RedSky Emergency Services for Webex Calling

You can choose RedSky as an E911 emergency call provider for your Webex Calling deployment. RedSky provides you with per-device location support (for HELD-capable MPP devices) and a network that routes emergency calls to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) around the US, its territories, and Canada. RedSky provides an emergency call management portal and an integration point in Control Hub.

The service is enabled on a per-location basis. When a location is fully enabled in Control Hub, emergency calls (933 for test calls and 911 for emergency calls) placed from all phones and soft clients assigned to that location in Control Hub use RedSky's services.

RedSky's role in the solution is as follows:

  • Maintains the partner/customer provisioned database that is used to map an emergency call to a dispatchable location

  • Based on a calling device's dispatchable location, directs emergency calls to the correct PSAP with information that allows the PSAP to determine the location where emergency personnel should be dispatched as well as the call-back number

  • Generates optional notifications to enterprise personnel

  • For subscriptions with enhanced licenses, bridges enterprise personnel into emergency calls placed by enterprise users and provide pop notifications

  • Provides a client application (MyE911) that users can install and use to enter dispatchable location information for devices (PCs, Macs, or tablets) when a location cannot be automatically determined

Location Detection

RedSky supports two types of location detection:

  • For HELD-capable multiplatform firmware (MPP) devices, location detection is based on network discovery. MPP devices use a protocol called HTTP Enabled Location Delivery (HELD) to report their network environment information (upstream switch, wireless access points (WAP) BSSID, IP address, or their MAC addresses) to the RedSky HELD service.

  • For non-HELD capable devices, which includes mobile devices without cellular access, softphone clients, Cisco ATAs, Cisco DECT systems, and any non-Cisco customer premises equipment (CPE), location determination is based on the Caller ID asserted in the test or emergency call.

When we use RedSky in a Webex Calling deployment, the following methods are used to determine location for different client types:

  • Webex Teams on mobile platforms that do not have a cellular connection use Webex Calling and the RedSky MyE911 app for emergency calls. Administrators create a user in the RedSky portal with a unique email address and E.164 caller ID. Users must run the MyE911 app along with the Webex Teams client for romaing emergency calling support. When the app determines the device is in a known location, the user's location is updated automatically. When the app detects that the device moved to an unrecognized location, the app prompts the user to enter a dispatchable location, which the RedSky network validates and stores in its database.

  • Webex Teams on mobile platforms that do not have a cellular connection use Webex Calling and RedSky for emergency calls. You associate a dispatchable location for each device's E.164 caller ID. Because these devices are mobile, users must also run RedSky's myE911 application. If this application detects that the device moved to an unrecognized location, the application prompts the user to enter a dispatchable location, which the RedSky network validates and stores in its database.

  • MPP devices supporting the HELD protocol provide network connectivity and device information in a HELD transaction. RedSky analyzes it to identify dispatchable location information based on the wiremap (network discovery information) that was provisioned in RedSky's portal.

  • Non-HELD capable endpoints are provisioned in the RedSky portal using static dispatchable location information associated with an E.164 caller ID. This phone number-based address is also used if a HELD capable MPP device's network location cannot be determined using network discovery.

See RedSky administration documentation for more information about configuring wiremaps in the RedSky admin portal. In the event that RedSky cannot find a dispatchable location for a given device that places an emergency call, RedSky routes the call to an emergency calling relay center. They work with the caller to determine how best to route the emergency call.

Deployment Scenarios for RedSky with Webex Calling

PSTN and RedSky-Enabled Locations

In this scenario, emergency calls are identified and sent to the RedSky service instead of configured PSTN. This route is performed for all endpoints at the RedSky-enabled location, including hard phones and portable endpoints (such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops) for all users at the location. (An exception: cellular-based phone clients send emergency calls directly to the Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN, the mobile equivalent of the PSTN) using the phone's built in dialer).

Local Gateway and RedSky-Enabled Locations

In this scenario, emergency calls are identified and sent to the RedSky service instead of the local gateway. This route is performed for all endpoints at the RedSky enabled location, including nomadic endpoints for users assigned to the location.

Multinational Deployment

In this scenario, Location A is not RedSky enabled—all calls (PSTN and emergency) are routed through the local gateway. Location B is RedSky enabled for US/Canada location—emergency calls are routed to RedSky.

Requirements for RedSky Integration with Webex Calling

Table 1. Requirements for RedSky Integration With Webex Calling

Component

Requirement

RedSky

RedSky licenses and access to the RedSky configuration portal (orderable through Cisco or your partner)—this step gives you access to a RedSky HELD company ID.

You must prepare the following configuration in RedSky for location determination to address the following types of devices:

  • Calls from HELD devices that use wiremap information for location determination (MPP phones)

  • Calls from non-HELD devices that use Caller ID for location determination (DECT, ATA, and Room/Desk/Board devices)

  • Calls from non-HELD devices that use the myE911 app and Caller ID for location information (laptops and tablets)

The RedSky integration supports all PSTN options: Local Gateway, PMP and Service Provider PSTN.

For more information, see the RedSky admin documentation.

