IT industry rallies to support Queensland flood victims
- 18 January, 2011 16:01
As the Queensland recovery effort begins to take shape, the IT industry is gearing up to show its support for the flood victims.
Many organisations contacted by ARN were still formalising their action plan to help provide support to victims.
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), lead the charge, donating $5000 towards the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.
More than $88 million has been raised so far. To date, Telstra has donated $1 million, Optus - $200,000, Vodafone - $150,000, Fuji Xerox Australia - $50,000, NetApp - $45,000, Dick Smith - $25,000, Bing Lee - $10,000, Fujitsu - $10,000, and Jumbo Interactive - $10,000.
SAP was also encouraging staff to raise $10,000 and it would match that amount dollar-for-dollar.
Microsoft is offering temporary access for affected SMBs to a cloud-based personal Windows Azure hard drive that will enable them to save critical files into a secure, off-site backup facility, as they begin the long process of recovery. For more information, businesses should email BNEFlood@live.com.
It has also offered its support to the Queensland Government through the Microsoft Disaster Response programme. Along with its partners, the tech giant is providing information and communication technology consultancy, collaborative solutions to support communication between geographically dispersed users, temporary software licenses, online services (where the IT infrastructure of emergency operations centres has been impacted), volunteers and the extension of its global call centre capability to first responder organisations and non-governmental organisations.
The software giant has also committed $10,000 to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal and will match employee donations to the Australian Red Cross, the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal and RSPCA. As at January 17, the total cash donation from Microsoft and staff stands at $44,000.
It has also committed to donate software to non-profit and charitable organisations through its partnership with Donortec, which extends to a number of charities helping in the Queensland flood disaster.
Print vendor, OKI will donate funds for the purchase of each printer to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal. A specific dollar amount has been assigned to each model across a selection of the product range and will be applied to all purchases until the end of January.
“Many of our dealers either have or will be affected by the floods in a very direct and personal way, so this is likely to be just a small first step towards the manner in which we can support them” OKI marketing manager, Chris Thorley, said.
Accessories distributor, Anyware Computer Accessories, has so far pulled in $6000 in donations – and counting. For its resellers affected by the crisis, it is also offering free freight on orders over $300.
A HP spokesperson said it was still working through its relief plan, but it was working to ensure the safety of HP Brisbane employees and their families by offering financial assistance with temporary accommodation.
“We’ve also been working closely with our customers and partners to ensure minimal disruption to their business operations,” the HP spokesperson said.
AIIA is also working with the Queensland Government and specifically the Department of Education to support efforts in rebuilding.
AIIA Queensland branch chair and Oakton Queensland general manager, Simon Williams, said it was trying to work out what schools needed to get back on track at the moment.
“Most people that I’ve spoken to have been working in their individual communities and it’s ongoing. There’s been such devastation in our own communities,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of activity from the industry perspective and much of the work that is going on is for free from what I’ve witnessed. It’s been quite inspiring.”
Williams said Oakton had also made a $5000 contribution and would be matching donations during the next month.
AIIA is calling on the ICT industry to pledge their support online and will forward it to the Premier's Office.
If you're doing something to support the flood victims, email Julia Talevski.