THEMEN: Stadtwerke Award | AzweiOmobilQ | AI in mobility | highQ employees on the optimal path | TicketOffice 4.0
Stadtwerke Award: Mobility platform in Osnabrück honoured
The digital mobility concept we implemented for the Osnabrück public utilities is unique in Germany - and therefore worthy of an award. The "Stadtwerke Award 2020" honoured the exemplary and innovative character as well as the sustainability of the mobility platform, which bundles all public transport services in the city of Lower Saxony. A particularly innovative component of the concept is CiBo ticketing (check-in/be out) with downstream highQ fare calculation at the best price, which takes bus travel to a completely new level of comfort. With the YANiQ app, passengers check in once when they board the bus and the system does the rest automatically. "Osnabrück is a role model for the digital transformation of public transport in municipalities," says highQ project manager Michael Schmidt happily. "Our MobilitySuite offers the perfect basis for such projects".
AzweiOmobilQ: highQ App supports company mobility management
Avoiding greenhouse gas emissions is becoming increasingly important for companies. Traffic-related emissions caused by employees' commuting to work are also increasingly coming into focus (referred to in the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol as "Scope 3" emissions). More and more companies will therefore establish a company mobility management (BMM) system to promote climate-friendly mobility in their workforce, for example by forming car pools or switching to bicycles or public transport. highQ supports these activities as part of its MobilitySuite: for a BMM project in Lower Saxony, we have the AzweiOmobilQ app under development, which suggests optimised commuting routes and alternative routes with the environmental alliance to its users. If they follow the recommendations, they arrive at their workplace faster and more relaxed; they can also collect bonus points ("time miles") and compete with their colleagues in terms of climate friendliness. This makes it twice as much fun to reduce emissions.
AI in mobility: highQ contributes its core competencies to top-level research
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) leads to outstanding mobility projects - this is shown by important research projects such as Bauhaus.MobilityLab and MaaS L.A.B.S., in which highQ is significantly involved. Both projects are concerned with the cross-supplier networking of different mobility options such as cars, public transport, bicycles, walking and sharing services. A mobility platform takes all these options into account and gives users individual recommendations; climate-friendly mobility behaviour is also rewarded with "time miles" in these projects.
A core aspect in both projects: The underlying data structures are IDS-compliant, i.e. the exchange of personal data is subject to the high data protection requirements of the future European data infrastructure GAIA-X. For highQ managing director Thomas Hornig, this is a key element: "Confidence in the security of one's own data is a decisive prerequisite for user acceptance in digital mobility".
Schwäbisch Hall roundabout: Leaner processes with TicketOffice 4.0
The Schwäbisch Hall roundabout (KVSH) is one of the pioneers of digital mobility and successfully uses the eTicket Deutschland (VDV-KA) standard. TicketOffice has its roots here and was developed in 2008 from highQ to the electronic fare management system we know today. In the meantime, the software has proven itself in many public transport companies throughout Germany and is now available in version 4.0, which has been modernised to the system architecture. Highlights are the unrestricted mass data capability and the GoBD-certified accounting system with significantly better performance. Data exchange in accordance with VDV-KA has also been optimised and subjected to an extensive certification process. (Optional) modules have been added, e.g. for EBE management (increased transport charges), payment by instalments, major customer contracts and the integration of service partners such as car sharing, bike rental or parking management.
The new version will also soon be introduced at KVSH: "In this project, we are updating our VDV-KA processes and will in future connect to the joint service centre of the Baden-Württemberg public transport company," reports KVSH Managing Director Ingrid Kühnel. "With TicketOffice 4.0, we are also streamlining our work processes and using the new accounting module certified by the auditor".
THEMEN: Neue Funktionen in abakusBT
abakusBT New functions presented at two user meetings in November
Even in the pandemic age we did not want to do without our traditional abakusBT user meetings, but unfortunately we had to move them to the internet. The digital user meeting with the Volksbanken and private banks took place on 4.11. and the user meeting with the savings banks on 6.11.
As always, we presented numerous innovations that the users had wished for and which are delivered free of charge within the scope of cyclical upgrades to all customers with a current maintenance contract. Among other things, we had extended and simplified the scenario evaluation, and in addition, shortening profiles can now be created for specific objects. There is also more convenience with editing functions such as the Word export: Here, individual templates and text modules can now be stored for buyer letters and various printouts can be combined in a "printout package" - both of which save time and optimise the process. In addition, we have also addressed technical and legal aspects: For example, the database drivers have been updated and the requirements of the DSGVO have been met with extended anonymisation functions.
The new functions and also the unusual online format were very well received by the participants - many thanks for the good evaluations. Nevertheless, we hope that next year we can continue with personal meetings on site. We want to keep the online format as an additional annual event.
