CDW-G Assists the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with Ruggedized Technology

By PRESS RELEASE — January 18, 2009

For more on rugged devices in the field, check out the Mobile Enterprise feature article Real-World Rugged.

CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation and leading source of Information Technology (IT) solutions to governments and educators, today announced that it outfitted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) with fully ruggedized mobile technology. CDW-G equipped 300 department land and water vehicles with Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 notebooks, enabling officers in four of ODNR's divisions -- forestry, parks and recreation, watercraft and wildlife -- to immediately access critical data in the field, improving internal communications and public safety.

The ODNR owns and manages more than 590,000 acres of land and 120,000 acres of inland waters throughout Ohio. This vast geographical area of responsibility called for a mobile technology solution that would enable anytime, anywhere communication between officers in the field and headquarters dispatch in all weather conditions, as well as access to sophisticated software applications providing law enforcement, topographical and global positioning satellite (GPS) data. The department's previous technology solution was outdated and not robust enough to meet officers' needs in the field and, as a result, officers routinely relied on dispatch for information, overtaxing the lean staff.

Working with CDW-G, ODNR selected the Panasonic Toughbook CF-30, which is rain-, spill-, dust- and vibration-resistant and enables rapid, real-time wireless communication. Its optimized display allows officers to access information in even the harshest lighting conditions. "We were able to test drive a variety of ruggedized mobile computing solutions, exposing the technology to the elements our officers face on a daily basis," said Dean Bolton, telecommunications manager at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. "From sub-zero temperatures to extreme heat conditions to the rigors of off-road driving, day in and day out, the Toughbooks provide our officers with near-instant communication and back-end system efficiency that allows us to better protect our citizens along with our rivers, lakes, forest and wildlife. Our ability to enter data directly into the Toughbooks instead of running information via radio to dispatch has improved operational efficiency for ODNR."

Understanding that the ODNR needed a solid mounting solution that could withstand the daily rigors of driving in varying highway and off-road situations, CDW-G called on its partner LEDCO, a leading provider of rugged computer mounting systems to law enforcement, public safety and emergency fleets. CDW-G and LEDCO identified the optimal mounting solution to ensure that the Toughbooks remained safe, secure and easily accessible within the vehicles at all times. Additionally, the ability to remove the Toughbooks from the docking stations with ease further strengthens the officers' mobility out in the field.

"State and local government agencies need enhanced situational awareness to work effectively and respond rapidly to incidents in the field," said Jim Grass, CDW-G senior director of state and local government sales. "Mobile technology solutions like the Panasonic Toughbook enable the anytime, anywhere information access that is essential to citizen safety and employee productivity in today's increasingly mobile, paperless society."

A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation, ranked No. 34 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies, CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G) is a leading provider of technology solutions for federal, state and local government agencies, as well as educational institutions at all levels. The company features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company's technology specialists and engineers offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers can assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.


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