Infor EAM deployed at Scotrail By Calum Cape from glenrothes , United Kingdom (scotrail 170402) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Infor EAM deployed at Scotrail
Infor has announced that Abellio has successfully deployed Infor EAM to replace its SAP solution at ScotRail with the purpose of improving the management of its fleet of rail stock across Scotland. The deployment is in the cloud and includes the Infor ION middleware that will integrate the EAM solution to the remaining ERP solution, presumably the parts of SAP at ScotRail will still be retaining.

For companies with aging ERP solutions this is interesting as it demonstrates that it is possible to replace part of a major ERP installation improving functionality and without compromising the stability of the rest. Infor ION is the software that allows companies to achieve this with Infor and provides the data workflows that means that replacing one element of an ERP solution does not mean that the rest has to be replaced immediately.  As a result the risks associated with a big bang change are alleviated.

Abellio was awarded the ScotRail franchise in October  2014 and commenced operations on April 1 2015, replacing First ScotRail as the franchisee. They will be looking to improve upon the 90.8% public-performance-measure (PPM) moving-annual-average (MAA)  that First ScotRail achieved in their final year. This has since dropped slightly to 90.6, although the last period average was 92.6 (Period 13 – March 6 to March 31).

The true test will be over the next year as Infor EAM will help Abellio mange the 292 trains more effectively across the region. Starting in 2017 ScotRail are due to bring in 70 new Hitachi trains and 27 high speed trains over three years. These should improve the statistics as aging trains are replaced and but Infor should help determine which trains are replaced first from the statistics that Infor EAM will provide.

The scale of the maintenance task for ScotRail is large. Over 500 staff work across multiple sites in Scotland repairing a disparate mix of trains including both diesel and electric vehicles. Tasks include cleaning, fuelling, repairs and servicing and these are all aimed at improving services so that trains run on time with the correct number of coaches.

That Abellio made the decision to go with Infor so quickly reflects the trust shown in Infor based on having previously implemented it in another franchise. Infor committed to and completed deployment of the solution within six months. This would not have been possible without previous experience in the transport sector at companies such as First Transit.

To help achieve the rapid deployment, tablets were deployed across the 550 staff who will be using the solution, ensuring quick access and ease of use which helped to achieve the change program. In changing from a legacy solution, the idea of handing tablets out to staff with a tool that is easier to use and cuts down the administration time required  will go a long way to winning staff over to a new system. William Marshall, Head of Engineering, ScotRail commented: “Installing an EAM system on this scale within just a few months is a tall order by any standards. … Infor acted diligently, professionally and with clear expertise, helping to address challenges along the way and working with us to ensure the system delivered precisely what we needed to meet our objectives.

“Now that we are live, we are able to make much better, faster decisions, boosting the efficiency and reliability across our fleet.  And through Infor EAM we feel that we are well placed to pursue our objective to be one of the most innovative organisations in our industry.”

Marshall does not see this as the end of the deployment. One of the key advantages of a cloud-based deployment is that it is often easier to update. While it seems that ScotRail has had some customisations deployed for them, one would hope that updates to their software will be far faster than with the historical solutions. They should be able to take advantage of the updates that Infor releases for its new software regularly.

For now though Marshall has his sights set on a limited IoT deployment as he continued: “Looking ahead, we will be exploring using Infor EAM in other ways.  For example, we know that we can use train monitoring devices to monitor precisely how a given train behaves and performs in order to adjust maintenance strategies and boost reliability further.  We are also looking at how devices, combined with Infor EAM, can process oil sample results or brake pad wear more closely in order to create a work order and ensure appropriate action is taken in a set time frame.” 

Frederic Russo, European Regional Vice President, EAM, Infor (Source LinkedIN)
Frederic Russo, European Regional Vice President, EAM, Infor

For Infor, this is a large feather in their cap as they look to consolidate their growth in the cloud EAM market. Replacing SAP in a significant rail franchise such as this will show other companies what they are capable of. Frederic Russo, European Regional Vice President, EAM, Infor said: “It goes without saying that assets are the absolute lifeblood of rail companies, or any other organisation operating in the transportation sector, and with intensely strict safety, legislative and reliability standards to adhere to, it is pretty much impossible to operate efficiently without an asset maintenance system.

“Given ScotRail’s ambition to consolidate its position as a leader in innovation in its industry, there is little doubt that only the most sophisticated, cloud-based, mobile enabled system would fit the bill.  We are delighted to be working with the rail operator to achieve its goals and establish a robust platform to explore future improvements in performance.” 


ScotRail should look to continually update their implementation of Infor EAM and it will be interesting to see whether Infor can displace any of the other SAP deployments at the company. In an interview with CIO magazine last year, Yiannis Seglias, CIO at Abellio placed SAP first in his list of suppliers. It will be interesting to see if Infor makes the list next year and how high up it is. That Infor is able to displace the primary supplier at all is a positive thing, however they need to be higher up in the minds of CIO’s to really achieve their penetration in the market.



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