The Queensland Department of Parliamentary Services has replaced around 70 ageing Lenovo laptops with new Windows 8 Fujitsu convertible laptop-tablet hybrids.
The August replacement of the four-year old Lenovo laptops was just one of a handful of IT initiatives undertaken by the department over the past year, along with the implementation of a SharePoint Hansard production system.
The new Q702 laptops, with detachable screens, offer “considerably more function and power than an iPad,” according to clerk of the parliament Neil Laurie.
The devices run full Windows 8 with Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus, on an Intel core i5 chip and 256GB solid state hard drive. Each parliamentarian was given two detachable keyboards.
Laurie also oversaw the upgrade of 94 six-year old Ricoh multifunction devices to new models.
Earlier in the year, the DPS replaced its switch infrastructure within parliament to allow wider wireless access to parliamentarians and staff.
A review into the parliament’s telecommunications environment was also initiated and actions on the review will proceed this year and next.
A broad range of work will see the DPS introduce a “fully converged voice/data network using a fully managed Telstra IP Telephony solution” which will introduce VoIP in the parliamentary precinct and electoral offices, upgraded handsets, and eliminate “costly duplication” of networks and cabling.
It will also provide a platform for SharePoint collaboration and video conferencing tools, Laurie said.
The Queensland Parliament recently invested over $300,000 in a SharePoint Hansard production system and extended the web application to a number of other projects, including a new intranet.
The telecommunications review will also result in DPS introducing integrated email, voice and instant messaging; upgrading the existing “consumer” grade internet in electorate offices to business grade; and renegotiating all current parliamentary carrier contracts for voice and data.
Laurie said the above measures would all need to be achieved without increasing the Parliament’s annual spend on voice and data.
Looking ahead, the department is preparing for an upgrade to its financial information management system next year. The DPS currently uses Navision software for the system, and will need to upgrade to a more recent, supportable version, which will require some customisation for unique reports and screens, Laurie said.