Perched on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland, the Helsinki metro area is home to more than 1.5 million people.
The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) is charged with procuring and organizing public transportation for the entire region. HSL serves nine municipalities and oversees operations for buses, light rails, trains, ferries and more.
Ensuring continuity of service and providing fast, efficient ticketing and information are key components of HSL’s mission. So when its existing ticketing and service infrastructure was approaching end of life, Hannu Heikkinen, Chief Information Officer at HSL, consulted with digital service provider and IBM Business Partner TietoEVRY to discuss next steps.
Transported 396900000 passengers in 2019
Overall reliability rating of 99% for the Helsinki area
TietoEVRY advised Heikkinen to move HSL’s ticketing and service engine from IBM® Integration Bus to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, which is optimized for deployment on Red Hat® OpenShift® on any cloud or IT environment.
Not only would the transition to the new software be seamless; it would also position HSL for future expansion into containerization. “We already know IBM technology is great, so it was a natural progression to move to IBM Cloud Pak. It’s the first step in a long journey toward digitalization and the cloud,” says Heikkinen.
TietoEVRY helped Heikkinen and his team move HSL’s ticketing and information system to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration. The solution enables HSL to connect applications and data from its existing systems directly to technologies across its environments — without requiring any code.
But there’s more to it than that. “The IBM solution allowed us to replace traditional virtual machines and start using microservices architecture,” says Heikkinen. “It provides scalability, disaster recovery possibilities, faster production deployment and faster testing.”
Midway through the deployment, businesses in Finland started shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HSL saw ridership decrease by approximately 35% as a result but continued to operate its fleet as before. That meant ticketing and information needed to remain accurate and reliable despite the slowdown.
Fortunately, TietoEVRY completed the upgrade without any unplanned outages, and the system continues to be extremely stable today. “Our only concern now is getting riders back in public transportation,” he says.
With the application integration component in full production, Heikkinen and his team are turning to TietoEVRY for help determining what’s next. “Moving to IBM Cloud Pak made many interesting technical benefits available to us, and we’re still learning about them. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of everything the IBM technology has to offer,” he says.
Among the many things HSL is considering is artificial intelligence. “We have a large quantity of data we could take advantage of, and we gather more every day. We could be using AI to personalize our services, or even use it on the back end of our applications. These are definitive steps we want to take in the future,” says Heikkinen.
“There is so much to do,” he concludes.
Established in 2009, HSLExternal Link (link resides outside IBM.com) oversees public transportation for the nine municipalities in the Helskini area. Its network, made up of third-party operators, includes 11 railway lines, 2 ferry routes, 11 tram routes, 300 bus routes, 2 metro lines and 450 city bike stations. HSL employs approximately 400 people, and its activities are funded primarily by ticket revenue and municipal contributions.
TietoEVRYExternal Link (link resides outside IBM.com) is a software and IT services organization based in Helsinki. Its services include application development, business and technology consulting, cloud and infrastructure services, data, AI, analytics and more. TietoEVRY employs approximately 24,000 people and operates in more than 90 countries. Its annual turnover is approximately EUR 3 billion.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021. IBM Corporation, IBM Cloud, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504
Produced in the United States of America, April 2021.
IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and IBM Cloud Pak are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.
Red Hat® and OpenShift® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.
This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates.
The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.