Solutionware is the latest Victorian systems integrator to provide support to the state’s bushfire victims, offering to convert donations into IT equipment and hand deliver it to those in need.
The company will purchase the equipment at the vendor's cost price, with "absolutely no profits" involved.
In a letter sent to hundreds of clients, Solutionware managing director, Sebastian Giacone, told of a request from Christian Mudd of fellow systems integrator, TEBA, to provide the Kinglake area State Emergency Services (SES) commander with a much-needed notebook.
Giacone and Mudd were escorted by the SES to the devastated area, where fires there and in surrounding towns destroyed homes and claimed more than 100 lives.
Giacone wrote of the terrible aftermath of the fires including burnt out cars and properties bound with the red-and-white tape of the CFA, indicating they had been checked. Other properties were roped off with blue-and-white police tape, indicating there were victims onsite.
“On reaching Kinglake, the SES officers explained the devastation to their office,” he wrote. “They had many computers to help organise their activities, but they were all gone. It was no use bringing up half a dozen computers for them, there was nowhere to plug them in, no desks to put them on, and no building. All they wanted was one notebook to record the details they needed, that they were currently carrying around on scrap bits of paper in their pocket.”
Giacone now wants to provide emergency computers to as many affected towns as possible. Solutionware has pledged to convert any cash donations to IT equipment urgently needed by organisations and individuals attempting to maintain records in the devastation. The company emphasised those not interested in having donations converted directly into IT equipment should donate through the Red Cross website.
“If you give Solutionware money, we will buy the hardware [at vendor's cost price] and hand-deliver it to the SES people up there. We're not making one cent at all. Myself and Alan as owners of the company will go up the mountain and deliver it into their hands ” Giacone said. Companies can find out more or send pledges by contacting email@example.com.
Many Victorian resellers have mobilised to offer cash and material donations to the bushfire victims. Distributors have already raised more than$100,000. The Australian Information Industry Association is also launching a new website to matchmake organisations providing free IT equipment with victims .
Businesses wanting to make a financial donation, or engage staff in the Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Daniel Murphy on (02) 9290 8943, Luke Gracie on (03) 9341 7520 or Nikki Williams on (03) 9341 7518.