THEMEN: MobilitySuite | bOOD | Bauhaus.MobilityLab | fare.logiQ
highQ MobilitySuite: The fastest way to a local traffic turnaround
Traffic is increasing, but existing infrastructure cannot be adapted or expanded overnight. So what can local authorities or even companies suffering from traffic congestion and parking problems do to improve their situation in the short term? Our answer is "digital optimization": With highQ MobilitySuite, the existing infrastructure can be better utilized so that traffic flows are equalized and emissions are reduced. All mobility options are linked via a digital mobility platform; individual route and transport mode recommendations promote a more flexible, multimodal behaviour of all road users. For commuters in particular, the system makes it easy to vary their daily route depending on the traffic situation, to switch from car to bus, train or bicycle, or to use car-sharing services.
"Without a change in behavior, it is not possible", explains highQ sales manager Kai Horn. "If we want to establish socially responsible and environmentally friendly mobility, we have to take the users with us. We call this vision 'Social Mobility'. According to Horn, the establishment of a local mobility platform also opens up a great opportunity for transport companies: "This gives them the chance to move up from being a simple bus operator to a comprehensive mobility service provider for the community or region concerned, which can offer its customers seamless door-to-door mobility". Companies or business parks could also benefit: "It pays off to invest in intelligent mobility instead of additional parking spaces.
The highQ MobilitySuite has a modular structure and is flexibly expandable, so that a customized mobility solution can be realized for every municipality and every company. Flexible expansion is possible at any time, for example to integrate new services such as on-demand or sharing offers into the mobility platform. In this way, the local traffic turnaround can become reality step by step.
bOOD: Organisation platform for Hamburg on-demand traffic
On-demand, timetableless transport services are an important element of a flexible, multimodal mobility mix. These range from the familiar call-collecting taxi to driverless minibuses. The Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH), which primarily serves the rural areas of Hamburg with its 670 buses, wants to better integrate its on-demand services into the normal public transport system in the future. An "operational organisation platform for on-demand transport", or bOOD for short, is to be used to manage the supply and demand for on-demand transport.
With highQ MobilitySuite we were able to win the relevant tender and are now very much looking forward to this exciting project, which we will implement together with our partner PRISMA Solutions. highQ will provide the platform and implement the central background system and will therefore be responsible for booking, ticketing and customer billing.
Bauhaus.MobilityLab: Innovative urban mobility in practical tests
In Brühl, a district of the Thuringian capital Erfurt, urban mobility is to be rethought. The aim of the Bauhaus.MobilityLab project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is to develop and practically test innovative mobility, logistics and energy applications for cities based on artificial intelligence. A good opportunity for highQ to contribute its core competencies: Among other things, a module for the integration of timetableless on-demand transport into the smartphone app of the local transport company EVAG is planned, as well as a mobility assistant based on highQ's "time miles" concept. This is intended to encourage Erfurt commuters to use AI-supported mobility suggestions to get around in the public interest.
highQ is contributing its public transport expertise to this project, as well as the topics of incentive & gamification (time miles) and the automation of software development (generative software). The concepts and systems developed in the three-year "real laboratory" will later support other cities in their mobility transformation.
fare.logiQ: Much more than fare management
Numerous transport companies nationwide have been using and appreciating our EFM solution fare.logiQ for a long time. In the current version, the software is now more powerful and versatile than ever before: It offers all necessary functions for any size of company - even processing very large amounts of data, as they are generated in a metropolitan region, is no problem. The new or improved functions, which are particularly in demand among large transport companies, include convenient SAP export as well as integrated BI and CRM tools with which business processes can be systematically analyzed and optimized. However, flexibly configurable evaluations can now also be created within the program.
"We have expanded the system to become the central controlling instance of the mobility platform", explains Michael Schmidt, the person responsible for product development at fare.logiQ. "Because this is where all data of the different revenue sources converge." Despite the significantly increased range of functions, the operation has not become more complicated - on the contrary: With the support of a specialized user-experience team, the operating procedures were optimized and the program was given a new, intuitively operable interface. "The presentation of data is now more comprehensive and clearer, and there are many filter options," adds Schmidt. At the same time, the performance of the data display has been improved: "Even with very large amounts of data, you no longer notice that there is so much data in the system during processing.
THEMEN: Satisfied new customer
abakusBT: Successful introduction - satisfied new customer at Kreissparkasse Groß-Gerau
The property development credit management abakusBT has another satisfied customer: the Kreissparkasse Groß-Gerau. "The tool is used by our analysts and clerks," reports Andreas Fiedler, group manager for commercial lending business in the credit back office. As is customary in many other banks and savings banks, his department previously worked with Excel tables. Now it is more convenient, because many tasks that were previously done manually can be automated in abakusBT. Fiedler gives an example: "Via an interface to the savings bank software OSPlus, we can now automatically transfer paid invoices to the credit management and assign them to the cost items there.