Control Hub and Webex Calling organization

  • A Control Hub organization (paid subscription) that includes Webex Calling licenses—The RedSky issued HELD Company ID is required to activate RedSky Emergency Calling; this value must be entered in the Control Hub “Company ID” field.

  • Access to the customer view in Control Hub with a full admin account.

  • US/Canada locations can use RedSky for emergency calling. International locations continue to use PSTN for emergency calling.

Phones

Supported MPP phones for Webex Calling. The phones use downloaded configuration parameters to access RedSky's Location Information Server (LIS). They receive a token that Webex Calling passes forward over the peering connection to RedSky when an enabled user dials 911 or 933.

Control Hub and Locations

Control Hub access to activate the RedSky service for each US, US territories, or Canada location as desired.

Devices

HELD capable devices: Once a location is enabled for RedSky services, Webex Calling device management systems generate updated device configurations to enable HELD functionality. Each HELD device must be re-synced or reinitialized to pick up the new configuration. Until this happens, the devices do not use HELD for location services.

Process Workflow for RedSky Integration With Webex Calling

From a provisioning standpoint, RedSky is integrated with Webex Calling in Control Hub. However, this integration requires provisioning work in two independent portals and validation of provisioning outside of the portals entirely.

The primary linkage between the systems from a provisioning standpoint is a single value: the company ID. You must buy Webex Calling licenses and RedSky licenses. When your RedSky account is created, RedSky assigns you a company ID which you can then copy into your Webex Calling configuration. Webex Calling components communicate this company ID on various communication protocols to RedSky (HELD requests from HELD-enabled devices that are learning a location, call signaling when callers dial 911 or 933 calls) and this company ID allows RedSky to correlate the requests to the appropriate customer in their cloud.

The following diagram shows the overall provisioning flow for integrating RedSky with Webex Calling. Items marked with a clock icon represent provisioning and validation steps that require more time. Mismatches in provisioning or incomplete validation can result in mishandled calls.

Enable RedSky Integration in Control Hub Organization

After you create a RedSky account and provision wiremap-based and caller-ID based information for one or more sites, you must then configure Webex Calling with information needed to deliver emergency calls to RedSky.

You enable your Webex Calling organization for RedSky and then provide one key parameter: the RedSky HELD Company ID.

Before you begin

Get the RedSky HELD Company ID from the RedSky admin dashboard. This value is a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) that links your Control Hub instance directly to your RedSky organization.

1

From the customer view in https://admin.webex.com, go to Services, and then click Service Settings from the Call card.

2

Scroll to RedSky Emergency Calling, and then toggle on Allow RedSky Integration.

3

In the Company ID field, enter the RedSky HELD Company ID.

If the toggle is active, you can always change any existing company ID to another one. This feature allows you to correct the entry in case you entered an invalid value.

Enable RedSky for Webex Calling Locations

After you enable RedSky at the organization level, you can then enable it for individual locations within your organization. In Control Hub, locations are configuration containers in which user accounts are added. This differs from RedSky configuration, which tries to track a device's actual physical location. Enabling RedSky for a location in Control Hub enables all the users who are a part of that location.

1

From the customer view in https://admin.webex.com, go to Services, and then click Locations from the Call card.

2

Click a location to open its overview pane, and then click RedSky.

3

Check Allow RedSky to receive network connectivity information and test calls to allow MPP phones to place calls to RedSky's emergency test number 933, and then save your changes.

This setting updates the device configuration to enable HELD functionality for all HELD compatible devices at that location. After the devices are reinitialized and pick up the new configuration they will make HELD requests to RedSky's Location Information Server (LIS) to try to determine a valid location.

This setting also routes all test calls (933) from that location to RedSky. At this point, emergency calls (911) are not impacted and are still routed to the PSTN provider.

After you save changes, the RedSky state for the location changes to Location Integration On.

4

Place test calls to 933 to ensure that the calls route properly before you enable full 911 routing for the location. Test calls can be placed from all endpoints assigned to the location, including HELD capable devices, soft phones, and non-HELD devices. The test call (933) connects the caller to a RedSky IVR which announces the caller ID and currently known address for that device.

5

After you confirm that test calls are routing correctly, return to the location overview pane, click RedSky, and then toggle on Route Emergency Calls to RedSky. Save your changes.

This setting ensure that not only are MPP phones getting location information from a RedSky LIS, but that actual 911 calls also route to RedSky.

After you save changes, the RedSky state for the location changes to Routing On.

  • Once reinitialized, HELD capable devices assigned to the location should be making HELD requests and receiving tokens

  • Webex softphone users must install the myE911 application. If prompted by the app to do so, they should manually enter a valid location. Their caller IDs presented by soft client calls are used to correlate any emergency call with the appropriate User record in RedSky.

  • DECT and ATAs don't communicate with RedSky and don't run myE911. Their calls route to RedSky, so RedSky needs to be configured with a location associated with their caller ID.

  • Emergency calls from MPP devices not physically on the wiremap (their location was not discovered through HELD) are treated based on their asserted Caller ID. If there is a location associated with the TN of a RedSky user or RedSky location that matches the Caller ID, the call will be routed based on that.