IBM Helps Air And Rail Transportation Companies Meet Consumer Demand For Better Service And Safer Travel

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 03 May 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a new software framework designed to transform the way airlines and rail companies track and manage critical aspects of their businesses. With the world’s current transportation systems becoming overburdened, causing flight and rail delays impacting both people and businesses, transportation companies are turning to innovative technologies to optimize operations and deliver an improved traveler experience.

Transportation systems are tremendously asset-intensive and use large amounts of energy. Using IBM’s advanced information management, analytics, automation and process integration software, airlines and rail companies can model and manage optimal routes, schedules, and capacity in near real-time and ultimately improve the consumer’s travel experience while minimizing energy costs. 

The new IBM Travel and Transportation Framework is a combination of IBM software products and IBM industry assets that provide a platform upon which solutions can be developed, deployed and managed. Interconnected systems allow a single view into business operations, saving money and time by allowing a company to be aware of the location, status and availability of all their equipment and assets. The framework leverages both industry and open standards to simplify integration, improve interoperability and enable the delivery of innovative customer-related services. 

"IBM's framework is specifically designed for the travel and transportation industry to help companies run their businesses more efficiently from the runway and repair yard to the back office," said Marty Salfen, general manager, global travel and transportation industry, IBM. "Through years of industry experience, we've taken the best ideas and models for the use of data, processes, and applications in travel and transportation and will offer a packaged solution to lower costs, speed up time-to-value, and reduce risk." 

The framework provides five key capabilities required by almost every transportation company, including:   

 IBM has engaged with the world’s leading airlines and railroads on mission-critical projects for more than 50 years. In working with clients such as Air Canada, Netherlands Railways and Atlas Air, IBM has developed an unparalleled portfolio of skills, technology assets, transportation-specific computing platforms, and business consulting and information technology services, supported by the world’s largest industrial research organization. As a result, IBM is uniquely positioned to facilitate a collaborative approach for innovation in the transportation industry.  

Travelport, one of the world's leading providers of real-time travel information and booking capabilities to online and offline travel agencies in over 160 countries, is utilizing the framework to simplify access and speed response times for travel suppliers and travel agency customers.  Response time performance improvements will enable websites for travel customers using the Travelport system to be faster and importantly, provide a richer experience.  As a result travelers will have a better experience when booking airfares, hotel reservations or reserving cars. 

The framework will also have a major positive impact with passenger and cargo rail companies. With rising fuel prices and congestion on the roadways, railroads are emerging as a fuel- and cost-efficient means of moving goods.  Rail is two to five times more energy efficient than road or air transportation, and passenger travel by rail produces three to ten times less CO2 than cars.  

Managing and optimizing trains and their network infrastructure is a complex process which requires sophisticated technologies.  The new Travel and Transportation Framework addresses and delivers the capabilities that rail companies need, including: 

With a smarter rail system in place, passengers will benefit from accurate, real-time data on train schedules while operators ensure safer transport. IBM solutions can manage vast and complex sensor networks along the rails collecting and analyzing data gathered from devices on trains, tracks, stations and other assets to improve the speed, safety, and reliability of rail service. 

The IBM Travel and Transportation Framework will also include the IBM Passenger Rail Reservation Service (PRRS)*, a product which will assist developers in accelerating the creation of reservation services common to the rail industry. With this set of industry- and process-specific accelerators, passenger rail companies, systems integrators, and commercial application development organizations will be able to quickly create basic rail services including seat availability, passenger booking, and rail operations.  PRRS will also support the building of business logic using these basic rail functions, and produce yield management, passenger check-in, and other business services. Passenger Rail Reservation Service is built on top of z/TPF to provide availability, scalability, performance, and SOA-enabling capabilities which are typical of z/TPF systems.


The IBM Travel and Transportation Framework helps clients to build an integrated platform for all of their operations based on industry standards.  This new framework utilizes elements of IBM’s entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products while leveraging the full range of IBM server and storage products and the industry-specific offerings and consulting expertise of IBM Global Business Services.  

Today’s announcement represents another addition to IBM’s leading portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks. Industry frameworks provide a configurable platform to accelerate deployment of business solutions. They extend IBM’s service oriented architecture (SOA) middleware with industry-specific capabilities and specially designed process templates. IBM industry solutions and industry business partner solutions build on the value provided by these industry frameworks to deliver a unique, end-to-end solution for each client.

For more information on the IBM Travel and Transportation Framework or for details on how IBM is helping transportation clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions, visit:

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1 *It is IBM’s intent to offer a Passenger Rail Reservation Service (PRRS) which will be a new software product that contain a set of reservation service functions common to the Rail Industry. With PRRS, customers will be able to immediately manage basic rail services including seat availability, passenger booking and rail operations. Developers will also be able to build business logic using these basic rail functions to create yield management, passenger check-in and other business systems. PRRS, which will be built on z/TPF, is intended to provide the availability, scalability, performance and SOA enablement which are typical of z/TPF systems.

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