ComfortDelGro Introduces SMS Taxi Booking Service with Jboss

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June 25, 2009

Customer: ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited

Industry: Services
Geography: APAC
Country: Singapore


Business Challenge:

Provide an alternative channel for taxi booking to alleviate phone call booking overload during peak periods

Solution:

Short Message Service (SMS) booking system developed on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and JBoss Seam

Benefits:

Allows customers to book a taxi anytime, anywhere using SMS in just 30 seconds, which means less waiting time for customers and more booking jobs for cab drivers

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Background:

ComfortDelGro is the worldand#x2019;s second largest public-listed passenger land transport company with a fleet of 45,000 vehicles. The Group has a global workforce, shareholder base and outlook. Headquartered in Singapore, it has operations in China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. ComfortDelGro was formed in 2003 through the merger of two land transport giants and#x2013; Comfort Group and DelGro Corporation. Both had started out in the 1970s and had, by the time of the merger, grown to become successful listed land transport companies. Comfort and CityCab, the groupand#x2019;s two taxi companies, are the largest in Singapore with a combined fleet of about 15,000 taxis.

Business Challenge:

Catering to more than 20 million taxi bookings annually, ComfortDelGro’s Customer Contact Centre is running at full capacity, with the situation becoming more pronounced during peak hours and on rainy days.

In 2007, the Company started to explore more ways to automate the booking process so as to handle the increasing volume of calls and reduce the time it takes for calls to be handled. Part of the booking process had already been automated with the broadcasting of call bookings to taxis using General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology via the in-vehicle Mobile Data Terminals.

As mobile phones are widely used in Singapore, ComfortDelGro decided to implement the Short Message Service (SMS) taxi booking service.

Solution:

A closed tender was called with three vendors pitching for the project. “Our criteria were the vendor’s experience in the SMS platform, its track record and support level. The platform must be able to integrate seamlessly with our existing Java-based solutions,” said Ms Wong Oi Mei, Vice President, Information Technology of ComfortDelGro’s Taxi Business.

After carefully considering the options available, the Company decided to pick the JBoss Seam-based solution proposed by Maven Lab, a Red Hat Business Partner under the Infocomm Development Authority’s (IDA) Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP).

“Maven Lab’s proposal matched our requirements. The Red Hat solution also offered lower cost of implementation,” said Oi Mei.

Maven Lab took three months to develop the system, which runs on Windows on HP Intel-based servers. JBoss Seam was used as the application server. A pilot run involving staff and selected customers started in January 2008 and following feedback gathered, the improved and more user-friendly SMS taxi booking service – the first of its kind in Singapore that enables commuters to book a taxi via SMS any time from any location without having to register – was launched.

Benefits:

The new servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux are able to host a range of business applications, including SAP, Oracle, Apache web server, Zope application server, and SZYK. SYZK is an ERP application developed by COIG and used by the coal mines for a number of operations, including stock control, accounting, sales support and purchasing.

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