Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Using Call Accounting for Security and Emergency

The telephone is the most vital communication tool and the lifeline of most organizations. Valuable time is often lost in trying to locate the individual that placed an emergency call. Seconds can make the difference in saving lives or apprehending harassing callers. In this era of heightened security concerns, many organizations are reevaluating emergency systems and procedures.

When we are in public places or at work we take for granted a high level of safety and security. However, many organizations are ill equipped to respond to 911 emergency. Would you know where to direct emergency personnel if they showed up at your reception desk after a 911 call? Most businesses would be unable to track down the extension that made the call without a complete office search. This precious time, even in a small office, could mean the difference between life and death.

Many educational institutions are vulnerable to students making prank telephone calls to emergency services. Often emergency response units are dispatched to false alarms. This results in countless hours of lost time, money and a diversion of valuable resources from actual emergencies.

The critical information that can pinpoint the source of an emergency call is generally available right from your telephone system logs. Many companies are now offering software that acts as a watchdog for your system. If a malicious or emergency 911 call is dialed, you can immediately broadcast network messages, dial a security phone or alert emergency response personnel. Information about the calling party (i.e. extension, date, time) can be sent directly to telephones, pagers, instant messagers, personal devices and computer desktops.

Homeland security concerns are causing many states to adopt emergency standards. Security measures are being implemented in educational institutions, government agencies, hotels, retail outlets and countless other organizations.

Places of business or gatherings are often the target of harassing or nuisance telephone calls. It is often difficult for law enforcement to prosecute the offender without a record of the communication. Call trace features are integral to many voice switching systems. In the event of a malicious call, the called party can activate the call trace by pressing a pre-programmed key on their set. A record of the call trace request, including date and time of the event will be recorded in a call detail log.

Many businesses are now employing call control features that were infrequently activated in the past. Most telephone systems can be configured for restricted dialing, set and line restrictions for maximum control of every telephone call. These features often reduce and control employee telephone costs, ensure accountability and provide a record of each call.

Configuring the options available in your telephone system combined with realtime monitoring tools can greatly increase emergency preparedness and security.

This ability has been available for years through applications known as call accounting using real time call detail recording (CDR). For the most part, call accounting applications have remained stagnant, locked down and single user for many years. New emergency and security awareness has given rise to a whole new generation of Communication Management Solutions (CMS).

There are a number of browser based call accounting systems that can now be monitored from around the corner or around the world.

Rito Salomone is the president of Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI). He has 17 years experience in the field of communication management solutions.

For more information you can review: http://www.telecost.com or contact the author at +1 905 576-4575.