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The not so crazy ideas of entrepreneurs

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Getting SME entrepreneurs together to discuss how to tackle ScotRail's challenges in destination marketing and disruption management during the Project SWIFT Innovation Challenge has been a rolling design thinking that's critical, honest and real.

The entrepreneurs from Fire.ly, Frugl, CommuterHive and Purple RealTime aren't ordinary people. These are seasoned professionals, with a wide range of expertise and they're 'super users'. Although they have separate offerings and could have just focused on their own separate businesses, unlike the silos that exist in many large cooperations, these are folk who have decided to bridge different worlds. And through the innovation challenge they debated and envisioned new seamless and practical experiences for connected rail passengers.

Spot, Shop, Shuttle, Stop

So what did they do with a starting point of ScotRail's new Cisco super-fast WiFi continuous train connectivity, access to journey and passenger data in real time with the ability to interact with passengers through a WiFi portal enabled by Wittos's Connected Intelligence platform?

Firef.ly's inspiring story telling and Frugl's curation of the best deals bring personalisation to the journey-level. They help passengers to spot things while on their journey. Ever forgotten that email telling you about the new exhibition coming up next month in Glasgow? Or thought about book marking a restaurant offer when you were last searching for a dinner out? Well Firef.ly and Frugl uses journey context to surface this type of info at the right moment when you're onboard the train. So when coupled with great internet connection so you'll be able to shop on the spot!

CommuterHive goes further to help you pre-book a shared taxi ride which you can do at the same moment or opt-in to be remembered so when you're on the train the services are in sync with your preferences and will list new rides headed in the same direction for the booking you made. This brings you convenience and savings to choose joining a ride or finding your own way to that exhibition or restaurant.

So you've been consumed online during your train journey on a reliable internet connection, just as if you were at home on your couch. Perhaps you're headed home or to work or you might be visiting on a business or city trip. Whatever your journey purpose, My Train Tracker from Purple RealTime. By finding the right moment for you to set notifications and send alerts it'll become your trusted journey companion so you'll never miss a stop!

No more walled gardens

These services are boosted by a basis of common real-time journey and passenger consented sharing of data and a great internet connect. But it's the new Smart WiFi portal that will give ScotRail an edge to improving seamless passenger experiences. It's the launch pad for passengers to engage in micro-services that make sense for their journey.  Micro-services are in sync because they share the same common basis. It's the intelligence of surfacing the micro-services as much as the intelligence in the services themselves that unlocks new possibility for train operators to create more direct value for passengers.

This goes beyond advertising and marketing. There are no lock-in like traditional walled garden WiFi portals. That means passenger engagement will define performance and the demand for improvement or switching over different services will be fact driven. It's a win-win for all, passengers get the freshest and most exciting services, new business models can be realised as train operators responsibly share their traveling customer with an ecosystem of ultralocal partners.

Coming soon - our Project SWIFT innovators live on a ScotRail train.