The UK railway is a complex transport network operated by independent rail companies, servicing millions of people and businesses on a daily basis. The rail operators share a common purpose, to deliver a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly railway while offering value for money.
Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) is a not-forprofit company, providing support and facilitation to a wide range of cross-industry activities. With 250 staff, including experts in a wide range of technical disciplines, RSSB plays a key role in the management of network safety. RSSB’s core functions include measuring safety performance and analysing risk.
RSSB wanted to provide its customers with the right software tools to meet its intelligence and risk information requirements.
In a nutshell, RSSB wanted to provide the industry with the right information in the right format that met their requirements. Major changes were also afoot as RSSB were looking to modernise their old SAP Business Objects platform, to support these new ways of sharing information with their members.
RSSB looked at what the Business Intelligence marketplace had to offer, evaluating a number of options from a variety of vendors. They eventually decided to continue with their existing technology as not only was it embedded within their SMIS application, but to move away from SAP Business Objects would have presented an unnecessary risk to the organisation with little or no benefit.
RSSB had historically used SAP Business Objects software in combination with technical services provided by either an SAP consultant or another third party company to help with their Business Intelligence activities. Although this had not always been the most cost competitive or effective way to proceed, it was necessary to work with third parties as they did not have the necessary skills in-house.
Due to the business critical nature of the SMIS system, it was imperative that they find the right partner with the right type of experience to deliver on their promises.
RSSB were given the confidence they needed to reassure them that they would be working with a high quality organisation with an impressive Business Intelligence pedigree. Through meeting with the team at DSCallards, RSSB were able to talk through their unique requirements with an experienced Project Manager and Senior Principal Consultant, with over forty years combined experience in ensuring projects of this type were successful, delivered on time, and on budget.
Once the project scope and plan had been defined, for four months DSCallards engaged with RSSB’s infrastructure partner IBM, and managed and implemented a tri-party programme of BI modernisation that involved working with multiple teams, contacts, datacentres and offices throughout the UK. However, as with any project of this size, there were challenges along the way.
When asked how DSCallards differed from other Business Intelligence partners, Jeff commented,
RSSB felt that considering the project involved three organisations – RSSB, IBM and DSCallards – effective Project Management throughout the duration was critical.
Once the production system was live, DSCallards then began the process of enabling users through skills transfer both for internal users at the RSSB office in London, and also for their customers located around the country.
To achieve this without incurring additional expenses, DSCallards delivered a series of tailored training courses over the web through online meetings.
When asked how he felt the knowledge transfer and training was delivered by DSCallards, Jeff commented,
RSSB’s relationship with DSCallards goes from strength to strength and both companies intend to continue working in partnership to tackle new Business Intelligence challenges and adopt appropriate technologies as they emerge on the market.
When asked whether RSSB would recommend DSCallards to another organisation, Jeff replied,