Teams Emergency Calling – Demystified

As mentioned previously in my Location Based Routing blog, Teams is evolving quickly and has been “checking the boxes” to be a legitmate PBX contender.   When we left off with Skype for Business, most telephony requirements defined by organizations were being met with Skype for Business, but, just like that, as soon as we got to that point, Teams was the new “gotta have” shiny thing from Microsoft.  Since the inception of CloudPBX with Skype Online, the cloud voice system has been lacking in some of those “must have requirements”, but still I found myself involved in very large deployments moving organizations to CloudPBX.  With that said, however, I was constantly saying; “well, that feature isn’t available….yet”, mainly around Dynamic emergency calling (sorry Microsoft, but your first attempt with static locations, doesn’t count).

Now that Teams is ready for mainstream, I’d like to try and bring a little more clarity to the Dynamic Emergency Calling scenarios within Teams.  But first, there are few tidbits I’d like to point out from the Emergency Calling documentation that make me smile (I know most of my long tenured peers will agree)

  • The hated “+”

  • The triumphed return of “LIS”

As most are aware, Teams Voice capabilities can be configured in 2 different manners and depending on which you deploy in your environment, will affect how Emergency Calling is configured.  Those types shown here;

  1. Calling Plans using Microsoft PSTN Connectivity
  2. Direct Routing using your own SIP Trunks/PRI

These 2 options not only handle Dynamic emergency calling differently from one another, but also differently within each solution, depending on geographic location, especially within Calling Plans.  Confused yet?  Lets break down the madness

Reference material is here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/what-are-emergency-locations-addresses-and-call-routing

In a subsequent blog, I’ll be detailing a more in-depth look at configurations.  However, to ensure this blog makes a little more sense when defining the differences between Calling Plans and Direct Routing Emergency Calling, the following items are things that need to be planned for and configured, which are subtly referenced through the blog.

Network Settings Containing…
    • Trusted Internet IPs
    • Network Regions containing network sites
    • Network Sites for each region
    • Network Subnets for each site
Location Information Services (LIS) network identifiers using…
    • LIS Ports
    • LIS Switch
    • LIS Subnets
    • LIST WAPs
Emergency Policies…
    • TeamsEmergencyCallRoutingPolicy
    • TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy

 

With the parameters defined in the above table, we can now configure Microsoft Teams to define closer to where the user is located within a building.  Those terminologies are defined below:

Emergency Address A civic address–the physical or street address of a place of business for your organization.
A Place Typically a floor, building, wing, or office number. Place is associated with an emergency address to give a more exact location within a building. You can have an unlimited number of places associated with an emergency address. For example, if your organization has multiple buildings, you might want to include place information for each building and for every floor within each building.
Emergency Location A location is a civic address–with an optional place. If your business has more than one physical location, it’s likely that you’ll need more than one emergency location.
Registered Address (Legacy CloudPBX Solution) An emergency address that is assigned to each Calling Plan user; it is sometimes referred to as a static emergency address or address of record. (Registered addresses do not apply to Direct Routing users.)

Calling Plans Dynamic Emergency Calling Solution – Defined

So if you are deploying all Calling Plans, or some locations with Calling Plans, this section is for you.  All the summaries below are solutions that apply ONLY to Calling Plans.  Read carefully.

Emergency Call Enablement – When the emergency location is assigned to a phone number

Assign Emergency location… …To the phone number as soon as you assign it to a user in the… …United States
Assign Emergency location… …To the phone numbers as soon as you obtain numbers from Microsoft or port numbers to Microsof in… …Europe, The Middle East and Africa

Dynamic Emergency Calling – the routing of emergency calls based on current location of Teams Client

**At this time, only Calling Plans in the United States can leverage dynamic locations for routing emergency calls

If a Teams Client dynamically acquires an emergency location… …Route directly to PSAP in the… …United States Only
If a Teams Client does not dynamically acquire an emergency location… …Screen call before PSAP routing in the… …United States Only

