Hansea is a group of bus companies. The group (Hansea) wants to support these companies as much as possible in their activities. Sharing knowledge and expertise is an important point. To achieve this, they decided to work together with EASI to modernise one of their AS400 applications on the IBM i Power platform and develop a new application.
IBM i platform
Joris Larosse (CEO Hansea) had a good reason to choose the IBM i Platform.
'The platform is known for its reliability and stability. We had already had a lot of custom applications developed. So it was a conscious choice to continue developing on this platform. It allows us to carry out a transition in a very cost-efficient and step-by-step manner'.
Two applications were chosen, Joris explains: 'The first application was BePlan. The modernization of our existing planning system. Thanks to this modernization, we became aware of the possibilities of making this information available to our drivers. That's why we developed BeConnect.
BeConnect allows us to provide planning information at the level of the driver and to supplement it with route information. The new application also allows us to communicate with our drivers in two directions, which is definitely an added value'.
'Both applications will help us to continue to guarantee our operational excellence in the future. Throughout the entire operational process, we now guarantee the accuracy of the data from contract to execution. Within the sector, BePlan and BeConnect can serve as a state of the art reference.'
In this modernization Hansea had 4 objectives in mind. The group wanted to focus on:
- Correct information flow
The large flow of contractual data had to be enriched with the information and knowledge of the planners and brought up to date more quickly to the end users, i.e. the drivers.
In the past, the typical black-green AS400 screens were used. Only limited information could be accessed, and it was not accessible and easy to use for everyone. Therefore, the new application had to be accessible and easy to use for everyone, expert or bus driver.
- Communication platform
The communication flow was completely top-down. The drivers did receive information, but could hardly react or send information about their route back to the planners. The new applications therefore paid special attention to two-way traffic. In this way, the app works as a real communication platform.
- Knowledge sharing
Because the group consists of several companies, it was very important to bring them all together in one platform. In this way, the group can focus on knowledge sharing and optimally promote information sharing.
How are the new applications experienced?
Brice Tallon (Hastus Planner & Operations) explains. Our drivers used to work with a program that was based on AS400 technology. They had to work in old green screens with very basic text. Moreover, there was no easy flow of information. The new applications are secure, compliant with all legislation, mobile, easy to use and in a more pleasant and colorful environment than before.
The drivers are also satisfied Tim Stam tells us. He is both Hastus Planner & Operations and a bus driver. So he works with both BePlan and BeConnect.
Before, we just had a cover in the driver's room where our travel routes and service messages were inserted. If there were diversions, you just had to see that you were keeping good track of them. If you lost them, you'd have a problem along the way. How am I supposed to drive now. Now you've got everything. Even in the event of an unexpected diversion, you can pull over and take a quick look. That's a big difference. Besides, now we can have that information and messages anytime, anywhere. Even from home. Everything is nicely summarized and now you always have the latest of the latest with you.
Hansea chose the EASI cloud, why?
For two simple reasons Joris says. Firstly, we saw the number of users of our applications increase sharply. Our servers couldn't handle such a large increase in capacity. Secondly, it is also not a core competence of Hansea to manage servers. We therefore like to call upon the services and support of EASI to manage our IBM Power infrastructure in their cloud.
How is the collaboration with EASI?
"Very well," says Joris. We have noticed that we are able to work together with very motivated people at EASI This gives an extra dynamic to every project. In addition, EASI works in a very structured way, which allows us to maintain control of our project and to know where and to what. And finally there is the open and transparent communication. This way, there can be few misunderstandings.
Johan Mertens (Manager B&C) also joins in. The project has been handled very well. I was there from the first meeting. It was a very complicated process and everything was discussed thoroughly from the start. EASI works with Single Point Of Contact consultants, who have finished the operation step by step with us. As a result, today everything fits together completely and it all works as it should'.