UK rail operator FirstGroup has agreed a five-year IT innovation framework with Bath-based IPL, a systems integrator specialising in digital innovation and Enterprise Information Management.
The agreement will see the companies working together to identify and develop ways to improve the customer experience by enhancing the way it operates its train companies, which include First Great Western and First TransPennine Express.
Early projects are likely to include new mobile services and cutting-edge ways to bring together operational information to help reduce delays, enhance the traveller experience and improve customer service and satisfaction levels.
The framework agreement follows IPL’s development of a number of innovative systems that have become central to First’s train operating company control centres.
This includes the MAVIS operational alerts application, used to provide up-to-date information on train operations to staff and customers.
Duncan Waugh, Head of Rail Information Systems at FirstGroup, said: “Up-to-the-minute information in the hands of staff and customers is key to the successful running of today’s railway, and IPL will help us enhance the way we do this by using technology in intelligent ways.
“A targeted investment in this area can deliver transformative results, and we’re delighted to be pioneering this innovation-led approach.
“By investing in innovative ways to draw together information and present it to the right people, passengers using current and future FirstGroup trains and stations will notice a real difference, before, during and after their journeys.”
Andy Cox, Innovation and Solutions Director at IPL, added: “We’re excited to be working with FirstGroup to create some truly cutting-edge systems.
“We’ll be taking them on the next steps of their digital journey, exploring the art of the possible and finding new ways to use information to improve the passenger experience.
“We draw on our long experience of creating first-class, award-winning digital information systems, which include Nationwide’s online bank and smartphone apps, as well as UCAS’s cloud-based Track service.”