IBM Helps Air And Rail Transportation Companies Meet Consumer Demand For Better Service And Safer Travel
Transportation systems are tremendously assetintensive and use large amounts of energy. Using IBM's advanced information management, analytics, automation and process integration software, airlines and rail companies can model and manage optimal routes, schedules, and capacity in near realtime and ultimately improve the consumer's travel experience while minimizing energy costs.
The new IBM Travel and Transportation Framework is a combination of IBM software products and IBM industry assets that provide a platform upon which solutions can be developed, deployed and managed. Interconnected systems allow a single view into business operations, saving money and time by allowing a company to be aware of the location, status and availability of all their equipment and assets. The framework leverages both industry and open standards to simplify integration, improve interoperability and enable the delivery of innovative customerrelated services.
"IBM's framework is specifically designed for the travel and transportation industry to help companies run their businesses more efficiently from the runway and repair yard to the back office," said Marty Salfen, general manager, global travel and transportation industry, IBM. "Through years of industry experience, we've taken the best ideas and models for the use of data, processes, and applications in travel and transportation and will offer a packaged solution to lower costs, speed up timetovalue, and reduce risk."
The framework provides five key capabilities required by almost every transportation company, including:
- Reservation System Modernization - Helps to facilitate the modernization of airline and passenger rail reservation and ticketing systems by using a new customercentric model which supports the imperative to offer innovative and unbundled services to better compete.
- Asset Optimization - Allows clients to manage capital assets throughout their revenueproducing lifecycle. The types of assets managed include aircraft, passenger rail rolling stock, locomotives, tracks, and equipment located along the rightofway such as signals and facilities.
- Safety, Security & Surveillance - Supports the use of sensors, RFID, digital video, biometric identification, and wireless devices. These are coupled with analytic tools to monitor operations, identify risks to safety or security such as unexpected events occurring in terminals and along railroad rightofway.
- Multi-Channel Sales and Service - Helps to provide a seamless customer experience across pretravel sales channels and ontrip touch points by providing the client with a single view of the information known about the customer / traveler.
- Operations Control Systems - Helps improve operational effectiveness and reduce environmental impact through better planning of schedules, load plans, facilities, crews and equipment. For railroads, this includes optimizing timetables, assignment of rolling stock and train and station crews. For airlines, this includes optimizing flight schedules and flight crews.
IBM has engaged with the world's leading airlines and railroads on missioncritical projects for more than 50 years. In working with clients such as Air Canada, Netherlands Railways and Atlas Air, IBM has developed an unparalleled portfolio of skills, technology assets, transportationspecific computing platforms, and business consulting and information technology services, supported by the world's largest industrial research organization. As a result, IBM is uniquely positioned to facilitate a collaborative approach for innovation in the transportation industry.
Travelport, one of the world's leading providers of realtime travel information and booking capabilities to online and offline travel agencies in over 160 countries, is utilizing the framework to simplify access and speed response times for travel suppliers and travel agency customers. Response time performance improvements will enable websites for travel customers using the Travelport system to be faster and importantly, provide a richer experience. As a result travelers will have a better experience when booking airfares, hotel reservations or reserving cars.
The framework will also have a major positive impact with passenger and cargo rail companies. With rising fuel prices and congestion on the roadways, railroads are emerging as a fuel- and costefficient means of moving goods. Rail is two to five times more energy efficient than road or air transportation, and passenger travel by rail produces three to ten times less CO2 than cars.
Managing and optimizing trains and their network infrastructure is a complex process which requires sophisticated technologies. The new Travel and Transportation Framework addresses and delivers the capabilities that rail companies need, including:
- Predictive maintenance, utilization and productivity of the train cars, tracks, equipment
- Scheduling and dynamically rescheduling of trains' movements
- Scheduling and optimizing assignment of crews to trains and staff to stations
- Surveillance of tracks and infrastructure
With a smarter rail system in place, passengers will benefit from accurate, realtime data on train schedules while operators ensure safer transport. IBM solutions can manage vast and complex sensor networks along the rails collecting and analyzing data gathered from devices on trains, tracks, stations and other assets to improve the speed, safety, and reliability of rail service.
The IBM Travel and Transportation Framework will also include the IBM Passenger Rail Reservation Service (PRRS)*, a product which will assist developers in accelerating the creation of reservation services common to the rail industry. With this set of industry- and processspecific accelerators, passenger rail companies, systems integrators, and commercial application development organizations will be able to quickly create basic rail services including seat availability, passenger booking, and rail operations. PRRS will also support the building of business logic using these basic rail functions, and produce yield management, passenger checkin, and other business services. Passenger Rail Reservation Service is built on top of z/TPF to provide availability, scalability, performance, and SOAenabling capabilities which are typical of z/TPF systems.
The IBM Travel and Transportation Framework helps clients to build an integrated platform for all of their operations based on industry standards. This new framework utilizes elements of IBM's entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products while leveraging the full range of IBM server and storage products and the industryspecific offerings and consulting expertise of IBM Global Business Services.
Today's announcement represents another addition to IBM's leading portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks. Industry frameworks provide a configurable platform to accelerate deployment of business solutions. They extend IBM's service oriented architecture (SOA) middleware with industryspecific capabilities and specially designed process templates. IBM industry solutions and industry business partner solutions build on the value provided by these industry frameworks to deliver a unique, endtoend solution for each client.
For more information on the IBM Travel and Transportation Framework or for details on how IBM is helping transportation clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions, visit: www.ibm.com/....