In the rapidly changing mobile environment, organically grown mobile applications quickly become unwieldy and too costly to manage or extend. Software Consortium helped the nation’s leading passenger rail transporter extend its substantial enterprise IT capabilities into the field, with a mature mobile architecture that could meet its high demand today and into the future.
Our rail transportation client recognized the potential of increased opportunities, greater process efficiencies, and geographic agility with the extension of its capabilities to mobile devices. Like other businesses, the client’s early efforts were organically grown solutions that were difficult to extend beyond their original purposes.
This client had a number of its key business activities already deployed or planned for deployment to mobile devices, including POS terminals onboard trains, handheld devices for mechanical, engineering and transportation crews, and tablet computers within the Food & Beverage area. Over 2000 Smartphones are planned for deployment in the first quarter of 2011, as Conductors begin the transition to nationwide onboard electronic ticket validation in real time.
It was paramount that the capabilities and intended uses of mobile devices match the robustness and importance of the client’s traditional fixed systems and business processes. Architectural solutions would need to address both the tactical and strategic challenges of mobile device deployments, in light of the business needs. The benefits of a successful approach were significant:
- Leveraging efficiency and cost improvements over manual processes
- Improving information accessibility in the field to aid decision making, reduce loss, and improve sales
- Enhancing the customer experience, and
- Complying with industry-specific security standards
Software Consortium architects used their technical competency, as well as strengths in consulting, influence, leadership and teamwork to help the client develop a foundation for its mobile solutions that would ensure long-term manageability and extensibility. The resulting Mobile Devices Reference Architecture (MDRA) addresses the most important technical aspects of a mobile solution:
- Framework for distribution,
- Enterprise service interoperability and
- Framework for application development.
The guidance offered by the MDRA will enable this client to maximize the investment of mobile computing initiatives and ensure that IT investments are aligned with strategic goals.
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