Tuesday, 08 August 2017 12:19

A case study with grunt: Azure-powered Gruntify streamlines disaster response efforts


Microsoft was so impressed with the work Brisbane-based GIS People’s did with its Gruntify platform built upon Azure, that it flew out its people from the US to film a case study.

Home to great natural beauty, Queensland, Australia is also susceptible to natural disasters, including storms, flooding, and fires – and as natural disasters both seem to be more prevalent, even though Australia is well known as a land of drought and flooding plains, organisations across the world are looking for solutions that can help reduce the impacts to communities.

Enter Gruntify, which is GIS People’s “flagship software solution for collecting, mapping and managing large numbers of field reports.”

To streamline the state’s disaster response efforts, Queensland engaged the help of GIS People — a Microsoft CityNext partner — to deploy the Gruntify platform to recovery workers.

In doing so, we’re told that “the state transformed the time-consuming manual process of documenting and cataloging storm damage. With its new data collection solution, Queensland has accelerated the reimbursement of relief funds and greatly eased disaster agency workloads".

You see, the Queensland Government says it “saw huge potential for Gruntify to be used in their rapid damage assessment following disasters, and the platform was set up to meet just that purpose for them. When Tropical Cyclone Debbie swept down the Queensland coast in March this year, the Gruntify technology was really put to the test".

After all, critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and power lines were damaged up and down the state.

So, to assist with quick recovery, GIS People says its “Gruntify mobile apps and Web platform were used to collect evidence of this damage, document it, and prepare reports, so that recovery and reconstruction activities can be expedited,” and that “the recovery operation is still ongoing and Gruntify is an integral part of managing that process".

So, what of the grunty video that Microsoft produced?

Well, it is embedded below, but the background is that Gruntify is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Through GIS People’s partnership with Microsoft under the CityNext programme, GIS People proudly boasts that Microsoft “heard about the exciting work that the Brisbane-based company have been collaborating on with Queensland Government. Microsoft loved the project so much, they decided to film a case study".

"This led to a film crew flying out from the US to Brisbane, where they conducted interviews with Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, the deputy director-general of the Department of Transport Queensland, Miles Vass, and GIS People’s chief executive Jamie Leach, who spoke about Gruntify and the work that that has been done in Queensland.

“The Microsoft production crew also filmed the GIS People and Queensland Government teams in action, using Gruntify in the field and in the office.”

We’re told that, “this filming opportunity has given GIS People the chance to show the world what Gruntify is all about, and how this platform can be used to make lives better".

Here’s the video:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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