Above all, the credit expert appreciates the "clarity and much greater depth of detail" of abakusBT. He is also satisfied with the ease of use: The program is "largely self-explanatory", but at the same time offers many possibilities for individual adjustments. "It is all very well thought out", praises Andreas Fiedler. "Since the introduction of abakusBT three quarters of a year ago, we have been able to map all our processes in the software. Even the regular checks by the financial supervisory authority were now easier to handle - previously, with Excel, they meant a considerable amount of work. "Every bank has to deal with the same problems in principle," notes highQ sales consultant Raphaela Herrmann. "abakusBT provides a remedy here and generally ensures more efficiency and transparency in the property development business.
With all satisfaction, the Kreissparkasse Groß-Gerau now has two more wishes for highQ:
On the one hand, the testing effort at the banks and savings banks could be significantly reduced if highQ had a program release for the software according to the standard OPDV 1/2015. Here, highQ checks the possibilities without having to realize significantly higher costs for the licenses (due to the high costs for the implementation). Currently, abakusBT straight is being certified by an auditing institute.
On the other hand, Andreas Fiedler would like to have a similarly patented tool for the management of rented existing properties. "We can fulfill this wish right away", says Raphaela Herrmann. "That's why we now have our inventory management tool abakusRE.
THEMEN: German Sustainability Award | New branch
We are nominated! German Sustainability Award 2021
Our goal in the area of mobility is to make traffic more fluid and environmentally friendly, thus making cities and communities more liveable. The highQ MobilitySuite supports the intelligent use of infrastructure by changing mobility behavior, traffic avoidance and optimization. For this holistic approach, highQ was recently nominated for the German Sustainability Award 2021. We are very pleased about this, and currently we have been able to add the project presentation to our exposé, because in September the jury will decide on the finalists and the winner!
Of course, the joy would be even greater if we could actually stroll down the "blue carpet" as one of the winners at the festive awards ceremony in Düsseldorf in early December 2020. But the nomination alone is a great honour for us.
New office in Frankfurt: highQ is now present in five cities
highQ is expanding its presence in major cities throughout the Republic: In addition to our headquarters in Freiburg im Breisgau and offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart, we are also represented in Frankfurt am Main with our own branch office since 1 June 2020. The environment also fits: Our new office is located in the House of Logistics and Mobility (HOLM), a platform for interdisciplinary and application-oriented project work, research, as well as education and training in logistics, mobility and related disciplines. "Local presence is important to us," emphasizes highQ managing director Christian Disch. "With the new location, we are now even closer to our customers and can further intensify our sales and project support activities in this region. highQ shares the Frankfurt office with its partner company PRISMA Solutions.
THEMEN: Sales platform Schwabenbund | S-Bahn Hamburg | Check-in/Check-out ticket system
Digital sales platform for the Schwabenbund
The territory of the Schwabenbund, an association of local authorities, stretches from the Allgäu to the Swabian Alb. Two transport associations (mona and VVM) with a total of 24 participating transport companies offer their services here - and now for the first time digitally: As part of a consortium, highQ was commissioned to create the background system for a digital distribution platform including two web shops for the sale of electronic season tickets (e.g. monthly tickets, job and school tickets).
The central background system is formed by the highQ products TicketOffice and fare.logiQ. Public transport users only have to register once to use all mobility offers of the Schwabenbund region ("single sign-on"). Their ticket purchases are automatically assigned to the tariff area of the respective responsible provider and thus enable a line-sharp distribution and billing of the travel services. On the other hand, the multi-client capability ensures that although customer and revenue data are managed jointly, each provider only has access to his own area - the individual "data sovereignty" of all parties involved is thus respected.
The project was successfully completed by the end of 2019. "The cooperation with highQ was efficient, on an equal footing and brought a high added value for the entire consortium" judges Marius Maruhn, Managing Director of the operating company Schwabenbund-Services (SBS) GmbH. "The new multi-client-capable e-ticketing platform with its differentiated customer administration is exactly the right solution for our diverse transport region. We are thus optimally prepared for the digital demands of future mobility".
Read the detailed report here.
S-Bahn Hamburg successfully converted to TicketOffice
Our "digital ticket office" TicketOffice was originally designed for small to medium-sized transport companies and transport associations, but has now long since also arrived in the Republic's metropolitan regions. Because the current program version is scalable at will and can therefore cope with large amounts of data without any problems. For example, highQ recently successfully implemented an extensive migration project for S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH. "A total of 380,000 job tickets from S-Bahn corporate customers were transferred to TicketOffice," reports Martin Jäschke, who manages the Hamburg highQ branch. "By October 2019, all paper subscriptions and smart cards were in the new system". According to Jäschke, current additions, such as the new Hamburg BonusTicket for trainees, are currently being added.
In addition to the migration of data from the old system, the project included a web-based client access for corporate customers to manage their job tickets. The ticket holders themselves can now also access their data via their own web interface and, for example, order a replacement ticket directly in case of loss. With TicketOffice - or the overall system known as KVT neo - administration is considerably simplified for both the S-Bahn and its customers, explains Martin Jäschke. "Everyone involved benefits from this."
