Extensive project experience, a deep understanding of complex business processes combined with and strong technological know-how are building the ground for a continuous expansion of Lufthansa Systems' service offering across many industries. The German based IT provider caters to more than 300 airlines and 150 customers in a variety of industries. Recent developments have shown a willingness to use this expertise in new areas of transport and in particular in the development of an innovative system of on-board passenger entertainment. Today we take a look at what happens when a major international business turns its attention to passenger experience and talk to those making the decisions.
Lufthansa Systems goal was to be able to use their extensive experience in developing passenger infotainment for cruise ships for other sectors of transport. Spotting a demand from passengers on all forms of transport for relevant and real time information and services and the ability to leverage time either for work, entertainment or both Lufthansa Systems developed Velimo – the first and fully integrated platform for the hospitality industry that connects sophisticated infotainment with comprehensive service functionalities and Business Intelligence. The turn-key solution enables passengers using WiFi to use their tablets, smart phones or laptops to securely view films, music, newspapers or magazines, enjoy news and games, use ticket and information services as well as access high performance internet access.
I asked Bernd Appel, Senior Vice President Industry Solutions at Lufthansa Systems for a greater insight into passenger infotainment: “The modern traveller now expects to have all the amenities of home, all the time, even whilst travelling. We think that WiFi is now expected as a standard on most forms of transportation but through our development of Velimo we are able to offer this and a significant amount of rich media content. And not only do we have an intuitive and easy to use system but it’s one that’s backed up by a provider steeped in the need for quality and reliability of the aviation industry.”
The Velimo platform is already being used, having been deployed since this year by Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in the US in the form of BLUE (Bus Line Universal Entertainment) which enables passengers to watch movies, listen to music, surf the Web and play games from the comfort of their seats using their own personal Wi-Fi enabled device.
“Greyhound will be a global first Velimo (BYOD) experience in the bus industry and we are proud to make that happen. This new entertainment solution again shows the mobility and agility of our technology,” said Bernd Appel, “We are proud that it helps Greyhound to provide its passengers with a truly unique travel experience, which will further strengthen its position as a leader in this field of transportation.”
By offering a BYOD system, Bernd Appel highlights its attractiveness to operators “By enabling the passenger to access via their own screen be it tablets, smart phones or laptops it lowers the cost of ownership and ensure that the cost lies primarily with the installation of the hardware box and ensures that maintenance costs are minimal. This platform also offers the technology provider the freedom to create their own pricing options for the service, whether that be completely free, all charged or fees for just premium content.”
With rising passenger numbers matching demands for the on-board passenger experience, Lufthansa Systems is keen to develop their Velimo system into the rail and metro industry and are currently planning to launch onto a number of providers shortly.