WhoshouldIsee Tracks

An Interview With Paul Warren – KeTech Sales Director

What do you think makes KeTech different?

The answer is simple, although the background is technical and quite complex. Our systems are different because they have been engineered to actually create the real-time information that is updated and presented dynamically to the traveller (operators and staff). At best, competitor systems might be able to ‘take a feed’ from an operator or local authority, whereas our system harnesses data from multiple sources to create a dynamic and situationally aware provision of highly accurate information. It’s because we have decades of experience providing systems to rail operators and have accurate train prediction algorithms that we can do this.

What is the impact?

Good question, let’s take a traditional passenger information system (PIS) on a train; It will be programmed to play messages based from a static database – yes even on brand-new rolling stock. This is fine if the 10:03 from Manchester Piccadilly actually leaves at 10:03, but the moment that the service is affected by any type of disruption such as delays, change of calling pattern or change of route, the traditional, static PIS ultimately becomes outdated. This leaves passengers without up-to date information, when they need it the most.

A KeTech system has logic for these eventualities already built in and with the use of multiple sources of data, it automatically generates a picture of what’s happening and presents accurate information to that specific train, all in real-time.

Let me put this into context for you. Back in 2019, nearly one million people across England and Wales were affected by a power cut. The outage was caused by two failed power stations, resulting in disruption on most of the UK’s rail network and leaving many train passengers stranded. LNER’s received praise from passengers on social media, because our system delivered contextual and live journey information, providing the passengers with clear, consistent and meaningful advice, which was updated, even during the power outage. It may not have been good news, but it was information which kept the passengers aware of the duration of the delays and the impact on their journeys.

How does the industry see KeTech?

We have recently received innovation of the year for our C-DAS by Siemens no less, so I would say we are seen as innovators and an award-winning supplier. Our people have big ideas. we are no stranger to UK firsts and this really highlights KeTech’s drive to make the impossible, possible and move the rail industry forward.

KeTech is often described as a partner of choice and I believe that’s down to the way we do business. We always provide the best value for money solutions possible to our customers through our systems. If it doesn’t add value, the project isn’t successful; and that’s why we put so much emphasis on collaboration, tailoring systems to our customers and the way they operate. That way we can get it perfect the first time around.

We’re known for a ‘one size doesn’t fit all approach’. Our customers organisations and our systems alike are complex, so that is exactly the way it should be.

What is KeTech’s mission?

Our mission is simple, to deliver great Customer experience in the rail industry. We aim to drive real change and help drive the integration of the digital railway; we have solutions that answer many issues in the rail industry today. It’s not just about selling our systems, KeTech connect the dots and fill the gaps to bring clarity to passengers and the operators.
With our systems on over 50% of UK TOCs and a new venture in Australia, we’re delivering on our goals.

In the UK 48% of passengers’ dissatisfaction comes from the way delays are handled by the Operator. As people, naturally we like to feel as though we have some control, we like to have options so we can make the best decision; that’s where our systems come in, we place all of the data/information where it is the most valuable. That way people can make better informed decisions.

How would you best describe the people at KeTech?

My colleagues have a broad and diverse skillset, however a few things they all have in common is passion, enthusiasm and expertise. We have built up teams where skillsets really complement each other and the level of collaboration on a daily basis across teams is something to be admired.

My fellow Directors and I try to make the workplace somewhere people want to be on a Monday morning, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job, even if I do say so myself. We’re big on professional growth and development for our employees, we employ the best and we want to do everything possible to keep them with us.

Throughout COVID-19 our teams adapted extremely quickly working from home, keeping that communication and creativity going and finding new ways to work together, even when we were apart and we continued to deliver our projects on time, to the highest standards.

What value does KeTech bring, and to who?

We bring value to a broad range of people across the industry, from governing transport bodies to train operators, to the passengers on the trains that use our systems. Feedback that we often get from train operators on our systems is that once they are installed, they realise just how powerful they really are.

We get lots of mentions from passengers that use the trains equipped with our systems too, with comments on the clarity and reliability of the information presented. We also have something in the works that will specifically benefit travellers with disabilities. Watch this space!

We take data and transform it into usable, meaningful information in real-time. Some would call this Big Data. Others IOT or AI. We call it better informed journeys.

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