Unlimited mobility in the Lake Constance region
By train or bus, from Ravensburg in Baden-Württemberg to Lindau in Bavaria: since 2018, the Lake Constance-Upper Swabia Transport Association, or bodo for short, has been offering its passengers a convenient check-in/check-out ticket system with downstream fare calculation. The passenger simply checks in and out using a chip card. "highQ supplied the entire background system, the web portal and the ticketing and pricing system, including the daily maximum price logic," reports bodo authorized signatory and project manager Bernd Hasenfratz, and notes with satisfaction: "This works extremely well.
The backbone of the system is formed by the highQ products TicketOffice for fare management and fare.logiQ/CiCoLo for fare chain formation. In the medium term, the bodo-CiCo is to be linked with the existing CiCo systems of the neighbouring networks in order to make it even easier to use transport modes across networks.
In this video you can see how convenient it is to use the bodo-CiCo "eCard" to change means of transport and cross national borders:
Click here for the video.
THEMEN: Administration of stockholder objects
abakusRE for stockholder objects
Many of our customers in the financial sector already know and use abakusBT, the proven highQ software for the management of developer loans. However, even properties that are not sold after completion but are held in the portfolio for the long term must be managed efficiently. In addition to loan tranches, this involves rental income, operating costs and running costs, for example for property management. All these tasks can now be optimally handled with the new software abakusRE (RE stands for Real Estate). "Customers who already use abakusBT can also get along with abakusRE immediately, because the 'look and feel' of both tools is identical", explains highQ sales manager Kai Horn. In addition, the data stocks of both programs can be merged without any problems: Master data such as customer data of common objects (basic data, mixtures, units) can be directly transferred to the inventory management.
abakusRE was developed in close cooperation with the savings banks Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau, Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Essen and Heidelberg. Pilot user is the Sparkasse Köln-Bonn; the next users could be the other participating savings banks in the working group. "We hope that we will soon be able to use the new tool in full for our portfolio financing and do without the previous Excel lists," says Nicole Farrelly, who heads the department for property development and real estate projects in the corporate customer department of the Freiburger Sparkasse. "We also hope to achieve added value in controlling by, for example, comparing rents and sales factors and deriving development trends from the data.
Here you can find more about abakusRE
THEMEN: code generation | CrefoZert award | customer satisfaction | support | new employees
Successful experiment with automatic code generation
In order to relieve programmers of routine tasks and to speed up development work, more and more programming tasks are now being performed partially or fully automatically by so-called code generators. Generative Software, a member of the highQ group of companies, recently demonstrated how well and quickly this actually works in a practical experiment. Our controlling software abakusBT was selected for the experiment. It is a desktop application that is in use at around 60 credit institutions throughout Germany. A first executable version of a web-based application was to be created.
The result: Marcus Munzert, Managing Director of Generative Software, was able to create an executable program in just under seven hours. A Java generator on the in-house development platform Virtual Developer was used, which automatically generated over 350 files of source code during this time. This result also convinced highQ managing director Christian Disch: "All of the forms I selected in advance were implemented in the web application in a functional manner. At highQ, Virtual Developer has been used for software development for a long time - and will certainly be used even more in the future.
highQ is certified as having an exceptionally good credit rating
The Creditreform business information service regularly reviews the financial situation of small and medium-sized companies according to standardized criteria. Anyone who scores particularly well in this respect receives a certificate called "CrefoZert". At the beginning of February, highQ sales manager Kai Horn received the coveted certificate: "This certifies in black and white that we are among the two percent of German companies with an exceptionally good credit rating. The fact that we have managed so well gives us important support, especially in the current crisis".
You can read more about this here.
First measures from the survey already implemented
Every year we at highQ conduct a customer satisfaction survey and then analyse our strengths and weaknesses. In the 2019 survey, your feedback was also very positive overall - and in terms of the reliability, user-friendliness and clarity of our products, we were once again able to make significant gains over the previous year.
We are happy about praise and thank you very much for it! We are currently focusing on the points of criticism you have expressed. Especially in the areas of delivery management and testing we want to optimize and have already taken concrete measures: In the interest of an even closer cooperation with our customers, we have merged the areas of testing and support, increased personnel and entrusted the central responsibility for the topic of customer satisfaction to an experienced highQ "veteran": Josue Schade, as the new central contact person, will ensure that issues are addressed and resolved without delay. In close cooperation with our product manager Dr. Katharina Peine, he will also ensure that your suggestions are immediately incorporated into product development and processes.
You can read more about this here.
