Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: PowerBuilder

PowerBuilder: Article

Sybase Success Story: Kowloon Motor Bus Company

Increases mobility and provides better customer service

The largest bus operator in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB), is responsible for carrying around 2.7 million passengers a day and coordinates the movement of 4,040 buses. By utilizing Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), PowerBuilder, and PocketBuilder, KMB built two mission-critical systems: the Traffic Operations Management System (TOM) and the Terminus Management System (TER).
Using these systems, KMB can now better handle the company's resource allocation, improve the effectiveness of depot staff in their daily duties, and provide greater mobility to its workforce at the terminals.

Key Benefits

  • Streamlines workflow
  • Standardizes working procedures across depots
  • Increases work efficiency
  • Optimizes resource allocation
  • Increases staff deployment flexibility
  • Reduces training time
  • Reduces clerical work
  • Improves staff communication
  • Increases mobility

Sybase Technology

  • Adaptive Server Enterprise
  • PowerBuilder
  • PocketBuilder

Industry

  • Transportation/Logistics

KMB Keeps Buses Moving with Sybase
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company, widely known as KMB, was established in 1933 after obtaining a franchise to operate bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories. When it was founded, KMB's bus fleet consisted of 106 single deck buses.

Today, KMB is the largest bus operator in Hong Kong with 4,040 buses, around 12,000 staff and a network of 402 bus routes transporting around 2.7 million passengers every day. KMB is now one of the world's largest privately-run public bus companies and recognized as an international leader in public bus transportation.

Replacing Manual Processes
KMB had traditionally used a manual-based approach to managing processes and information around duty assignment sheets - information essential to the smooth operation of the company. KMB was looking for a technology solution that would allow it to manage this information with greater efficiency.

A mainframe computer system was used to produce duty assignment sheets that were printed four days in advance and contained information such as the route number, vehicle registration number, and the bus captain duty schedule. The duty dispatch staff would reallocate resources such as assigning replacement bus captains in place of those who were sick, or reallocate spare buses in place of those that were unavailable due to maintenance. These allocations were done manually and the dispatch staff would be required to be familiar with the training information of bus captains and with particular features of the buses so as to assign the right person to the right duty. While staff could accomplish this task, the process was time-consuming.

As job allocation and duty scheduling is a complex process, this "manual" approach also meant that it took several years for an employee to become skilled at performing the reallocations. This meant the task was often restricted to being completed only by very experienced employees.

"With such a large fleet and the need for our business to be able to quickly respond to unpredictable incidents such as road work or accidents, as well as regular occurrences such as holidays and scheduled maintenance of buses, we knew we needed to find a better way to deploy our resources," explains Tommy Leung, head of the Information Technology Department.

Increase Mobility and Provide Better Customer Service
KMB was also looking for a way to make their depot staff more mobile, particularly when they found terminus supervisors were spending 50 percent of their time managing bus schedules and logging arrival and departure times of buses. Staff also spent a considerable amount of time managing traffic control issues and assisting passengers, while also liaising with the KMB control center and other bus termini.

"When we were looking for ways to automate our processes and make things easier for staff, we also recognized the need to make this technology more mobile.

"In the end, if our staff can do their job more efficiently, it helps our customers who use our services on a daily basis - customers can access up-to-the-minute information while staff have more time to attend to passengers," says Tommy Leung.

Automated and Mobile Operations
Using Sybase technology, KMB developed an in-house system called Traffic Operations Management System (TOM) to better handle the company's resource allocation and assist depot staff in their daily duties.

Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) and PowerBuilder technologies were used as the core components of TOM, which has transformed the way KMB stores and accesses information. Using ASE and PowerBuilder enables TOM to automatically generate the daily schedules, including the route timetable, bus captain's schedule, and operational requests.

The system is able to look at various requirements, such as the familiarity of the bus captains with a particular route and a particular bus, to generate an appropriate duty schedule. Should an unpredicted event happen, the system is designed to always have a back-up schedule.

ASE and PowerBuilder also allow TOM to record precise data such as overtime hours and duty information, which is transferred directly to the payroll system for wage calculations.

KMB also uses Sybase's PowerBuilder and PocketBuilder in another core application called the Terminus Management System (TER) to automate terminus operations covering bus termini around Hong Kong. Terminus Supervisors access and record essential information such as operational data and real-time bus schedules using a PDA that runs PocketBuilder. This system has replaced a paper-based system and gives employees even more flexibility and mobility when working around the terminus. With the TER architecture in place, staff are also able to liaise directly with the KMB control center and other termini.

A New System - Better Efficiency, More Access
Implementing the TOM system powered by Sybase ASE and PowerBuilder has transformed KMB, delivering immediate benefits to customers, employees, and KMB's back office. TOM has replaced many manual processes including the manual sign-in procedure for employees that used to take up to 10 minutes and now takes only seconds. Each duty assignment sheet containing the location of the bus, route number, vehicle registration number, and a remark column is now automatically produced.

Training time spent on depot staff has also been shortened significantly as the system negates the need for staff to memorize bus features, bus captain experience, and particular route requirements. Route information and assignments are now automatically generated - faster and with much less required human intervention.

"One of the major advantages of Sybase PowerBuilder technology was time-to-market. It took us under three months to implement the mobile application and have it up and running - we were very impressed," summarizes Tommy Leung.

TER, using Sybase PocketBuilder, gives Terminus Supervisors greater mobility via the use of PDAs. Using PDAs, KMB staff have been able to greatly improve efficiency as it allows for instant communication with the depot and related departments. In addition, the use of Pocket Builder has helped the KMB minimize paper waste by saving around 250,000 pages of terminus log paper.

"PocketBuilder had the added benefit of being really easy to use, so for staff the learning curve was almost non-existent. Getting people familiar with new technology is usually the biggest hurdle of any implementation and with PocketBuilder it wasn't an issue.

"All three Sybase solutions including ASE, PowerBuilder, and Pocket Builder have greatly enhanced our business and the service we provide customers. The technology has been essential in taking our business to the next level of efficiency," said Tommy Leung, KMB.

Why Sybase?
"Introducing the TOM system and TER with its unique mobility capability was very challenging. We knew we needed a technology provider that would not only provide seamless implementation but, more important, remain our partner long after the implementation was complete.

"Sybase was able to demonstrate the superior performance of its products together with the ability for these products to grow with our business," said Mr. Tommy Leung, KMB.

•   •   •

Reprinted with permission from Sybase

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...