Emergency services agencies across Queensland can now launch a collaborated response when disaster strikes, thanks to a communication portal developed by Dialog IT.
The $250,000 Queensland Disaster Portal, built on Microsoft Sharepoint 2013, gives key stakeholders up-to-date emergency information and access to resources, guidelines and policies related to disaster management.
Sam Lamari, Dialog’s Queensland services regional manager, said the portal was built on Sharepoint because the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service's internal knowledge application was already running on the platform.
“The key reasons for Sharepoint was the fact that we could quickly and easily build a portal that could collaborate with all the emergency services agencies across the state,” Lamari said.
“We weren’t developing something completely out of the ground and re-inventing the wheel; the department had previous use of Sharepoint, so it was beneficial for them to be able to leverage the use of the existing systems they had in place. Our aim was to deliver value and maximise benefits of the client.
“The other point too is that we had a very tight timeframe and the Sharepoint platform aligned itself well to that agile methodology."
The site was developed in iterations with each release accessible to users throughout the development cycle for the benefit of familiarity and continuous improvement.
Dialog is no stranger to emergency services application development, with its Fire Ready smartphone app, contracted by the Victorian government and employing the power of AWS architecture, awarded for technical excellence at the Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards in 2014.
“Fire Ready was designed to handle the masses of consumers. It can send 2.4 million push notifications a minute in the event of a fire disaster,” Lamari said.
“You design your own proximity zones, and as the danger encroaches you get the notifications.”
Dialog will continue to provide managed application services for the emergency portal, including application support, availability management, adding new functionality and managing the cloud hosting environment.
“We’ve been able to deliver something quickly and effectively within government, and for us to do that is something we’re quite proud of,” Lamari said.
Police, fire and emergency services minister Bill Byrne said the delivery of the project represented a new era for disaster management in Queensland.
“The Disaster Management Portal will improve Queensland’s ability to prevent, prepare, respond and recover when emergencies and disasters strike through increased collaboration and the sharing of essential information,” he said.
“It will also let users communicate innovative ideas, and provide feedback and comments, making this a business as usual system in the area of disaster management.”