Your feedback is worth something to us: Gift basket handed over to Jens Heimann
We are very grateful for your feedback in the customer satisfaction survey, as this is the only way we can further improve our products and services. As a small thank you for your intensive participation we have this time created a
"Black Forest Gift Basket" with delicacies from our region drawn by lot. The lucky winner was Jens Heimann from Volksbank Dreieich, who was delighted to receive the gift personally from our sales manager Kai Horn.
Support and training via the net
Special times require special solutions: As personal meetings are not possible for the time being, we are currently expanding our online support and project management capacity for you. Even with the current travel restrictions we are therefore able to carry out training, introductions, commissioning etc. together with you. The first online trainings have already been successfully completed and we have received valuable feedback for this.
Please contact us, we are always there for you!
Double reinforcement in the Berlin office
Until now, branch manager Thomas Wanke was the sole spearhead of highQ in the German capital. As of May 1, two more public transport professionals will now be at his side to look after clients and projects: Bernd Donath and Kay Tewes have both been working in the industry for around 20 years. "With their professional profile and knowledge, both of them fit perfectly with the future topics of highQ," says Wanke happily.
Bernd Donath will be primarily responsible for highQ customers in the Berlin area and in the new federal states - above all the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (VBB), which manages its subscriptions and student tickets with the highQ fare management system TicketOffice. Kay Tewes' work will focus on new digital mobility applications, such as mobility platform solutions, timetableless on-demand transport and the management of increased transport fees (EBE).
"highQ's presence in Berlin will be considerably strengthened by the new colleagues and we can now offer our customers even better support," Thomas Wanke is convinced. highQ Managing Director Thomas Hornig also expects a lot from the increase in personnel: "Proximity to our customers is very important to us. Following this maxim, another highQ office will soon be opened in Frankfurt am Main - after Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin.
THEMEN: Modernised DB Sylt Shuttle | highQ service point portal | mytraQ
Double praise: modernised DB Sylt Shuttle is well received
We have already reported on our DB Sylt Shuttle project in the April issue of this newsletter, which we successfully brought up to the state of the art after 18(!) years of continuous operation. A number of innovations were implemented, including a customer web shop and user-friendly app ticketing. For example, car train users can now book their transfer in advance online or via their mobile devices and then enter the loading terminal directly through the open barrier – check-in is carried out automatically via license plate recognition.
“The Sylt Shuttle 2.0 is now fully up to date for the mobile age”, said highQ project manager Erik Schlegel. Deutsche Bahn, highQ’s customer, expressly praised the good and timely implementation: “We are proud of the new, jointly developed Sylt Shuttle booking system and at the same time can look back on a truly long-standing cooperation since 2001”, commented Thomas Hellwig, the project manager responsible at DB Fernverkehr AG.
“Thanks to the company’s expertise, highQ has been able to keep our system up to date over two decades through continuous development – in the fast-moving IT world, this is certainly anything but the norm.” Users of the Sylt Shuttle seem to be happy with the result too. The app has received consistently good ratings in the app stores and was used for 600 bookings in the first week – even before the new features were actively promoted.
All customer data at a glance: the highQ service point portal combines various mobility services under one interface
The future (and to some extent already the present) of mobility is multimodal. In addition to buses and trains, more and more public transport customers are also making use of other mobility and service offerings in their everyday lives, such as car or bike sharing. To simplify the correspondingly more complex customer management processes at the service points of local public transport companies, highQ has developed a web application that brings together all relevant offers under one interface – regardless of the provider and the software they use. Other processes such as CRM, complaint and EBE management can also be integrated.
Whether subscribing, sharing, parking or renting a bike box, employees can constantly keep track of all relevant customer processes via the service point portal. Depending on the preferences of the service providers involved, it is possible to perform just the registration or also the booking and billing of services.
Incidentally, there is also a corresponding counterpart to the service point portal on the customer side. Via the web customer portal, transport users can order their public transport subscriptions and other mobility services from the comfort of their own homes or while on the move, or view their most recent invoices.
mytraQ: the multimodal mobility assistant can now do even more
In the future, all app developments related to a mobility platform will be bundled under the brand name mytraQ. As early as 2004, highQ had already developed a first mytraQ app (free of charge and completely free of license fees), which has been available in app stores ever since. As Kai Horn, head of marketing and sales at highQ pointed out: “This made us pioneers of multimodal mobility.”
mytraQ enables a flexible combination of different transport modes. In the future, depending on the traffic and environmental situation, additional transport services such as eScooters, car and bike sharing as well as carpooling options will be combined and networked alongside public transport. The app provides users with real-time routing recommendations and, at the same time, enables them to purchase tickets via online payment – for example, when changing from a private car to public transport. This is just as practical for users as it is for transport companies. Besides enabling travellers to purchase tickets, mytraQ also makes it possible for transport operators to check e-tickets, including a link to blacklists and promotion lists.
