Florida agency using Web to track computers

Employees in Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF) are using a customized World Wide Web page to research and track the purchase of new computer systems, and other state agencies soon may follow suit.

DCF, which has 28,000 employees charged with providing social welfare and economic services to Florida residents, has employed a Dell Computer Corp. PremierPage to track the 10,000 Dell computers it uses across 500 locations.

The PremierPage helps the agency ensure that its computers are set up in consistent configurations.

"Agencies need a Web site to be consistent...for operating and support from us," said Ro Parra, Dell's senior vice president for the public sector. "IT departments want more consistency on their hardware platform, because the less complexity it has, the easier it is to support."

Another Florida agency, the Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), is using government charge cards to make direct online purchases from Dell and other private vendors and is considering implementing a PremierPage, said Brian Hill, chief of end-user support at FDLE. "We're still in the proposal phase for the PremierPage, but we did purchase 300 Dell notebooks for our agents' cars in May," valued at about $900,000, he said.

The FDLE, which operates as an FBI-style agency in the state, purchased the notebooks to connect their agents to the automated investigative management system, which went live in April and links the state's seven regions and 26 field offices to daily indexed reports, Hill said.

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