National Express leverages IBM Cloud to improve rail service

In yet another cloud innovation effort on public infrastructure, IBM partnered with National Express Group, a global public transport company, to improve its operational performance and customer experience.

Under this partnership, IBM helped National Express’s rail franchise c2c devise customer experience innovations built on IBM Cloud by IBM Interactive Experience.

One of the innovations, a real-time mobile app allows customers plan their trip door to door by post code. Customers can track specific trains, nearby shops and services, disruption alerts and more.

On-platform staff will get real-time information on train schedule and status.

An ‘automatic delay repay’ application will calculate delays up to the minute and automatically repay compensation owed to smart card holders each month.

National Express

 

The solution will also feature dashboards that enable staff to drill down into key performance indicator data including travel revenue, cancellations and delays, complaints, employee data, and customer and employee safety data – to derive valuable insights and situational awareness, often in real time, IBM said.

The analytics capability of IBM Cloud allows c2c to analyze high volumes of previously fragmented information from external and internal sources.

The solution integrates IoT data from sensors fitted along the tracks to pinpoint a train’s location and provide exact punctuality information in real time. This data has been correlated with timetable information to enable punctuality reports based on station-to-station and full journey estimates.

The application is expected to be available by the end of 2015. The solution is delivered via the IBM Intelligent Operations Centre, (IOC) a data management and analytics platform built on the IBM Cloud.

Ruth Harrison-Wood, commercial director for c2c, said, “We knew intelligence could be driven from the high volumes of operational and customer data we generate daily. IBM has helped us get a holistic view of operations that will allow us to improve customer satisfaction in multiple areas, including delivering a first in UK rail with national postcode-to-postcode journey planning.”

Mike Tansey, executive, Travel & Transport, IBM, said, “This deal is a game changer in the rail industry as it represents fully integrated software-as-a-service solution that delivers insight, speed and agility for National Express.”

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]