In the future, mytraQ will offer real-time route suggestions as well as an incentive system – both functions originate from the previously separate “Zeitmeilen” (time miles) app. This will enable travellers who follow the route recommendation and preferably take buses and trains to collect bonus points (time miles) for their environmentally friendly mobility behaviour. “The incentive helps to even out local traffic flows and reduce the CO2 footprint of a municipality or company”, explained Kai Horn. “In the future, the name mytraQ will thus stand for three things: professional ticket control within transport companies, optimisation of operational mobility and, of course, continued mobility for the common good of everyone.”
THEMEN: GoB conformity in TicketOffice | Volksbank Nordoberpfalz now calculates with abakusBT
German GoB compliance: accounting in TicketOffice is well on the way to certification on time, planned for 2019
Our TicketOffice fare management system will be delivered to all new customers with a new accounting module. This module has now been certified according to the German principles of orderly accounting (GoB). The relevant audit by an accredited auditor in accordance with IDW PS 880 covered both the software itself and the development and release procedure at highQ. As a result, “proof of complete and correct processing” was provided and “fulfilment of the regularity requirements” with regard to data archiving and recording obligations was certified.
“For our existing customers who are still using the earlier, non-certified module, there will be an upgrade option in the course of the coming year”, explained highQ product development manager Simon Gumbert: “There is no need for you to take any further action – we will contact you in due course.”
Greater convenience, better control: Volksbank Nordoberpfalz now calculates with abakusBT
Today, almost 60 savings banks and Volksbanks throughout Germany are using our software for the professional management of property development loans – making highQ the market leader in this segment. The most recent abakusBT customer is the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Nordoberpfalz based in Weiden, where they had previously been using a self-programmed Excel solution. “With abakusBT, the administration and ongoing control of the loans is now much more convenient and efficient”, explained highQ marketing and sales manager Kai Horn. Current sales are automatically imported via an interface and an early warning list informs the bank promptly of any deviations from the planned figures. It goes without saying that abakusBT complies with the data protection requirements of the German Data Protection Act.
THEMEN: Working at highQ | Learning with highQ
Working at highQ: apply faster, get ahead better
It is now even easier to apply for a job at highQ. The entire application process has been digitised, from the online application form on the website to internal candidate management. “On the one hand, we are expecting digitisation to streamline processes and thus increase efficiency”, explained highQ personnel officer Katrin Adler. “On the other hand, we also want to reach more potential applicants with our new digital platform.”
According to Adler, even those who have been with highQ for a longer period of time should benefit from the ongoing digitisation of the personnel department: “We want to develop and promote talent in a targeted manner using a new HR development system based on occupational psychological diagnostic methods. Our goal is that everyone at highQ should be able to realize her or his own professional ambitions and ideals.”
THEMEN: Cities get mobile | Research project MaaS L.A.B.S. | Usability project with students
Cities get mobile – and highQ helps them do it
The diesel scandal has had one positive effect. Ever since it first made the headlines, the focus has shifted increasingly towards the expansion of public transport and additional funds have been made available. For example, the “Digitisation of Municipal Transport Systems” funding guideline issued by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has promoted the creation of Green City master plans. Around 70 cities with particularly high nitrogen dioxide concentrations have drawn up master plans for their municipalities and defined measures to reduce pollutants. One important measure in many of these master plans is the establishment of a digital mobility platform linking public transport and sharing providers in the region – one of highQ’s core areas of expertise. As a result, we are already in discussions with several of these municipalities (as “local heroes” naturally with our home city of Freiburg too) to determine what a mobility platform adapted to the respective structures could look like. Due to go live this year, our project in Osnabrück is a good example of how a comprehensive digital mobility service can be implemented step by step, based on the existing infrastructure.
Exciting research project with a complicated name
highQ is once again involved as a major player in an innovative research and development project. The slightly cumbersome name of the project is “User-centred Mobility-as-a-Service platform: Alive, Automated, Demand- & Sharing-oriented” (MaaS L.A.B.S. for short, based on the German version of the name). This is a four-year project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to the tune of approx. five million euros, within the framework of which various digital mobility services are to be developed and tested. To ensure a high level of acceptance for the new services right from the start, they are to be substantiated and tested in multi-stage feedback processes involving the residents of the partner cities of Potsdam, Cottbus and Hanover. “We are very pleased to be part of this exciting research project”, commented Thomas Hornig, Managing Director of highQ. “With our experience in the development of multimodal mobility concepts and our relevant product portfolio, we will be making a significant contribution.”
