Cloud Customer Service Solution for Train Operating Company
ScotRail is Scotland’s national train operating company, running 346 stations in the region. The ScotRail franchise has been owned and operated by Abellio since April 2015.
The need for change
In July, new legislation came into effect for train operator companies and the ways in which customers can be compensated for delays – The National Conditions of Carriage.
This legislation was updated to include additional methods for reimbursement — introducing refunds via debit and credit card, cheque, bank transfer, or cash. As a result, ScotRail required a reliable and transparent overview of the compensation process.
Consult and create
Abellio approached us to assist, having worked with the company before on previous projects.
TSG is a leading technology specialist and IT support company in the UK. Our TOCrm solution is a customisable solution based on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM xRM platform. It was developed by ourselves especially for the transport industry and met the requirements of Abellio and ScotRail — an all-in-one CRM solution, with a single point of contact that offered both mobility and redundancy.
TOCrm helps train operators’ contact centres to effectively manage customer data quickly and in real time, matching that information with timetable data and operating issues. TOCrm improves efficiencies and also handles the process around compensation claims. For this project the solution also provides an audit trail and the transparency required to comply with the changes to legislation.
“There was an incredibly tight deadline on the project,” said Richard Adams, Technical Product Lead at TSG. “We had two months to develop and implement a TOCrm solution that met ScotRail’s requirements. While the development of the solution wasn’t an issue, the challenge lay in ScotRail’s existing infrastructure.”
Aligned with ScotRail’s requirements for a cost-effective, flexible solution that didn’t require a capital-intensive investment in hardware, TSG explored the potential to deploy TOCrm in the cloud. In addition, it was identified that ScotRail’s infrastructure wasn’t geared to handle the additional traffic that was forecast for the new solution and as a result its connectivity needed to be upgraded.
TSG worked with its partner, Pulsant, to develop a cloud solution to host TOCrm. To meet the April deadline, the solution was first hosted on a physical server before being moved across to Pulsant’s Enterprise Cloud platform in September.
TSG worked closely with its dedicated Pulsant Solutions Architect to develop the right solution based on the customer’s requirements. For the ScotRail project this included built-in redundancy and business continuity. The train company operator has two contact centres — one based in Fort William and the other in Glasgow — these systems are hosted in two different Pulsant data centres. Not only can the contact centres easily share information across sites, but in the event of any downtime or a failure, the affected contact centre is replicated and the other site can pick up operations.
With TOCrm deployed in the cloud, ScotRail can also easily scale operations and capacity up, adding resources, bandwidth and users, as needed during peak travel periods, such as summer holidays or the festive season.
Support and evolve
Richard concluded, “We’ve been working with Pulsant for almost a year as our IaaS cloud partner, giving our customers the right choice. In the past solutions like this would have been delivered on physical servers, but with cloud delivering so many benefits, we wanted to ensure we delivered the best, most effective solution to Scotrail and passed those benefits on to them.
"Pulsant provides a high-performing and robust cloud platform that meets our needs perfectly and complements our portfolio of solutions, including TOCrm, with this latest project for ScotRail being the perfect example.”