REVIEWER: Alastair Veitch, vice president of international business and special projects for Sperry Rail Service.

BACKGROUND: Sperry Rail Service, headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, has been providing a complete range of rail flaw detection services since 1928. The company has always been a technology leader, first with induction testing which utilizes current injected into rail and sensors to detect magnetic field disturbances and later with ultrasonics that transmit sound waves into the rail to detect discontinuities. Sperry Rail utilizes a fleet of 62 detector vehicles to identify more than 20 defect types.

PLATFORMS: Sperry Rail Service is running the Eoscene Intelligence Portal on a Linux/PostgreSQL platform.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Sperry Rail Service operates a fleet of 62 ultrasonic rail inspection vehicles. Our challenge was getting the defect and car utilization information from the vehicles and into the hands of our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working in consultation with our clients, we determined that providing customers with a self-service method to access and manage information over the Internet would be the key to a complete service offering that would differentiate the company from its competitors. We implemented the Eoscene Intelligence Portal to provide global customers with secure access to the latest data relating to track testing. Initiating a cutting-edge software platform to deliver the testing results to customers is an extension of our commitment to excellence, as well as a powerful differentiation that puts us head and shoulders above our competitors.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Eoscene's Intelligence Portal capitalizes on the latest Web technologies to enable us to rapidly deliver data and analytics, internally and externally, on demand across any user platform. Customers can view the information online or download it in various output formats such as spreadsheets or PDF files. Customers can also use Eoscene's Browse Through Technology to obtain related information stored in external systems. Using the Eoscene Intelligence Portal, Sperry customers can answer very specific business questions related to budgeting, quality assurance and even the location of the train cars that are performing the defect testing, allowing them to quickly optimize their asset utilization and defect analysis.

STRENGTHS: The Eoscene Intelligence Portal allows us to extend the availability of our data outside the walls of our business. The easy- to-use interface encourages rapid adoption. The interface, which is similar to other Internet applications such as search engines and portals, allows broad deployment to customers and enables them to quickly become productive. Speed of delivery and reliability are key product strengths. The implementation process through data validation was accomplished in less than eight weeks, and our customers have experienced no significant impact to operations since we implemented the system.

WEAKNESSES: The interface is clean and easy to use but lacks the administrative tools required to customize fonts and layout. The interface can be modified but requires technical expertise. At times it would be nice to display more data on the screen.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were looking for a data analytics software package that would increase customer satisfaction and promote self- service. We needed a zero- client Web-based application to rollout the product to our customer base with minimum end-user training requirements. We needed a system that will continue to grow as our business needs evolve over time. Eoscene's Intelligence Portal is a zero-client application that runs completely within a Web browser, allowing broad deployment across our customer base. Views of data in Eoscene can easily be manipulated by end users to meet the specialized needs of customers and employees enterprise- wide.

DELIVERABLES: Eoscene delivered a data model designed specifically for our business. End users can now quickly access data through a Web browser and easily view the information they need in the format they want. The accessibility to the data as well as the new format of the daily reports has improved our service and helps to further cement our relationships with customers. This saves money for both Sperry and our customers.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Working with Eoscene allowed us to implement the system quicker than we could have done ourselves. They have proven to respond rapidly to any issues that have arisen. The high quality of service helps us to feel confident in offering our customers a secure and reliable data and analytics system.

DOCUMENTATION: The end-user documentation is available online. We rely on Eoscene for administration and technical support and have not evaluated the technical documentation.

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