North Star and Appear Partner to Launch Innovative Customer Information Solution for the Passenger Transport Industry

March 2015

Business consultancy expert and leading mobile technology supplier combine industry best practices and innovative mobile technologies to improve disruption management processes and help deliver top class service

Appear and North Star have entered into a partnership to offer passenger transport operators an industry leading customer information solution through bespoke deployment of mobile technologies to frontline employees to help provision of information during disruption. Based on decades of experience with passenger transport operators around the world, the new programme, called “Service Excellence in Motion” (SEM), delivers insight on how to improve customer service processes, combined with a unique context-aware mobile technology platform to support the process improvements.

SEM includes a proven methodology to improve customer service processes: dedicated workshops focusing on business process analysis, mobile technology requirements and change management. The programme can also include the development of test implementations, in order to quickly learn from real usage.

For example, the management of service disruption can be greatly enhanced when frontline workers, such as platform agents, are equipped with smartphones that connect them directly to context-aware and up to the minute travel disruption information. It enables them to immediately view the cause of disruption, the recommended alternative transportation routes, and most importantly, the duration of the disruption.

Xavier Aubry, CEO of Appear, explains: “Passenger transport operators often share the same challenges: their customer-facing employees need access to real-time information in order to provide the best possible level of service, but they don’t have the possibility of sitting behind a computer. We developed this customer service excellence programme with North Star in order for front-line staff to be empowered and efficiently communicate customer information.”

Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star, comments: “SEM is about improving processes and providing user-friendly information to the frontline employees so they can deliver excellent customer service. For disruption management we recognise employees need filtered and relevant information. With context-aware mobile technology, only relevant information is pushed to the employee, preventing information overload, and making them aware of the situation at the right place and time.”

Case Study

Appear successfully deployed a context-aware mobile workforce solution in the Stockholm Metro. The operator, MTR Stockholm AB, chose Appear to help increase customer satisfaction and attract a larger travelling public on the system. With the new assignment calling for increased staffing, better punctuality, fewer cancelled departures and a cleaner rail system. A key success factor to achieving these goals was to provide better information to staff in real-time, using context-aware advanced mobile technology.

Kimmo Piri, Stations Director of MTR Stockholm AB, explains: “Our idea from the outset was to deploy more mobile personnel, in order to increase the number of interactions with travellers. These frontline workers are appointed to locations based on traffic patterns and have to carry with them all the information they need to perform their customer duties well. Hence, we proposed wireless handheld devices that would send and receive the latest information on their rosters, tasks, traffic disruption or inspection check-lists on demand.”

About Appear:

Appear is a mobile software specialist with expertise in context-aware application infrastructure, enterprise mobile solutions and consumer location-based services. Appear’s flagship product, Appear IQ, is a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) used to mobilize field service applications. Appear IQ focuses on cost savings and customer service improvements by optimizing mobile workflows and making business critical mobile applications available to employees in real time on their mobile devices. Leading organizations such as MTR Stockholm Subway and Netherlands Railway have chosen the Appear IQ platform due to its compelling ROI, its proven reliability/adaptability in large scale deployments, and the possibility to extend its reach to consumer applications. Appear pioneered the field of context-aware software ten years ago. Our vision is to leverage user context in order to ensure mobile users have exactly the information they need, when and where they need it. Appear is constantly innovating around areas such as human-machine interfaces, machine-to-machine communication, context-aware computing and cross-platform mobile infrastructure, in order to deliver a software infrastructure able to support the next generation of smart devices and smart objects. More information is available at

About Northstar:

North Star Consultancy Ltd was formed with unique and unmatched expertise in operations and the customer centric experience for the consultancy market. North Star provides a superb skill set backed up by decades of experience at all levels of management in transport and has an unrivalled understanding of the rail and air sectors. The consultancy is led by a team that has been responsible for delivering start-up at some of the world’s transport success stories such as Heathrow Express, the Virgin Pendolino Fleet, London Underground upgrades including Oyster card, planning of the Thameslink Programme and City Airport in London and most recently the Dubai Metro. The team has also been involved in start-up planning for major UK train procurements; the Intercity Express Programme and the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. Their global work has also covered Europe, South and North America and Asia in their areas of expertise including Rail-Air links, Service Start-up, Customer Service and Managing Disruption. North Star has supported many transport organisations and suppliers including Siemens, Hitachi, Serco, Balfour Beatty, Vinci, First Group and SNC-Lavalin. More information is available at

Press Contact Appear:
Mia Falgard
PR Manager
+46 709 559 356

Press Contact Northstar:
Suzanne Withers
PR Manager
+44 7850 746585