Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
A local company is seeking to utilise technology to address highways issues which have the potential to become serious traffic hazards.
United Data is developing a free app which would allow the public to alert relevant government agencies to issues such as faulty street lights, potholes and fallen power lines.
“We expect it to help broaden the scope of communication between citizens and the government,” said United Data president Quincy Rolle. “More desirable than social media, the app will offer a whole new level of accountability, tracking the entire process for the user, beginning when the complaint was lodged and ending at its successful closure.”
Currently not every government agency has a website nor even a Facebook page. If one is available, it doesn’t always acknowledge that a complaint was made or provide real time notification on the status of its resolution.
Essentially, the app would provide a means for the public to keep government agencies abreast of trouble spots along their commute, in real time. The free, mobile device app could be used at any place at any time.
“We are proposing a streamlined process with controls in place,” says Mr Rolle, founder of Web Solutions Bahamas, a firm specialising in the design, development and maintenance of websites. He possesses over a decade of experience in web and online applications development for local and foreign entities in a cross-section of industries.
“Our app will provide at least four notifications along the way: when the complaint is successfully submitted, once it has been read, when it has been assigned and finally when someone has been dispatched. The user who lodged the complaint is able to track the process every step of the way.”While the app is still in its design phase, Mr Rolle is exploring the possibility of providing drivers on a tight schedule with real-time traffic information for their preferred routes. If that were to happen, the data would be crowd-sourced, that is, it would come from drivers and their passengers, reporting an incident from their phones – accident, road work, any type of delay and such.
“Technology has changed the way society functions. It has also altered citizens’ expectations for how a modern government should function,” says the software design expert and graduate of the New England Institute of Technology.
Mr Rolle, who also studied international business at Palm Beach Atlantic University, is proposing to manage the app for the government, for a fee.
“We want to harness data to create mobile apps, smart databases and software products that make the lives of Bahamians easier,” he said. “Technology can do that. It can go into every sector of society and just make life easier.”In 2015, Rolle, created Logistikor an affordable, easy to use VAT invoicing and accounting software system with tools customised specifically for local businesses. Recently, he pulled the software off the market after entering into an arrangement with a private firm interested in exclusively utilising the product. That software deal is currently in negotiations.
With regards to his new app, Mr Rolle is currently working to arrange meetings between his company and the government agencies whom he needs to get onboard if the app is to progress from design to the download phase.
“We believe this app would be particularly useful during the hurricane season in apprising various government agencies of what’s in need of repair, while simultaneously keeping citizens abreast of ongoing developments in regards to the report they have filed,” said Mr Rolle.
Once approved by the relevant agencies, the app could become available to the public in two months.
“A modern Bahamas will require modern tools to thrive in this 21st century. We have to start placing those tools in the hands of Bahamians if we are going to encourage them to compete on any kind of global scale,” said Mr Rolle.
“United Data has a wide range of ideas we want to place into practical app forms.”