Britain’s passenger train operators and SchlumbergerSema, the information technology business segment of Schlumberger Limited, announced that it has completed development and implementation of the settlement system for UK rail industry. Code named LENNON, Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Over Night, it is one of the world’s largest ever transport settlement systems capable of handling and allocating more than GBP 3.5 billion in annual passenger revenue to Britain’s passenger train operators.
Managed by the Rail Settlement Plan (RSP) on behalf of the train operators, the system processes information from all UK train ticket sales whether purchased on a train, via the Web or at station ticket offices. It then allocates daily revenues to each of the 27 train operating companies within 24 hours of the ticket being purchased. It replaces the Capri system, which took up to six weeks to process and deliver the same information.
“The launch of LENNON is a significant milestone for the rail industry demonstrating how technology is improving efficiency and customer service,” said Antony Lain, Rail Settlement Plan chief executive.
LENNON also provides valuable marketing and customer-related data on 300 million annual ticket sales and usage patterns enabling train operating companies to better plan rail services to ensure that high levels of customer service are maintained at all times. The information can be used to develop more targeted and timely marketing and retail programs to increase sales.
“Working closely with the rail industry, Schlumberger has delivered a business critical solution that ensures that rail operators will now be able to take a daily view of how the commercial side of their business is performing and be able to embrace and exploit new opportunities as ticket selling is modernized,” said Dominic Arcari, director for transport, SchlumbergerSema.
In April last year, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) awarded a 17-year contract, worth GBP 80 million, to Schlumberger to design, build and operate LENNON. It was and still is the largest IT contract ever awarded by Britain’s rail industry.
In the UK rail industry, some 300 million train tickets are sold each year via more than 8000 ticket machines in stations, on trains and over the Web. Annual ticket sales total more than GBP 3.5 billion. Each ticket sale transaction (there are more than 700,000 each day) is polled, validated and apportioned to the relevant Train Operating Company within 24 hours. LENNON manages this process. It consists of 15 million lines of code, 15 terabytes of disc space, 40 gigabytes of memory and 28 x 900 mega-hertz processors.
Schlumberger is a global oilfield and information services company with major activity in the energy industry. The company employs 78,000 people of more than 140 nationalities working in 100 countries and comprises three primary business segments. Schlumberger Oilfield Services is the world’s premier oilfield services company supplying a wide range of technology services and solutions to the international oil and gas industry. WesternGeco, jointly owned with Baker Hughes, is the world’s largest and most advanced surface seismic company. SchlumbergerSema is a leading supplier of IT consulting, systems integration, and network and infrastructure services to the energy industry, as well as to the public sector, telecommunications and finance markets. In 2002, Schlumberger operating revenue was $13.2 billion. For more information, visit www.slb.com.
The scheme provides passengers with network benefits and is a condition to which all franchised train operators are party. The scheme enables passengers to enjoy travel and inter-available fares and impartial tailing across different operators. The scheme is administered by a separate company, Rail Settlement Plan (RSP), which is owned by the train operators. RSP is responsible for:
— Running the whole series of IT service outsourced contracts for rail tickets, ticket issuing systems, reservations, fares, information services, timetables, revenue allocation, revenue settlement between train companies, ticket on departure schemes and credit card automation.
— Distributing fares, reservation and timetable information to train companies, retailers and agents
— Gathering sales data
— Redistributing the revenue collected from ticket sales
— Ensuring that retailers and agents are using RSP approved systems to supply tickets
— Installing new IT systems.
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the official voice of the passenger rail industry – representing train companies to the Government and other opinion formers on transport policy issues. ATOC manages many joint activities for train operators including revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, the National Rail Enquiry Service, Railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.