De Lijn launches highly responsive website, reinforces digital B2C presence

| Client story

The situation

CXOs globally are struggling to make digital a core part of how they do business and serve their customers. Enterprises the world over are feeling a pressing need to spur their journey toward digital excellence.

Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij De Lijn – popularly known as De Lijn – is an independent public transport company providing bus and tram services in the Flemish region. It owns one of the most frequently visited sites in Belgium (up to 100,000 page views per hour at certain times). To support an ever-growing customer base and to exceed the needs and expectations of its customers, De Lijn identified an urgent requirement to implement a new online strategy. The biggest challenge was to relaunch the company's website, connecting all existing and new information channels and functionality.

At the top of the priority list of features of the new De Lijn website was screen responsiveness – the website needed to be responsive enough to deliver a customized view across platforms and devices. Furthermore, the site needed to be integrated with other systems containing relevant data. This was crucial as the real-time data presented to the end-users had to be gathered from multiple backend systems. Thus, the new De Lijn website was required to demonstrate high performance and to be a reliable integration point for all relevant travel information.


The solution

De Lijn engaged Capgemini’s Digital Customer Experience (DCX) team to lead and deliver this project. Capgemini was chosen mainly for four critical reasons – our proven project approach and planning ability, the competence of our project team, our project governance model, and our ability to align with the documentation standards of De Lijn.

DCX is a response to clients' needs to utilise enhanced opportunities that address market shifts and consume digital services intelligently in order to increase business performance. Through DCX, Capgemini helps clients get closer to their end-users in order to deliver a superlative multichannel experience.

The Capgemini team chose Tridion as the content management platform, as it was optimised to deliver a contextual experience and drive an enhanced user experience for the customers even of a website as heavily used as De Lijn's is. As the first step in the project, two Java applications were designed and programmed – the website and an API application. The website was designed as a standalone Java application that would dynamically merge marketing content with real-time information from back-end systems. The purpose of the API application was to service the back-end systems in a cleaner way – combining multiple technical services into one functional service – and to add caching capabilities to improve performance.

The project was handled in phases. At the outset, the Capgemini DCX team simultaneously focused on two parallel tracks – functional analysis and architecture. Capgemini collaborated with the team from De Lijn over several workshops to agree on Agile as the most appropriate approach to refine the website’s functional analysis and architecture. Progress was constantly tracked using the Capgemini JIRA as a Service platform.

Thereafter, the team shifted focus to technical analysis. To effectively integrate the website with De Lijn’s backend systems, Capgemini performed a detailed analysis to identify services that could provide relevant information, and validated the quality of the data provided by these services. This step was crucial to the success of the project.


The result

A preview version of the website was published within seven months of project commencement, and the final version was made live a month after that. The revamped website has a fresh design, easy-to-use navigation capabilities, improved functionality, enhanced performance, augmented accessibility of information, upgraded screen responsiveness and flawless integration.

The website was well received among customers and stakeholders and has been acknowledged with excellent feedback on social media since its launch.

Tom Van De Vreken, spokesperson for De Lijn, said:"In terms of user-friendliness, this is one of the best websites you will find in the Belgian public sector. Our nomination for the prestigious E-Gov awards is proof of this."


How De Lijn and Capgemini worked together

Capgemini collaborated with the external vendor that provided and installed TMS (a translation module that is used by De Lijn), planned their contributions, and ensured that these fitted in with the overall project plan. Capgemini also collaborated with one of De Lijn’s subcontractors to ensure seamless delivery of the HTML/CSS for the website, thereby freeing De Lijn from having to deal with the related deadlines and subsequent bug-fixing. Capgemini maintained direct contact with the vendor and kept De Lijn updated about progress.

By fully understanding De Lijn's needs and aligning the project to the overall business strategy, Capgemini integrated all relevant information and technologies to develop a single, responsive interface for customers, and supported De Lijn in achieving success in its digital transformation journey.