Apps should be fun: Usability project with students
A decisive factor for the acceptance of a software product is that it is easy and motivating to use. Developed as part of the SB:Digital project, our mytraQ app is used to make commuting more efficient and environmentally friendly. In terms of its interface, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance and reworked the design with the help of the usability experts at UseTree. At the same time, we entered into a collaboration with the Stuttgart Media University (HdM). This concerned the accompanying dashboard, which can be installed in the foyer or canteen of a participating company, for example, or integrated into the company’s intranet. The aim is to provide employees with an up-to-date performance review and to enable playful comparisons between colleagues. An interdisciplinary team of students from the HdM degree programmes Information Design, Online Media Management and Business Informatics was given the task of developing proposals for the design of this dashboard, with the goal of arousing interest and encouraging participation. The impressive results of the challenge will hopefully win many new participants for intelligent mobility.
moveBW: New mobility in Stuttgart goes into full operation
We have already reported here several times about the moveBW project for the Stuttgart region launched in July 2016, in which highQ is involved as part of a consortium. We are now on the point of going fully live. A final, two-week field test of the moveBW app involving 50 users was successfully completed in February/March. The incentive system we developed, which rewards environmentally friendly transport behaviour by crediting “time miles”, was particularly well received. The moveBW project was thus successfully completed at the end of April. The findings and experience will now benefit the people of the region in two ways. The local public transportation company NVBW, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state of Baden-Württemberg, will take over central results as the core of its new “Mobility Data Platform Baden-Württemberg” from November 2019. Subsequently, the moveBW app will be made available to all regional citizens. Robert Bosch GmbH and highQ are expected to operate the app.
VDV Annual Conference: Focus on digital mobility
highQ was of course present at the major industry meeting that took place in June, hosted by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr Gmbh (rnv) in Mannheim, Germany. According to the VDV, a total of 850 participants took part this year. On a joint stand with our Potsdam partner moveo Software GmbH, we presented our modern planning and scheduling solution PlanB, and were also able to engage in interesting discussions about our other mobility solutions. At the moment, numerous transport companies are asking themselves how they can use their limited resources to convert to digital mobility in the future, and we were well able to provide some useful information in this regard. Another promising development is our recently initiated collaboration with a manufacturer of interactive information steles, which are set to become part of everyday life at multimodal stops and mobility points within the next few years.
THEMEN: New abakusRE tool | New functions for abakusBT
New functions for abakusBT
Our abakusBT user meeting for savings banks was held in June this year and saw 25 of our customers taking part. On this occasion, we were guests of the Sparkasse Rosenheim-Bad Aibling, whom we would like to thank again for their friendly reception!
We were able to come away with some interesting suggestions for the further development of our property developer credit management software from this meeting. For example, there was intensive discussion about the automation of correspondence on the basis of various templates, which would relieve admin staff of a lot of tiresome routine work – or soon will. We found this idea so useful that we decided to start implementing it straight away. Our maintenance contract customers will receive the new function free of charge with the August release.
New tool for portfolio owners: abakusRE
Our controlling solutions are designed to attract the next generation of employees. In addition to the proven abakusBT tool, there will be a programme variant adapted to the needs of portfolio owners before the end of this year. With abakusRE (for real estate), banks, real estate companies and private landlords can all manage their real estate objects easily, securely and transparently.
THEMEN: Data protection | Customer satisfaction | Tomorrow's mobility
Data protection? Naturally.
Last year’s occasionally heated discussion on the European Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO) has sensitised many companies to the subject of data protection. This is nothing new for us because highQ has always given top priority to the careful handling of customer data. Your data is stored exclusively on German servers, which enables us to meet the compliance requirements of many of our banking and mobility customers. All our data-related activities are also geared to the requirements of the ISO DIN 27000 standard for information security. By the way, our SaaS customers have no need to accept compromises in terms of service and capacity in return for high levels of data protection. As part of the EDASCA European cooperative, we can fully compete with the major international cloud providers in this respect. highQ is also a member of the corporate initiative “Digital Networking Charter”, which defines extended principles for a future digital society.
Customer satisfaction: Initial measures have already been implemented
As mentioned in our April newsletter, we have recently been busy evaluating the customer satisfaction survey we conducted at the end of 2018. Everybody who took part in the highQ mobility user forum in Frankfurt already knows, because our colleague, IT product management specialist Dr Katharina Peine, presented the first results there. “Above all, we wanted to hear what our customers had to say and derive direct measures from there responses”, she explained. “We wanted to find out how customers generally assess the benefits of our products and where they felt there was room for improvement.”
Initial measures have already been initiated on the basis of these findings. These include the further expansion and more efficient structuring of highQ support, the establishment of a customer portal on the website and the revision of some products by usability experts. According to the feedback you provided, highQ did well overall, with an average score of 2.11 from the numerous customer reviews received. We are happy about the great feedback but, from our point of view, we can see that there is still room for improvement.
Working for tomorrow’s mobility
highQ continues to grow. We are looking for further competent colleagues at our locations in Freiburg, Berlin, Stuttgart and Hamburg to support our numerous projects in the field of mobility – some of which we have reported on in these pages. We currently have openings in the areas of development, project management and support. As well as exciting projects, you can look forward to a family-friendly workplace and a great team.
You can find all details about the events in the News section..
