Leading rail ticket retailer improves business agility & governance
TheTrainline.com (TTL) is the UK’s leading independent online retailer of train tickets. Having a subscriber base of over 12 million registered users and access to over 293 million journey and fare combinations, TTL’s mission is to help their customers make savings on train tickets. TheTrainline.com sells rail tickets through its own website as well as operating retail websites for a number of Train Operating Companies (TOCs). In 1999 TheTrainline.com became the first independent train retailer to sell train tickets online and continues to be the industry leader by using innovative solutions for search, purchase, delivery and return of rail tickets for both private and business travellers.
IDG (Information Systems Development and Governance) is an integral part of TheTrainline.com, delivering application and website development projects that are crucial to the commercial success of TTL’s business and to its customers. IDG uses the latest .NET framework in a true Agile software development environment, utilising a sophisticated suite of Agile development tools to enhance and maintain TTL’s complex IT systems which are based on a number of bespoke and enterprise technologies.
Given that TTL operate websites for a number of TOC’s it is important that IDG develop flexible applications which deliver the right solutions to both TTL business and retail customers. Additionally, the nature of TTL business requires IDG to have the flexibility to scale up and down swiftly to meet changeable business demands without affecting the standard Run and Maintain operations. IDG decided to add an IT Services partner who could provide truly Agile resources and offer a scalable flexible engagement model to help TTL improve services, quality and cost efficiency.
TTL wanted an IT Services partner who offered a flexible staff augmentation service with an expert pool of resource, QA’s and BA’s experienced in Agile development, Microsoft products and Test Automation tools. They were determined to improve quality and demanded a partner with global delivery capability and industry best practice accreditations. They insisted on a partner who could demonstrate an exceptional focus on quality to meet their exact business requirements. With an eye to the future, they also wanted the partner who could contribute to the leadership of the applications development, testing and support.
In particular, TTL wanted a partner who could demonstrate capability and credibility to:
- Offer a flexible global delivery service
- Provide skilled & qualified resources in Microsoft products and Agile methodology
- Deliver a wide range of consultants including Development Managers, Developers, BAs & QAs
- Ramp-up and down the team to mirror project demands
- Deliver an effective resourcing plan to manage recruitment, retention and rotation
- Establish and maintain a knowledge retention repository and procedures
- Provide a joint governance process for the service
- Contribute to the success of TTL IDG
JKT, with more than two decades of experience in developing and maintaining IT applications, has a proven track record in providing skilled resources and services across leading industry technologies including Microsoft, Progress, SAP, Oracle and IBM. JKT offer a robust and time tested staff augmentation framework and solution delivery capabilities that have repeatedly delivered best-fit solutions for our clients. As a mature IT Services Company, JKT were well positioned to meet TTL criteria:
- Global delivery model
- Flexible & scalable engagement models
- Staff Augmentation as a core service
- Skilled resources across multiple technologies
- Partners with leading technology companies
- Strong governance and relationship management frameworks
Initially, JKT were engaged to demonstrate their in-depth Agile development and Microsoft .Net technology skills. Our team were to work alongside the TTL team on a mission critical project. JKT’s team helped with architecture and design of TTLs TRUMPS application and recommended improvements to Agile development and governance processes. TTL accepted the findings and engaged JKT to provide a team of .Net developers, QAs and BAs to implement the recommendations and assist in new development projects. As the relationship matured, TTL engaged JKT to oversee another strategic project targeted at reducing the ticket refund cycle time and cementing TTL as an innovative solutions provider to the Rail industry. This was delivered ahead of time and under budget.
Separately, TTL had challenges with the ongoing support of their CRM application due to shortage of Epiphany skills. JKT quickly responded and provided qualified consultants who took over the Epiphany support and delivered an improved, robust and reliable service, leveraging our global delivery capabilities from one of our Advanced Development Centres.
The overall engagement resulted in a large JKT team augmenting TTL IDG to deliver solutions for Application Development, QA, Testing and Maintenance using Microsoft,Selenium, Epiphany and related technologies.
TTL found in JKT a flexible partner who offered mature Agile capabilities and a well trained pool of resources able to support the demands for their ongoing business needs. TTL were able to swiftly flex their IT resourcing to match fluctuations in business demands. Using JKT for staff augmentation allowed TTL to release key resources to focus on emerging technology thereby keeping TheTrainline.com at the forefront of online ticketing. The relationship with TTL continues to mature and JKT is now a strategic partner of TTL, integrated into delivering successful projects and services.