A key feature of the new contract is a total refresh of the HP and IBM hardware upon which the reservation system runs, which will be carried out by Capgemini starting this month. The upgrade is required to handle increasing public demand for the national reservations service, which has seen big increases in popular demand in recent years as people change the way they book rail travel. It will increase the capability of the system from 780 to 2,000 transactions per second. As a result, customers will see further improvements in the ease and speed of making their rail reservations online or by phone.
Steve Howes, Managing Director of RSP, said: âThe National Reservations Service is a core part of the service we provide to the National Rail train companies. We are pleased to be taking the service forward via new investment on their behalf with Capgemini and for the benefit of the travelling public, enabling rail retailers to continue to offer speedy and easy to use internet methods of buying tickets and booking seats.â
The reservations system was designed and built by Capgemini under a contract signed between ATOC and Capgemini in November 2002. The system has won a number of awards including a British Computer Society (BCS) technology medal and the BCS award for best business achievement in the public sector.
Steve Pickman, Projects Director at RSP, said: âCapgemini has provided us with a reliable and cost-effective service over the years which has played a vital part in assisting the development of modern rail retailing methods. I am therefore very pleased that we will be continuing to work with them for a further ten years.â
He added that he expects Capgemini to help ATOC save significant sums of money in the planned hardware upgrade because of its buying power as a major global IT operator in negotiations with vendors such as HP and IBM. Further cost benefits under the new contract will derive from increased deployment of Capgeminiâs RightshoreÂ® delivery model, with the IT service being co-ordinated between Capgemini centres in India, Poland and the UK.
Tony Stansall, Account Director for ATOC and RSP at Capgemini, said: âThis new contract shows once again that our outsourcing customers come back for more, and usually on a long-term basis, reflecting our policy of constantly seeking to move technology forward and costs downward. We are naturally delighted to be chosen to serve RSP, ATOC, the UKâs train operating companies and the travelling public for a further ten years.â
The National Rail Reservation System processes some 3.7 billion transactions per year.