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Ensure phone system compliance with 911 regulations

In this roundup of UC blogs, analysts discuss phone system compliance with 911 regulations, Pexip's private cloud video platform and the growth of intelligent assistants.

New 911 regulations are going into effect this year, and organizations with multiline phone systems need to ensure they are compliant.

Ray Baum's Act requires 911 calls to transmit a dispatchable location to public safety answering points (PSAPs), regardless of the platform used. The location information must include the street address of the caller, as well as additional information, such as suite or apartment, to enable PSAPs to dispatch responders more quickly and accurately.

"This is especially important in situations presented by campus environments and multistory buildings," wrote Melissa Swartz, founder of Swartz Consulting, in a blog.

Ray Baum's Act goes into effect in January for on-premises phone systems and fixed-location devices. By January 2022, off-premises systems or devices without fixed locations must also be compliant.

Similarly, Kari's Law went into effect in early 2020, which requires multiline phone systems manufactured or installed after Feb. 16, 2020, to enable users to dial 911 without a prefix and send a notification to a central location at a facility, such as a hotel front desk, when a 911 call is made.

Organizations that are not compliant with these 911 regulations could be liable for creating an unsafe workplace, she wrote. IT should work with other departments -- including legal, finance and facilities -- when making decisions regarding 911 location information. IT should also coordinate with PSAPs to determine the location information that would be most useful in an emergency.

Learn more about how to keep multiline phone systems compliant with Kari's Law and Ray Baum's Act.

Pexip differentiates with private cloud video platform

Pexip recently launched a private cloud platform for its video conferencing service. The new offering bridges a gap for organizations that want a hybrid service with the control of an on-premises deployment and the flexibility of the cloud, Futurum Research analyst Olivier Blanchard wrote in a blog.

The private cloud platform enables organizations to choose the region and country they want to host data. This feature is especially helpful for organizations in certain countries with specific security and compliance regulations. The capability also enables companies to move and access data at will, he wrote.

"This offering helps further Pexip's market leadership, as no one else provides this kind of option on other cloud-based video conferencing solutions," he wrote. Pexip provides video interoperability by integrating with third-party gateways that connect to services like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

While end-to-end encryption is important to keep video calls secure, it's not a complete security measure in itself, Blanchard wrote. The private cloud platform also offers security capabilities, such as operating a dedicated service on a nonshared infrastructure and the ability to audit data security at any time.

Read more about the benefits that a private cloud video service offers organizations.

Pandemic drives adoption of AI assistants

The adoption of intelligent assistants -- such as chatbots, virtual assistants and conversational interactive voice response -- accelerated in 2020 as organizations turned to conversational AI to address new customer services and employee productivity needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of 2020, most organizations were only dabbling in conversational AI, but the pandemic pushed pilot projects into full-scale deployments, wrote Dan Miller, analyst at Opus Research, in a blog. Many of those organizations found success as customer satisfaction improved, and they adapted strategies to train intelligent assistants to benefit both customers and employees.

Cloud-based resources and low-code/no-code development tools have made it easier for organizations to deploy intelligent assistants, he wrote. AI technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, are available as APIs from major vendors, including Google, IBM and Microsoft, at a more affordable cost than building out proprietary technology.

Low-code/no-code tools offer platforms for intelligent assistant creation, training and maintenance that departmental and nontechnical employees can develop. These tools are cloud-based and often have lower Opex than alternative development tools, he wrote.

Learn about the benefits that come from automation by intelligent assistants.

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