|Descriptive Title of Proposal:||Mobile Computer Initiative|
|Person(s) Responsible for the Idea||
|Name of Institution||Western University|
|Office Address||11 51 Richmond St.
London, Ontario N6A 5B8
|Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Gitta Kulczycki|
|Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution)||Vice-President (Resources & Operations)|
|Office Address||11 51 Richmond Street
London, Ontario N6A 5B9
In January 2014, Western University's Campus Police Service embarked on a project to upgrade their current Panasonic Toughbook mobile computing platform. The main advantage to the Toughbook was it's durability in rugged environments, which came at a cost of$5,000 per device. However the Toughbook only allowed employees to enter data into one database. In researching other options the Apple iPad Air stood out with its low cost and high functionality. When paired with a newly released product, the Zagg Bluetooth back lit Tough keyboard case, the iPad became a true contender.
The initial cost of $700 each was impressive, but when viewed along with its components and applications the device quickly stood out. The iPad's overwhelming popularity as a consumer product has enticed companies to make applications or products work with or on the iPad. A MIFI device is used to provide mobile connectivity. This allowed a data plan for each MIFI rather than spending extra money for each device as many devices are not in use when employees are not working.
Key features now used on the iPads by Campus Police are;
1. Complete Building Plans for all buildings loaded via Cloud Storage
2. Mobile access for search and input to University Police database
3. Digital camera
4. Video camera
5. Voice recorder I Dictation
6. GPS for tracking and safety of employees
7. In Car camera system
8. Mapping system
9. Cloud storage for documents and data
11.Facetime I Skype for messaging and video conferencing
12.Access to a huge variety of programs I applications, such as email, text messaging
13. Online employee schedule access
14. Access to secure online University databases, Student Center, StaffNet
15. Mobile access to the internet allowing access to 411.ca and other searches
16. Mobile access to Social media sites for employees responsible for updating these sites for Mass Notification
These advantages and the significantly smaller size and weight have made our Campus Police more effective and efficient in their jobs. Members can complete tasks easier, with more vital information and from anywhere at any time.
|Criteria||Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.|
This project is completely transferable to other institutions and should serve as a new bench mark in mobile platforms. The combination of lower cost and significantly higher functionality is a leap forward in mobile platforms. The diversity of each institution and environment normally is a barrier to transferability of these types of initiatives. However the flexibility, and range and volume of applications available on these devices makes this initiative viable for almost any environment.
The project anticipated reduced time on tasks and increased ease of access to information with the new mobile platform. It was anticipated that the device would replace several devices and therefore reduce the need to either carry multiple items or to return to get other equipment therefore saving time. However the impact these devices had in reducing work time and the array of uses available on the devices was and is simply far greater than anticipated. Officers are able to access vital information rapidly and from anywhere at any time. This is reduced the time required to complete tasks and also allowed tasks to be completed in more detail. The results were noticed within the first few weeks of the projects as officers became accustomed to the devices and the variety of embedded programs and tools.
This project has bad a profound effect on our productivity and the quality of service our members can deliver and subsequently on the university environment as a whole. Officers now have anytime access to information and resources that prior to this project were not possible without significant time delays. The project has also resulted in the savings of one Full Time Employee (FTE) position through use of digital building plans. The immediate cost savings came from the $16,700 saved from the lower cost of the iPads compared to the Tough book. In addition there was the single FTE position that was saved, resulting in approximately another $100,000 per year in savings. The final savings has been seen in reduced time on tasks, which has freed up Campus Police to perform other duties around the University. All of these reductions were seen within the first few weeks of the program.
This project has taken a number of tasks and pieces of equipment and combined them into one device. As a result there are significant cost savings, but also additional functionality in that employees now have one device that does the job of many devices. This allows employees to do their job more efficiently and effectively than in the past. In a higher education environment where we are striving for excellence, this project truly represents a quantum leap forward in mobile platforms. At this time Western is the first and only Canadian Police department using these devices as a full mobile platform. Numerous other University's and Police agencies has expressed interest as a result of this project and are looking to implement this in their own environments.