“Onboard Customer Recognition and Loyalty Program / Onboard PDAs Enable Real-Time CRM in Thalys Trains”
Paris, France - June 16, 2003
To develop its Cybelys customer loyalty program, Thalys International selected the combined technological and strategic capabilities of Atos Origin and rmg:connect, J. Walter Thompson's relationship marketing agency. The support of these two partners enabled Thalys International to implement an innovative, creative program, while upgrading business processes to offer customers more responsive, personalized services. The program is now up and running.
More real-time services for travelers
Designed for frequent travelers between Paris and Belgium, the program marks the first time a railroad has offered a loyalty card delivering real-time services, such as SMS and e-mail in the event of a major delay. The card also enables Cybelys members to change their ticket by phone, without going to the station, and to board just before their Thalys train leaves.
These services are managed from a customer contact center specially created for the loyalty program by Atos Origin, which designed and built the facilities, then hired and trained the required trilingual contact agents. Open seven days a week from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, Cybelys Contact offers members a variety of services and benefits, such as booking a taxi for the arrival time or having flowers delivered. Atos Origin also manages payment flows and other back-office functions for these exclusive services.
Cybelys is also accessible on the Internet via a link on www.thalys.com, which takes users to a site developed and hosted by Atos Origin.
Advanced technology for Thalys International employees
In the trains, PDAs are used to recognize customers by reading their microprocessor-equipped loyalty cards, to record their trips so they can be sent targeted promotional offers, and to transmit, almost in real time, any complaints or comments to the Thalys customer service center.
The PDAs also enable train managers to receive additional information, such as the number of available seats in each car. In this way, the onboard devices reduce the amount of paper exchanged among links in the railway chain, eliminate the number of onboard documents, and make it easier to access information. This enhances the efficiency of train managers and frees them to spend more time with their preferred customers.
Atos Origin, with the functional support of Thalys International, developed the dedicated software for the PDAs, as well as standardized protocol for data transfer among the PDAs, the contact center, the SNCF/SNCB reservation system and the loyalty program's customer data base.
A highly sophisticated technological solution
The PDA is a Siemens Pocket PC equipped with the market's first PDA-compliant smart card reader, developed especially for the program by Pro-Active. It communicates via Mobistar's GPRS network, thereby eliminating the need for ground infrastructure.
Thalys International, which operates in four languages in four countries, carried some six million passengers in 2002, a figure that is expected to double by 2010. It will therefore derive considerable competitive advantage from the new system, which uses a single, central database to manage each customer, one-on-one, regardless of nationality or country of location.
A recognized operator and technical facilities manager of CRM solutions, Atos Origin designed and developed the loyalty program, hired and managed all the outside technical service providers involved in the development phase, and is now running the system's back-end.
The program is currently the Atos Origin project combining the broadest array of different capabilities and technological components. Using bricks from its comprehensive Customer Chain For Loyalty offering, Atos Origin simplified the personalization process and enabled Cybelys to be deployed in record time, with appropriate technology and resources. Few companies are currently capable of successfully completing an end-to-end project of this size.
About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services provider. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations, including outsourcing and on-line services. In August 2002, Atos Origin acquired KPMG Consulting in the UK and The Netherlands, trading as Atos KPMG Consulting. The company generates annual revenues of EUR 3 billion and employs 28,000 staff in 30 countries. The Group's client list includes major companies such as ABN AMRO, Akzo-Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, BP, Euronext, Fiat, ICI, ING, KPN, Lucent, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Shell, UBS Warburg, Unilever, Vivendi Universal, Vodafone and Wolters Kluwer.
Contact : Anne de Beaumont - Tel 33 (0)1 49 00 96 42 - firstname.lastname@example.org
About Thalys International
Thalys International is the company which defines and strives the offers supply to the travellers of the Thalys high-speed network.
Precisely, Thalys International sets and manages the features of the offer, the commercial follow-up and the quality control, the distribution policy, the commercial communication and advertising, the onboard and in station services, the partnerships, the passenger's reservation, booking and yield management, the follow-up and stimulation of the sales.
In addition, Thalys International manages a customer's service for passengers in France and Belgium, as well as Thalys' rolling stock, which is operated on the basis of a pool used by the 4 partners.
About rmg :connect
rmg:connect is the marketing services network of the J. Walter Thompson communications group. It's expertise is in the creation and execution of relationship marketing strategies and CRM programmes. With offices in 15 European countries , rmg:connect employs 300 people and realises a gross margin of 45 million Euros.
Mobistar (EURONEXT BRUSSELS : MOBB) is one of the main players of the telecommunications world in Belgium. Active in mobile and fixed telephony as well as on other markets with high growth potential. In 2002, the total revenue of Mobistar group has exceeded a thousand million to reach 1,034 thousand million euros. For 2002, the consolidated net income profit amounted 102,4 million euros, against a net income loss of 30,5 million of euros in 2001. At the end of 2002, Mobistar was employing 1,716 persons and the number of customers was 2,305,390. Mobistar is one of the operators with the fastest growth in Europe. Belgian subsidiary of Orange S.A., which combines all the international mobile activities of France Télécom, Mobistar is quoted on the Brussels stock exchange.