Belarusian Railway, an organization of more than 200 legal entities located in different regions of the Republic of Belarus.
Cooperation between IBA and Belarusian Railway (BR) began in 1993 when BR management made a decision to start a step–by–step modification of its cargo transportation management system. Initially, the system was ported from local ES computers to an IBM mainframe platform (S/360). Afterwards, IBA performed migration from S/360 to S/370 and S/390, and created an environment to develop applications using advanced information technologies.
In cooperation with Belarusian Railway, IBA developed a concept and prototype of the Information Analysis System to Support Management Decisions on Cargo Transportation at Belarusian Railway. The joint project to implement the system was launched in late 2002.
The Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation is designed to manage all technological processes at BR. The new system should replace a legacy cargo transportation management system produced in the USSR.
The legacy system was developed in Assembler and used unique, non–standard databases. Moreover, the system was slow and resource–consuming. Each database query involved complementary software development. In addition, the new owners of the legacy system in Russia announced that they will cease to support in 2008.
The task is to migrate the legacy system to an up–to–date database using standard visualization tools that enable report generation. The new system is required to increase the profitability of cargo transportation, the final goal being to integrate the Information Analysis System to Manage Railway Cargo Transportation with the Unified Finance and Resource Management System that is currently implemented by a joint IBA–BR team. As a result, BR management will be able to optimize its operations both in terms of functional and financial performance.
The implementation of the large–scale system was divided into stages, allowing BR employees to perceive additional benefits after the completion of each stage. IBA worked at the customer site to understand better the end user needs, address quickly the issues that emerge and ensure close cooperation with the client team.
At the planning and design stage, IBA conducted an in–depth analysis of initial customer requirements and of the customer knowledge domain, defined basic entities, and created a business process model. At the development stage, IBA provided the client with access to the project test system. Consequently, the client was able to monitor and control the development process, as well as train its employees, while IBA was able to understand end user problems and respond promptly to requirement changes.
The new reporting system was built using Business Objects, and therefore the end user was able to create reports depending on his or her specific needs without any assistance from programmers.