Emergency Call Routing – How the call is routed to the PSAP

**If your country is not listed below, it is not documented on Docs

If a Teams Client is located in a tenant-defined dynamic emergency location… …Route directly to PSAP for users in the… …United States
If a Teams Client is NOT located in a tenant-defined dynamic emergency location… …Screen call before PSAP routing for users in the…. …United States
If an emergency caller is unable to update their emergency location to the screening center… …The call will be transferred to the users registered address for users  in the… …United States
Regardless of Teams Client location… ….Emergency calls are routed directly to the PSAP serving the emergency address associated with the number for users in… …Canada, Ireland and the UK
Regardless of Teams Client location… …Emergency calls are routed directly to the PSAP for the local area code of the number for users  in the… …France, German and Spain
Regardless of Teams Client location… …Emergency calls are routed directly to the PSAP for the local area code of the number for users  in the… …Netherlands
Regardless of Teams Client location… …Emergency addresses are configured and routed by the carrier partner for users in… …Australia
Regardless of Teams Client location… …Emergency calling is not supported for users in… …Japan

 

Security Desk Notification – The requirement to notify additional security of an emergency

Assign TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy… …To a site.  The site policy is used to configure the security desk notification
Assign TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy in addition… …To a user.  If a client is connected to an unidentified site, or not policy is assigned  to a site, the user account policy is used to configure the security desk notification
If the client is unable to obtain a TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy… …The user is not enabled for security desk notifications

Direct Routing Dynamic Emergency Calling Solution – Defined

If you are moving forward with Direct Routing (I hope so!) All the summaries below are solutions that apply  ONLY to Direct Routing.  Read carefully.

Emergency Call Enablement – Requires the use of TeamsEmergencyCallRoutingPolicy to define emergency numbers and associated routing destinations

Assign TeamsEmergencyCallRoutingPolicy… …To a site.  This is the first lookup by a client to know where to route the call
Assign TeamsEmergencyCallRoutingPolicy in addition… …To a user.  This is the second lookup if a policy is not found for a site
If the client is unable to obtain a TeamsEmergencyCallRoutingPolicy… …The user is not enabled for emergency calling

Dynamic Emergency Calling Solutions- Requires a PSTN Usage within Direct Routing to the appropriate PSTN Gateway.  Routing to emergency services can be handled in 2 different manners

Emergency Routing Services Providers (ERSP) (US Only) A service provided by companies like “Redsky”
Emergency Location Identification Numbers (ELIN) An SBC configuration that is maintained by the organization requiring emergency services call routing

Emergency Call Routing – How the call is routed to the PSAP using Service Providers

If an ERSP is integrated into Direct Routing, a dynamicaly acquired location will be… …Routed directly to a PSAP serving that location for users in the… …United States Only
If an ERSP is integrated, but no dynamic location is acquired… …The call will be screened to determine the location prior to being sent to appropriate dispatch for users in the… …United States Only

Emergency Call Routing – How the call is routed to the PSAP using ELIN

**ELIN functionality is not limited to geographic locations

When an emergency call with a dynamically acquired location is routed to the appropriate SBC via PSTN Usages… …The ELIN Application does the following to appropriately route the call…
    • Parses the emergency location of the caller
    • Matches the location of the ELIN Record
    • Substitutes the emergency caller’s number with the ELIN Phone number
    • Routes the call to the PSAP serving the location and the dispatchers obtain the location from the uploaded ELIN record

Security Desk Notification – The requirement to notify additional security of an emergency

Assign TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy… …To a site.  The site policy is used to configure the security desk notification
Assign TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy in addition… …To a user.  If a client is connected to an unidentified site, or not policy is assigned  to a site, the user account policy is used to configure the security desk notification
If the client is unable to obtain a TeamsEmergencyCallingPolicy… …The user is not enabled for security desk notifications

In Summary

Emergency Calling scenarios are closely related to a.) Your PSTN Calling Solution of choice and b.) Your Geographic location.  I hope this adds a little more clarity to an already convoluted situation with Emergency Call Routing within Microsoft Teams.

Senior Cloud Consultant and Teams Voice Lead

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