In this time of crisis, many companies are cutting costs and related expensive service offerings. Railway ICT professionals met at the 13th annual eBusiness conference at UIC Headquarters in Paris, to share experience in developing simple, agile IT applications that can save money while increasing productivity. ‘ICT should be seen as a strategic asset and not as cost centre’ stated Mohamed Bhanji, Director, Marketing Technology for VIA Rail Canada. He added that ‘existing applications and IT investments can be effectively leveraged to increase productivity and make an impact on the bottom line of our company. We have effectively extended the distribution reach of our customer base to a global audience by leveraging the capabilities of our booking engine.’
The conference coincided with the release of Windows 7, where Microsoft departed from the philosophy that success is measured by the length of the feature list and are following a new philosophy: ‘To polish, optimize and streamline what we’ve already got.’ The case studies presented at the eBusiness conference followed this common industry theme of 2009 and highlighted various applications that were built atop existing legacy systems.
The successful development of the applications is attributed to the fact that many legacy systems were built using open architecture and use commonly accepted standards. This makes development more agile and cost-effective. Many of the applications presented in the case study were built in less than 6 months. All of the case studies were built to meet a specific business need, were user-defined and maximized connectivity between trading partners
The theme was echoed in a number of case studies where ICT Tools were used for timetable and capacity optimization. The case studies were appropriate for both freight and passenger operators and for infrastructure managers.
The UIC eBusiness Conference provides IT professionals to exchange experience view state-of-the-art applications in the railway sector.