Smart421 wins contract to deliver shared-service integration for new South East Flexible Ticketing ITSO-based smart ticketing system
Rail Passengers to benefit from advances in IT, cloud and smart media
18 NOV 2014 – LONDON – UK IT Services firm Smart421 announces today a new contract win to help deliver the next generation smart ticketing system for the Rail industry. The contract for a Transaction Management System (TMS) for South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) is awarded to Smart421 by the Rail Settlement Plan Limited, the commercial arm of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and comes after a rigorous competitive tender process.
The SEFT programme will deliver ITSO smart ticketing to the rail network in South East England, surrounding London. ITSO is the nationally agreed UK open specification for transport tickets on smart media, to include plastic smart cards and mobile devices that support Near Field Communications (NFC).
Rail passengers will benefit from a switch to smart tickets because:
· they open automatic ticket gates more quickly and reliably
· it will be easier to buy tickets online and collect them at stations
· they will help to shorten queues at ticket offices
· they don’t wear out as quickly as paper tickets
· they will allow delay/repay procedures to be simplified
· they are more secure
· they can easily be blocked and replaced when Lost/Stolen
· they can be personalised to the customer with a photo image
· they can combine products for example a travel ticket and discount entitlement
· the platform will later enable use by mobile phones using contactless technology called Near Field Communications (NFC) which will make it even simpler to buy and use tickets
Smart421 will design, develop, deliver and support the Transaction Management System (TMS) over the next four years. The TMS will be used by the train operating companies (TOCs) who are participants in the SEFT scheme central back office. The TMS has many of the same performance, security, scalability, availability, resilience and integration attributes required for the Live Sales Management (LSM) solution, which was delivered by Smart421 earlier this year.
TMS will use a modern open-source Java based software platform, customised and integrated by Smart421 Consultants and will be hosted in a cloud-based environment in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to fulfil the key scalability / high availability requirements.
Neil Miles, managing director at Smart421, said, “The SEFT contract reinforces Smart421’s leading position and role in digital transformation in the Rail sector; Smart421 delivered the Live Sales Management system for Rail Settlement Plan as well as a separate Service Integration and Management (SIAM) project for National Rail Enquiries. We are delighted to be involved in SEFT which will contribute directly to improvements that both the Government and rail passengers want to see.”
South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme is a Department for Transport sponsored scheme, approved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of the Growth Agenda in 2011. It is being delivered by the Department working with The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and Transport for London (TfL).
Its objective is to provide passengers with a modern smartcard ticketing service which both reflects passengers’ travel patterns and can respond to their future travel and ticket needs.
The SEFT scheme will roll out with 12 train operating companies and Transport for London through a staged introduction of “smart ticketing” throughout the South East. It will maximise economies of scale through cross-industry collaboration. SEFT will not replace Oyster, but work alongside it as a complementary system.
Smart ticketing is already used in some parts of the UK. One of the most used in the UK is London’s Oyster Scheme. For passengers using season tickets, smart ticketing provides a more durable ticket and overcomes one of the fundamental flaws of paper ticketing in that lost or damaged tickets can be more easily replaced.
Smart ticketing can also offer passengers:
1. Greater convenience, through touch-in technology, longer-lasting “tickets” and greatly reduced ticket and gate queues
2. Greater value for money (e.g. by capping the amount they pay, or replacing several tickets with a more efficient one, e.g. a travel card or carnet)
3. An opportunity for more flexible ticketing products in the future, that could not work on paper-based tickets.
ATOC’s mission is to work for passenger rail operators in serving customers and supporting a prosperous railway. Set up after privatisation in 1993, ATOC brings together all train companies to preserve and enhance the benefits for passengers of Britain’s national rail network. ATOC is a trade association that brings together all Train Operating Companies (TOCs) with a purpose of preserving and enhancing the benefits for passengers of Britain’s national rail network.
About Smart421 Ltd
Smart421 delivers high-end consultancy, integration and service management of business-critical systems for large enterprises operating in regulated markets. Smart421 is part of the KCOM Group plc (LSE: KCOM.L) a FTSE250 listed business with an annual turnover of £400M, 1,800 staff and offices in major locations across the UK.
ITSO is the national Specification, or Standard, for smart ticketing. The copyright for this is owned by The Crown in Great Britain. ITSO is also the membership organisation (ITSO Ltd) which is Guardian of the Crown copyright for the ITSO Specification. The ITSO Board oversees the work of ITSO Limited and is made up of representatives from the different membership sectors.
Department for Transport, Policy, Improving local transport
Smart and integrated ticketing https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-local-transport/supporting-pages/smart-ticketing