THEMEN: Sylt Shuttle | Mobility Platform | bwtarif | Control App
Sylt Shuttle 2.0: Everything new for our oldest project
Talking of customer satisfaction, our partnership with DB Sylt Shuttle – which has already lasted 18 years – was confirmed again last July with a follow-up order. In the fast-moving world of IT, this is almost unheard of. That said, the solution we implemented back then proved totally reliable. Over the entire time period, the system has never once failed and the specially equipped 17/7 emergency service was rarely used.
Nevertheless, time has not stood still. What was at the time an innovative, chip card-based eTicketing system for the car train to Sylt now needs to be upgraded for the smartphone age. We will also be bringing the entire sales system up to date. In future, passengers will be able to conveniently pre-book their tickets via an app. When they enter the terminal, their number plate will be automatically recognised and the barrier to the train will open. “At that time, highQ was one of the pioneers in RFID chip card applications; today, we are leading the way in mobility apps and background systems”, explained project manager Erik Schlegel. “We are delighted that DB Sylt Shuttle has chosen to remain loyal to us and will continue to make every effort to ensure the success of Sylt Shuttle 2.0.”
Osnabrück: Integrated mobility platform nears completion
A web shop with complaint management, an EBE solution with direct connection to the (also new) TicketOffice background system, and a routing and ticketing app that enables multimodal journey chains across provider boundaries. In addition to public transport, the solution will also integrate local car and bike sharing, bicycle box rental companies and other partners. All offers can be booked and paid for directly via the app using single sign-on.
Existing subscriptions have already been transferred to the new platform and further modules will be activated progressively over the next two months. Later in the year, an innovative check-in/check-out ticketing system (CiBo) via smartphone will be added – the first such system in everyday use in Germany.
bwtarif: Reaching your destination faster with highQ support
Valid across the entire network, the new Baden-Württemberg tariff (or bwtarif for short) is proving tough for operators to implement. While the tariff makes it easier for passengers to travel anywhere within the state, transport companies needed to work extra shifts in the background to ensure that the comprehensive tariff system can be fed into their systems. The first deadline was December 9, 2018. On this date, all transport companies that operate across network boundaries needed to be able to offer the new ticket. This was no problem for highQ customers. With our support, the Sigmaringen District Transport Authority (KVB) was able to achieve punctual delivery. In the course of the first half of 2019, highQ will offer an update of our TicketApp, which already includes the new tariff. This will enable our other customers to effortlessly implement the bwtariff as well.
Control App: Penalty charges per smartphone
Many transport operators still issue paper receipts for penalty charges (EBE) in the traditional way – a cumbersome and time-consuming process. And even where electronic systems are already in use, most of them are still based on the antiquated Windows CE operating system. With our Android-based Control App, which can be installed on conductor devices as well as on standard smartphones and tablets, issuing an EBE is now much faster. The data collected by the ticket control service is transferred directly to the highQ background system, which has been extended by a module that then makes it available for the usual administrative processes. Since January 2019, Stadtwerke Osnabrück has been the first user of the innovative EBE application.
THEMEN: New Sales & Marketing Team | BUS2BUS | Public Transport Innovation Congress
New faces in sales & marketing
From multimodal apps to mobility platforms and smart city solutions, the mobility industry is currently experiencing the greatest transformation in decades. To ensure we are able to meet the new challenges and optimally support our core products TicketOffice, fare.logiQ and PlanB, highQ is currently strengthening its marketing and sales team. Alongside the familiar names and personalities, we would like to introduce you to some new faces. Read more here.
Review: highQ at BUS2BUS in Berlin
For the first time, from 19-21 March 2019, we were represented with a stand at the BUS2BUS trade fair in Berlin. We took the opportunity to present our greatly expanded timetable and duty roster programme PlanB with its integrated graphical scheduling and combination with the moveo dispatching module. Another focus was the successful integration of the Zelisko ticket printers into the highQ sales system. We also demonstrated our versatile app solutions.
On our ZEITMEILEN (time miles) stand in the Startup Area, we showed how incentives and gamification offerings can have a positive impact on user behaviour in the mobility sector. Anyone who follows the time miles route recommendations not only reaches their destination faster, but also receives bonus points as a reward for flexible mobility behaviour. These can then be exchanged for ideal, virtual or monetary bonuses. This integrated incentive scheme enables a variety of business models to support user acceptance.
We had promising discussions at both stands and are looking forward to intensifying them further in the future.
Review: 9th Public Transport Innovation Congress in Freiburg
As in 2017, “Mobility 4.0” was the overarching theme of the 9th Public Transport Innovation Congress, which took place from 12-14 March 2019 in the Kongresszentrum Konzerthaus Freiburg. As in previous years, highQ had a stand in the trade area of the exhibition. Once again, we were able to share some great conversations with you. The focus of our stand was on our solutions for moveBW, the successful implementation of the bwtarif and our mobility platform.
We will definitely be back in 2021 and look forward to seeing you there.