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Bolingbrook, Illinois – March 30, 2021 – Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC) has chosen Wi-Tronix to equip their fleet of locomotives with our advanced Violet Edge IoT Systems. The BRC is the largest intermediate switching terminal railroad in the US, located just south...read more
Bolingbrook, Illinois – December 2, 2020 – Randy Harris, a veteran in the Railroad Industry, with over 40 years of experience with Canadian National Railway, has partnered with the Wi-Tronix team to help expand customer asset utilization innovations. Randy has over 25...read more
Bolingbrook, Illinois – October 12, 2020 – Chad Jasmin, Wi-Tronix Vice President of Sales and Customer Experience, was recognized by his colleagues, business partners, and peers in the customer success community by being named to the Top 100 Customer Success...read more
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Wi-Tronix® COVID-19 Update March 17th, 2020
At Wi-Tronix, we are dedicated to supporting the safe and efficient operation of the rail network even in these times of crisis. We are monitoring and following US CDC and government official guidance for our physical interactions internally and externally. Wi-Tronix is committed to help reduce the spread of the virus and shorten its impact while at the same time we are committed to supporting our customers with the services we provide. Freight railroads and mass transit agencies are classified as Critical Infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). To support this critical infrastructure, we are taking the necessary measures that ensure the health and safety of our customers, employees and their families.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Wi-Tronix has implemented a remote work policy to protect our valued employees and customers. We have implemented travel limitations, enhanced hygiene and cleanliness requirements and other policies as well to limit physical interaction. Wi-Tronix employees with roles that can connect offsite are working remotely to minimize large group physical interaction. Wi-Tronix provides 24/7/365 support for our customers, and we are making the necessary efforts to continue this support during the crisis.
Wi-Tronix is in the business of connected solutions. The railroads around the world use our innovative solutions from their offices, and now more from their individual homes. We are enabling access to critical information that keeps vital transportation systems running. Our teams are committed to helping the railway industry remain connected, no matter how they are connected. If you have questions, please reach out and contact your Wi-Tronix representative or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Often railroads come to us looking for a remote monitoring solution and one of the questions we hear often is: “Why should I buy your software when I can build my own?”
Our answer is simple, when you buy from a third-party Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider like us, we’ll build, install, and maintain the product for you.
The next question is: “What is the SaaS model?”
The SaaS model is a distribution model in which a company hosts software via the internet and provides access to customers on a subscription basis.
Railroads typically have two options when it comes to purchasing software.
- The traditional method is to build the software outright and run it on-premises.
- The second option, which most railroads are choosing, is buying third-party software using the SaaS model.
Let’s explore why railroads are moving this direction.
The best way to explain the growing trend of railroads partnering with SaaS vendors is by looking at the ‘Buy vs. Build’ perspective:
- Financial Costs – Initial and ongoing costs are significantly less when purchasing a third-party SaaS software. When building your own software solution, you have to create a whole new department, including processes, people, tools/technology, and additional management. This means you’re paying for the initial buildout, ongoing support, upgrades, platform migrations, and keeping up with industry trends. All these costs can add up quickly and end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Opportunity Cost – Purchasing SaaS software will allow you to focus on profit-generating activities, whereas building a software in-house can steal valuable internal resources from high-profit opportunities. You can take advantage of the SaaS platform’s existing functionality in a much faster time frame than a company trying to DIY a solution.
- Time to Value – Buying a third-party SaaS solution will significantly reduce your time to value. It takes an excessive amount of time, resources, planning, and expertise to develop a software solution tailored to your organization’s needs. When buying a third-party solution, implementation can take place as soon as a few months or less, as opposed to a few years. It’s also generally easier to lean on a 3rd party provider to build in new functionality and value, as their very livelihood hinges on their ability to continuously and quickly improve their product.
- Maintenance – With a third-party SaaS provider, your maintenance fees will roll into your subscription costs. Their staff will help launch their solution at your organization, manage maintenance going forward, and push out new features and hardware. When you choose to build, you’re responsible for all maintenance items related to your new software such as: launches, bugs resolutions, training, compliance, and building new features. All that maintenance will likely require increased bandwidth or extra staff.
An example of SaaS value in action: One of our Class 1 railroads was managing their own solution for years and was tired of dealing with excessive storage, limited AI capabilities, and competing for internal resources with other departments. They decided it was best to integrate with our third-party software in order to eliminate maintenance cost and lack of technological capabilities. The result? They now outperform most other Class 1’s when it comes to fuel efficiency and regulatory compliance.
Choosing an innovative SaaS approach allows you to focus on what’s important: your fleet’s/asset’s needs now and in the future.
Previous Blog Posts
This is the third part in a series about fuel conservation. To read the first post in this series on The Need for Accurate Fuel Consumption Data, click here. To read the second post in this series on Locomotive Idle Reduction, click here. INTRODUCTION TO LOCOMOTIVE...read more
When the control system's impact on fuel savings is estimated to be 3%-18% realized, how do you confirm the technology is correctly applied to assure on-time arrival with the least possible fuel usage? The solution is real-time alerting to the Fuel Desk, Dispatch or...read more
This is the second part in a series about fuel conservation. To read the first post in this series on The Need for Accurate Fuel Consumption Data, click here. To read the third post, Optimizing Locomotive Energy Management Systems (EMS), click here. INTRODUCTION TO...read more