HBF Group

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Rich Tehrani
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HBF Group

I recently had the opportunity to ask HBF Group, Inc. / 911 Services Executive Vice President of Business Development Jim Shepard about his business and the direction he is taking the company.
 
HBF/911 Services focuses on the design, development, implementation and support of Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) emergency telecommunications systems.
 
Please outline your new corporate initiatives.
 
HBF is focused on true Next Generation 9-1-1 products which will allow real-time routing of 9-1-1 calls based off of both consumer and network provided location information. Our new solutions will provide life saving capabilities for all VoIP technologies as well as FMC technologies.
 
How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?
 
HBF has a long history of providing 9-1-1 technology to the traditional TDM carriers. For several years, HBF has been providing high quality 9-1-1 services to IP communication vendors as well. We have shifted our R&D efforts to look at where the IP community is going rather than solely focusing on the traditional carrier market.
 
How has SIP changed communications?
 
For the 9-1-1 industry, it has broken the relationship between telephone number and location. This requires a new way of thinking about how to provide 9-1-1 for services where a call can originate from a multitude of devices that may or may not have a telephone number and may or may not have geographic relevance.
 
What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?
 
FCC compliance and nationwide coverage for E9-1-1.
 
How are you answering their demands?
 
HBF is leading the industry with the deployment of sophisticated 9-1-1 services and high quality, nationwide deployment. We do not believe in cutting corners when it comes to 9-1-1.
 
What do you think the future of the market is?
 
HBF is waiting to see how aggressive the ILECs will be with VoIP deployment. Additionally content providers (e.g., Yahoo, Google) and other market segments (e.g., MSOs) could have a huge impact on our existing service provider customer base. In general, the market will demand real-time 9-1-1 services that can be purchased ala cart. HBF has such offerings.
 
What do you think of Google and Apple entering the telecom market?
 
I think this is an endorsement of IP telephony. It also signals “industrial strength” convergence of technologies and content. The days of differentiating between “voice” and “data” are gone.
 
How about Microsoft?
 
Microsoft may not be first to market but based on their track record (e.g., the internet browser), they will quickly become a dominant force in telephony. The huge installed base that they possess with enterprise customers gives them a natural market for combining applications and telephony into a single platform. This serves as a huge endorsement for the future of IP telephony.
 
How will wireless technologies change our market?
 
With continuous advancements in FMC, the degree to which a consumer knows or cares what the transport layer is will diminish to near zero. If the device works, who cares whether it is utilizing WiFi, WiMax, CDMA, etc. Nobody cares what color the Ethernet cable in the wall is…nor will they care about wireless transport – as long as it works.
 
How will communications evolve over the next five years?
 
The average consumer will become increasingly unaware of the technologies that they utilize. They will expect the same services – including 9-1-1 – to be available from every device/service that they utilize. If my Xbox can communicate with others, it better be able to call 9-1-1; if I can make phone calls with my PC without having a traditional telephone number, I better be able to dial for emergency services.
 
What sorts of things will we be hearing about during your presentation at ITEXPO?
 
We will be talking about what you need “right now” for 9-1-1 (specifically FCC compliance) and where the technology is going.
 
Why is your presentation a “Can’t Miss?”
 
New IP services will need new 9-1-1 services. New products should not be planned without thinking of emergency services. We will help attendees understand what is possible today and what will be required in the future.
 
What do you want the industry to know about your company?
 
HBF is the technology and quality leader in 9-1-1. We have products/services that address your emergency services needs today and will support your future products as well.
 
Please make one surprising prediction we will see in 5 years.
 
Telephone numbers, currently the data key for almost all of 9-1-1, will disappear and the 9-1-1 industry will have to accommodate.


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