MobileAware, the world's leading provider of Mobile Service Infrastructure, today announced that French national railway company, SNCF, has extended its use of MobileAware technology to launch a new mobile ticketing service, known as Tikefone. Currently available to passengers attending summer cultural events in Brittany, Tikefone enables passengers to complete the entire ticket-purchase transaction using their mobile device. The service, which is accessible through a simple URL on any browser-enabled mobile device, was developed and implemented within six months and is scheduled to roll out to other regions in France, beginning in September. Tikefone is SNCF's second mobile service using MobileAware technology - the award-winning mobile customer self-service solution, Infogare, has provided real-time train schedules to SNCF passengers throughout France since October 2005.
SNCF operates a highly successful online travel portal, which provides rail users with a host of time-sensitive travel information via a PC. Recognizing that PC-based travel services offer limited benefits to passengers on the move, SNCF has recently deployed a series of mobile solutions to improve the information flow to travellers and enhance customer satisfaction through added convenience.
Simplicity is central to the Tikefone solution. Passengers access the service by inputting a simple URL - www.tikefone.com - on their mobile device, after which they follow a series of easy-to-use options to complete the transaction. These include choosing their cultural event, the departure station, the type of rail ticket, the time and date of departure and finally using a secure method of payment. After completing the transaction, passengers receive a multi-media messaging service (MMS) with an embedded barcode, which is presented to ticket inspectors upon embarking the train.
SNCF chose MobileAware's Mobile Interaction Server (MIS) for its ability to allow developers to easily create mobile services using their existing web development tools and software skills. MIS seamlessly integrates with SNCF's J2EE environment, allowing the existing application architecture to work unimpeded but offering the added ability to render content according to the unique characteristics of any mobile device.
"After the successful rollout of Infogare, we had no hesitation in using Mobile Interaction Server to deploy our mobile ticketing service," commented Francois Bourniche, Researcher and Project Leader at SNCF. "No other mobile software product gives us the flexibility to develop mobile services that seamlessly integrate with our existing IT infrastructure and minimize the impact on our production teams. MobileAware will continue to be at the heart of future mobile services as we attempt to become even closer to our customers."
"SNCF's Tikefone solution demonstrates that the creation and deployment of mobile services can be a quick and simple process when done in conjunction with mobile experts using superior technology," commented Kevin McCloskey, CEO at MobileAware. "We have designed our products with simplicity and ease of use in mind to enable customers to launch mobile services using their existing skills and knowledge. The fact that one of Europe's leading railway companies can launch a comprehensive mobile ticketing service in such a short timeframe is truly testament to our expertise and the quality of our products."