TransPennine Express is a British train operating company, running intercity services which link some of the biggest cities and towns across the North of England and (parts of) Scotland.
Development of an exceptional, cost efficient hosting platform
TransPennine Express is a British train operating company, running intercity services which link some of the biggest cities and towns across the North of England and (parts of) Scotland. TPE is a part of First Group, a multi-national transport provider based in Scotland.
Prior to working with us, TransPennine Express were using paper records in each station to record the details of their season ticket holders. Whilst this met the contractual obligation to record the passenger's details, it did not allow the TOC to make best use of the data to efficiently deal with customer queries and after sales processes. Due to the budgetary constraints of a smaller TOC, Transpennine Express were unable to invest in the 'on premise' implementation of GoldSTAR typically used by larger train operating companies. They wanted a value for money solution with a low requirement to commit their own resource to the upkeep of the system.
Team Technologies already offered a fully managed, hosted GoldSTAR system for training and test purposes. As part of the development of a major release of GoldSTAR (Release 3), Team Technologies had explored the use of more cost effective, alternative open source platforms, including Linux, GlassFish and PostgreSQL. The introduction of these alternative building blocks allowed Team Technologies to offer a hosted version of GoldSTAR. We sought out a hosting partner with a high service ethos and values in line with our own, including ensuring tight security of premises and data.
Having proved the efficacy of this model through hosted Test and Training systems in the initial stages, we soon established that when combining the use of open source tools with the ability to host full blown GoldSTAR, we could drastically reduce the cost of ownership for smaller Train Operating Companies, who could not previously justify the costs of an in-house GoldSTAR system.
TransPennine Express became the first train operating company to use a hosted GoldSTAR system in a production environment.
Overcoming the specific challenges associated with hosting
- Keeping the environment secure and meeting the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
- Setting up reliable VPN connectivity between the customer and our hosting provider.
Security is a core requirement of any system storing customer details. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to this as a whole and have achieved ISO27001 accreditation in 2018. This helped us put the spotlight on both our internal and external partner processes and procedures and make sure they were up to scratch.
We deliberately chose a hosting partner that met all our security requirements including having the expertise to implement a reliable, secure and high speed VPN connection between the Customer’s network and the hosting site.
Customer benefits of opting for a hosted GoldSTAR system
- Removes much of the capital expenditure normally associated with an 'on premise' implementation.
- Reduces the on going cost of ownership, as the overheads of hardware, software licences and internal technical knowledge are provided by the supplier, thus leaving customers to focus resources within their own business.
- Leverages the expertise of the hosting site provider to offer economies of scale to run the computers.
- Ensures the customer is provided with a highly secure environment.
- Provides all the benefits of the GoldSTAR customer and ticket management system to increase efficiency in customer service.
- Maintains the ability to interface with all main ticket issuing systems, including Web, to form a centralised data store for all ticket transactions, thereby maintaining consistency of information throughout the TOC.