“Winter? We like it, it’s part of the Canadian life and psyche. But it’s also a large part of the reason why our subway systems have to function so well,” says Marielle Fournier, director of IT at Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Montreal’s public transit service. “Bus transport is important, but mainly in the other seasons.” She turns to her colleague Sylvain Lapointe, IT divisional manager, for his opinion. He smiles, concurs. “In winter, people use the Montreal metro a lot more than the buses,” he explains. “At temperatures of -20 Celsius, it’s simply too cold to wait for a bus.” Not to mention the fact that seven Metro stations service Montreal’s famed underground city – the largest underground complex in the world and used by over half a million people every day during the long winter months. But whether subway or bus, continues Fournier, “it’s imperative that STM function efficiently and reliably.”
This, in fact, was one of the reasons that STM, one of the most extensive municipal transit companies in Canada, turned to SAP six years ago. “We had too many heterogeneous IT systems,” explains Fournier. “They were highly disparate and costly to maintain. We wanted to integrate and modernize our systems, and so we decided to adopt an SAP enterprise resource planning solution.”
Free download: The current issue of SAP SPECTRUM Issue 2 | 2010.