The City of Laval, Que. is giving its residents a sizeable gift for its 40th birthday this year: a 311 system.

The system will enable the city’s 365,000 residents to call a single number for any city service. Negotiations with Bell Canada are under way and the number is expected to be available

for citizen use by early in 2006.

Estimated to cost $5 million over three years, the project is part of the city’s two-pronged approach to overhauling its IT infrastructure. The first stage of the project is the front end, a citizen interaction centre, due this spring.

On the back, an ERP system built on Oracle EBusiness 11i will eliminate silos and consolidate data in various departmental systems.

Paul Martel, the city’s IT director, said via e-mail the municipality is undertaking the overhaul because it had too many systems to maintain with too few employees. The number of systems had grown from 32 in 1990 to 170 in 2004. In addition, he said, maintenance was expensive, and it was extremely difficult to make the systems in each of the city’s department connect.

The city currently has about 50 Sun servers running on Unix-Solaris, which are being migrated to HP-Linux.

By early next year, the city will have migrated its financial and physical resources application to 11i.

Payroll is slated for migration by early 2007, while creation of an operations centre is due by 2006.

Implementation management reports will take place between 2006 and 2009.

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