UK bus operator Arriva has launched a new e-commerce platform hosted on a private cloud service. The cloud-based platform is designed to provide customers with up-to-the-minute service information and route details on their mobile devices and improve their ticket-buying experience.
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Arriva wanted a secure and scalable e-commerce site that can be easily accessed by its passengers on a wide range of devices including iPhones, Android devices and BlackBerrys.
In addition, the update to the online ticketing facility was mission-critical to its operations as an increasing number of passengers demand convenience as well as real-time access to bus information from mobile devices, according to Arriva.
The company’s latest private-cloud based e-commerce platform is tailor-made and scalable and is designed help Arriva cope with high volumes of traffic.
“With 770 million passengers a year, it’s likely that the traffic to Arriva’s website is going to increase significantly, so its IT needed to have the potential to scale up,” said Campbell Williams, group strategy director at Six Degrees Group, the company that is hosting the private cloud platform on its datacentre infrastructure.
Using cloud computing will allow Arriva to provision for short-term bursts and long-term expansion as website traffic increases overtime and as passengers access service information around the clock.
The e-commerce platform was designed by digital marketing provider Freestyle Interactive.
The private cloud solution is hosted on a dedicated rack in Six Degrees’ proprietary tier 4 datacentre facility.
Datacentre tiers are standards used to determine availability in a facility and also offer users a way to measure return on investment (ROI) and performance. The standards are comprised of a four-tiered scale, with Tier 4 being the most robust.
Tier 4 datacentres have non-redundant capacity components; are fully fault-tolerant through electrical, storage and distribution networks; and their cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, including HVAC systems.
To keep the website highly-available and resilient, especially where payment data is concerned, the private cloud service hosting the e-commerce platform includes a dual-site technology. This helps Arriva cut the risk of potential downtime by mirroring the deployment on a secondary cloud platform in a geographically diverse location.
“Arriva needed a ticketing option that its customers could access while travelling at any point of the day and at any location,” said Paul Taylor, technical director at Freestyle Interactive.
The cloud-based platform will become crucial to the bus operator and its customers as mobile use continues to increase in popularity, Taylor added.
Another transport service company to adopt cloud services for its ticketing services was Rail Settlement Plan. RSP adopted AWS cloud to provide a highly-available and resilient ticketing system as a growing number of its commuters adopted the “click and collect” model.