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Manila, Philippines.- The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) solicited the help of Smartmatic in supplying over 2,500 laptop computers, which were used in the first automated election last May 10. The Dell Latitude laptops were utilized during the election management and preparation, in previous field tests, and on Election Day.

Smartmatic is a multinational technology company that designs, provides and deploys technological solutions that help government to endow their processes with transparency and efficiency, and to improve existing systems or processes.

Convenience and Transparency

Being the first automated election in the Philippines, it was necessary to choose the best computer available to ensure success. Dell Latitude laptops were selected primarily because of their ability to withstand heavy use, hundreds of tests, frequent transportation, rough handling, and the extreme weather conditions in the Philippines, with the prime directive of guaranteeing the protection of the official election data.

In terms of convenience, Smartmatic found the features of the Latitude laptops to be invaluable. The crisp screens and keyboard size enabled the electoral personnel to work comfortably without the need of additional accessories, such as large monitors and external pointing devices. Managing information was also quick and accurate because of Intel-based processors, which provided the power needed to run database and application systems.

Surviving The Challenges Of Automated Elections

Although Dell's laptop computers provided flawless service, they were not spared from the challenges brought about by the first automated elections in the country. One main challenge regarding the portable equipment was in cloning all the systems in order to have the same audited base image to start the configuration and personalization process in all the official equipment. The compatibility of Smartmatic's cloning solution and the hardware managed to make the cloning process a success.

All in all, the support provided by Dell allowed Smartmatic to save time, allowing its technical support group to focus on platform tests and adjustments rather than the infrastructure.


''There were many features that we liked about Dell's equipment. The Dell laptops with PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) support helped us greatly with the production process. The Dell servers with their automated preinstalled systems saved us a lot of time. The ample number of USB ports in the laptops allowed us to use USB security tokens to perform a really secure deployment. All these features and then some were included at no extra cost, fitting nicely into our steep budget constraints.'' - Salvador Sosa, Technology Department and Support Manager, Global Services, Smartmatic Corp.

''We are proud that we were able to take part in this milestone. It was not easy to implement the automated election, but because of the cooperation among Smartmatic, Dell, and COMELEC, we managed to make it through. We look forward to working with Smartmatic and the government in the coming future and deliver to them the best solutions and services that we can offer.'' - Ricky Lopez, Country Manager, Dell Philippines.

Source: Hardware Zone