Keeping Helsinki moving

IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration helps HSL prepare for the future
by Leah Valentine
3-minute read
Bus going over bridge

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.

Bus on city street while it’s snowing and people walking

Transported

396,900,000

passengers in 2019

Overall reliability rating of

99%

for the Helsinki area

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.
Hannu Heikkinen
Chief Information Officer, Helsinki Regional Transport Authority

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.

People walking with Covid masks on next to bus
Bus on street, sunny day with snow on the ground
The IBM solution allows us to replace traditional virtual machines and start using microservices architecture. It provides scalability, disaster recovery possibilities, faster production deployment and faster testing.
Hannu Heikkinen
Chief Information Officer, Helsinki Regional Transport Authority
A vital service
The IBM solution allows us to replace traditional virtual machines and start using microservices architecture. It provides scalability, disaster recovery possibilities, faster production deployment and faster testing.
Hannu Heikkinen
Chief Information Officer, Helsinki Regional Transport Authority

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.

More to come

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.

HSL HRT logo
About Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL)

Established in 2009, HSLExternal Link 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.

About TietoEVRY

TietoEVRYExternal Link 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.

Solution components
HSL HRT logo
About Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL)

Established in 2009, HSLExternal Link 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.

About TietoEVRY

TietoEVRYExternal Link 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.

Solution components