FlixBus reaches its destination quickly with MobileIron Cloud
"Since we have been managing our employees‘ Android smartphones with MobileIron, there have been fewer operating errors and our helpdesk has far fewer calls than before."
Vice President Operations, FlixMobility Experience
In just a few years, the public transportation company, FlixMobility and its brands FlixBus and FlixTrain, have become synonymous with efficient, innovative mobility with an excellent price-performance ratio. The company, which has numerous local partners throughout Europe, started its operations in the United States in 2018.
From the beginning, FlixMobility has regarded mobility as a phenomenon that is not limited to road and rail transportation, but also encompasses the digital transformation of work. In 2013, FlixMobility launched its own mobile app enabling customers to book tickets, view timetables, and even find out what the next stop is.
It has since further expanded its mobile-first strategy, which benefits both passengers and 7,000 bus drivers, as well as a large number of customer service attendants at the bus and train stations. By the end of 2018, FlixMobility was using more than 2,500 Android mobile devices that support the modern enterprise. The long-distance transport innovator has been using MobileIron’s unified endpoint management platform since the end of 2017, which serves as the foundation of modern mobile work in the transportation sector.
Mobile information for drivers, check-in staff, and customers
Bus drivers and station attendants use mobile devices in Android Kiosk mode, mainly for check-in and to communicate with management. The centralized mobile functions operate on two FlixBus apps, one for customers and the other for drivers and terminal employees.
The driver app has the following functions:
- Checking in customers
- Viewing passenger lists
- Viewing timetables
- Booking tickets (on site by driver)
- Checking in additional bags (on site by driver)
- Checking in bicycles (on site by driver)
- Recording any lost property
The FlixBus passenger app offers the following services:
- Booking tickets
- Checking in extra bags
- Checking in bicycles
- Storing booked tickets
- Providing stop information
- Monitoring routes in real time
Monitoring routes in real time is currently being piloted on various European routes. In addition, the FlixBus driver app now allows the driver to connect the mobile device to a bus’s linkbox, so that the bus and the drive route are connected automatically in the system. This makes a number of operational control processes considerably easier.
Manual configuration was expensive and time-consuming
In recent years, FlixMobility has started new partnerships with large numbers of transit companies and individual drivers. Its network and mobile IT architectures had expanded rapidly, and it was no longer feasible to register drivers’ phones manually, which was expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone.
MobileIron significantly reduces administrative costs
FlixMobility needed a pre-configured management solution for mobile devices used by drivers and station staff. With MobileIron in place, the company can now automatically download user profiles to smartphones. The profiles vary somewhat from one region to another, but, generally, the FlixBus app and the FlixBus driver app are accessible in kiosk mode, along with apps for business calls and real-time communication.
“MobileIron’s solution enabled us to tailor access management, security settings, and other administrative processes on mobile devices to the employees’ profiles, and it was almost entirely automated” says, Stefan Tontsch, Vice President of Operations at FlixMobility Experience. “It’s easy to load the profiles with settings on all devices before sending them to drivers or station staff. Pre-configuring the devices has significantly reduced our error rates and the number of helpdesk calls.”
How the company reduces helpdesk calls:
- Using standard profiles on mobile devices, which increases their stability
- Using MobileIron’s remote diagnostic capabilities to resolve problems more quickly and less costly
The user interface is simpler, which means that users make fewer mistakes, lowering maintenance costs. With centralized management, employees no longer need to update their devices individually, saving time.