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Customer Story

Dutch Railway Company Journeys to the Cloud with End-to-End AWS Deployment

NSI migrates to a cloud environment improving design and development along the way

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Transport, Trade and Logistics


NS International is part of the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen or “Dutch Railway”) a Dutch railway company, which is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. NSI operates railway travel throughout Europe. Founded in 1938, NS is the busiest rail service in the European Union with over 4,800 trains a day traveling domestically with 1 million passengers. NSI (formerly NS Hispeed) itself operates high-speed and inter-city trains in connection with French Thalys, Intercity Direct of Belgium, and Intercity Express in Germany and Switzerland. The railway company is the official Dutch partner of Eurostar, ICE International, TGV and Thalys.

Increase room for expansion and efficiency
Digital-first strategy enhanced by cloud migration
Agile coaching with upskilling to learn to work in a cloud environment

Broadening the Future of Travel

The future of train travel requires speed, security, and convenience at all touchpoints from online buying to travel itself. For NSI, this meant meeting customers’ demands throughout their travels while also laying out plans for expanded growth. Customer journey mapping revealed a need for faster feature deployment and the ability to bring consumers more choice through growth hacking and experimental marketing. The old platform was slow, costing time and money. Shifting to a digital-first strategy would give NSI the room to scale while remaining agile. Head of NSI, Pascal Reijnders put it thusly: “We wanted to enhance the client experience and bring forth innovation in the way NSI operated.” As such, Xebia was first on the list to guide NSI in this process.

Freedom in Flexibility

With various platforms including a mobile app and website, AWS was chosen as the right fit for the current technology stack. The move to a serverless cloud architecture was a continuous process involving many steps to constantly improve design and development. One of the main objectives of a cloud environment was minimal maintenance and less friction in between layers – simplifying processes. Abstracting the application side from the infrastructure layer resulted in a smaller operational footprint and fully automated deployment with fewer dependencies and high availability. Working with Xebia helped streamline the process end-to-end, giving the company enough room to explore the AWS landscape.

“We love to work on the future of train travel by innovating continuously and delivering value to customers. It takes a lot of stamina to pursue innovation during daily business. Xebia’s consultants helped us enhance output by constantly challenging the status quo, lifting the overall result.”
Pascal Reijnders Head of IT

A Tried and True Path

Improving customer experience as traffic increased meant turning to a digital-first strategy within an AWS cloud environment. As the main drivers of NSI’s growth strategy, this would ensure greater efficiency in expansion. Achieving this goal was possible through Xebia’s extensive experience with cloud environments and Agile. Xebia educated NSI employees on cloud best practices. This included training on technical skills as well as the working culture necessary to create more autonomy among teams. Building an MVP platform was the first step of cloud migration. The platform was later redesigned fitting a cloud architecture with minimal maintenance, including a self-healing infrastructure. Ultimately, this allowed teams more time to focus on features and faster feedback.

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