Ontario city goes mobile

The City of Mississauga, Ontario plans to build a wireless system that will give bylaw and fire safety inspectors the means to file reports while on the move.

Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. and Octanewave Software Inc. announced recently that they had won a contract to provide Mississauga with mobile applications and wireless enterprise architecture.

According to Jon Barry, a Toronto-based vice-president at Fujitsu, the city was looking for a way to make its fire suppression inspectors, fire prevention inspectors, building inspectors and by-law enforcement officers more efficient.

“They can get more done, more efficiently and service citizens using the same tax dollars that they’re using today,” he said, describing the project’s goal.

Barry said Mississauga’s civic inspectors deal with “paper-based, time-intensive” tasks. “They would go into the office and pick up their list of places they need to go, go out and perform the reports, writing everything down by hand, and then go back to the office and fill everything out.”

Then inspectors would enter the data into the city’s database, but not daily. As a result, “there wasn’t timely information,” Barry said.

The wireless infrastructure is designed to improve the situation.

Mary Mayo, project manager for the City of Mississauga’s Field Express (FX) mobility project, said everyone from residents and customers to the field workers themselves will benefit from enabling the inspectors – or “road warriors” – with mobile connectivity.

“This new solution will give our inspectors access to the data, the information, the tools and the technology to keep them where they are most valuable, out in the field,” Mayo said.

She added that this project has been two years in the making for Mississauga, and all started with a detailed business opportunity proposal to the city from the FX team followed by a business case report.

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