QT invests in software upgrade

Queensland Transport has invested more than $200,000 in software with the dual aim of assisting some 250 operatingstaff and applications developers as well as more than 3.2 million customers.

QT went into production last week with the first system of the Borland Software Corporation's AppServer, AppCentreand JBuilder Enterprise Studio.

With a large investment in its mainframe applications, the main business benefit in the software upgrade will be forbusiness divisions in the company that are looking to open up their legacy systems.

Sam Higgins, applications architect, information services branch, Queensland Transport, described the JBuilderenvironment as very solid. It is already delivering a fast turn-around and getting services out faster, he said.

"Lots of planning and continual thinking took place before the actual choice of vendor and commencement ofimplementation.

"Borland was one of two short-listed companies and we chose its whole applications server, which really meets ourrequirements," Higgins said.

The products have also benefited QT's partner, Personalised Plates, which is keen to get things under way in advanceof the Indy in Queensland. They could make more sales with real-time information available for customers.

"People don't want to just put their name down to order their plates. They want to know immediately whether it isavailable and want to buy it then and there. With the Borland products it has assisted them to assist theircustomers," Higgins said.

Higgins said there were a few minor issues that arose during the implementation phase, particularly the QT staffs'lack of experience with Borland products.

"That was a slight set back for us. But we had Borland consultants on site who gave us a rundown and educated theteam in one day with strategies and solutions to overcome any issues that may arise. Two weeks before though, theUnix guys were a bit nervous." Meanwhile, Higgins said he would like to see more local support from Borland as QT didreceive assistance from Singapore but agrees local support is much better.

Before implementing the Borland products, Higgins said QT was spending more than $80,000 on development costs withtheir old model which, according to Higgins, QT can now do for around $50,000.

Higgins said QT expects to see a return on investment towards the end of this financial year, and into 2003.

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