical integration effort between our broader data-management, call-routing and call-delivery capabilities with this very specific capability at the enterprise level to provide a much more integrated and single-point-of-contact experience for those market segments.”