A COTS solution for traffic and travel information
With 28 years in business, GEWI has been closely involved in the evolution of technology and a leader in the development of innovative solutions in the traffic and travel information market. Recently GEWI integrated Web Map Services (WMS) in the TIC product. Read more in this newsletter.
In recent years, one of the biggest trends with GEWI customers is the move to Cloud hosting and services. In this issue, we'll take a look at the evolution of hosting including a recent example with long-time GEWI customer Intelematics Australia. Another long-time customer has upgraded to TIC3, and we'll profile Executive Director Matthias Defée who has been involved in many key GEWI projects for the past 18 years.
GEWI EU staff were also treated to a trip to the Porsche factory located near the GEWI office in Leipzig, Germany. Read about this and more, including the integration of Web Map Services (WMS) into the TIC Software Product.
Should you need any assistance, have questions or require further information, contact us at www.gewi.com.
The Evolution of Hosting
When GEWI deployed the first TIC system in 1997 (known then as TMC Office), the system was hosted by the Bavarian Police, GEWI's very first software customer.
For many years, the standard was for the GEWI Customer's IT department to host the TIC system in their own local data center.
This pattern changed in the middle of the next decade. With the advent of large scale commercial data centers and shrinking IT resources within many organizations, GEWI provided hosting services.
While GEWI became expert at dedicated hosting solutions, currently running hosted systems with a combined power of 140 Cores, 1 TB RAM, 26 TB Storage. But the method of providing hosting resources continues to evolve - and does so faster every day.
The increasing options and capability for failover, geo-redundancy, encryption, isolation, clustering and quite importantly speed of deployment offered by cloud providers such as AWS and Azure has made "the cloud" an attractive option.
GEWI Migrates Intelematics to Cloud
GEWI's TIC Software has been powering Intelematics Australia (IA) SUNA traffic service since 2007 and earlier this year we supported IA in migrating TIC to Amazon Web Services
As part of IA’s IT modernisation program Intelematics have transitioned all of their traffic services to the Cloud allow for Scalability and reduce costs across our systems.
The Cloud hosting will result in cost savings as well as improvements in the areas of system monitoring and alerting. They also expect the more robust business continuity processes will result in improved system reliability.
A large scale project such as this isn't without challenges and due to the highly distributed network of data suppliers and third party services. However, once the issues of permissions and security have been resolved, the ongoing benefits far outweigh the efforts involved to move to AWS.
Flexibility - A Core GEWI Principle
Flexibility is a core principle at GEWI, and Hosting flexibility is just one example.
From the earliest generations of TIC, flexibility was a main design requirement of the system.
Nearly 20 years ago when TIC was first used to CONNECT traffic data between 22 countries in 7 different languages, that flexibility was critical.
With TIC3, flexibility has been extended with a unique architecture allowing TIC to collect a wide range of data, including text, images, audio files, GPS, speed/flow data, map data and many more information types.
This flexibility enables TIC to be portable, which is of critical importance to GEWI's global customer base who need a single solution which can work anywhere in the world regardless of the type of road network, incident referencing or location referencing methodology.
Flexibility also extends to hosting options as well as the licensing model which is scalable to allow TIC to be used for small data exchange projects, or the largest national or international information systems.
GEWI and the Public / Private Cloud
Public Cloud hosting provides advantages to old-school hosting methods.
Public Cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google (to name the 3 largest) offer a wide variety of services. From accounting, to virtual hosting, network, security, backup and redundancy.
These services, combined with speed and flexibility enable the deployment of new environments in only an hours time compared to weeks with conventional hosting platforms.
Earlier this year, GEWI moved some general purpose systems to AWS with plans to move User Feedback, TIC3 Monitoring and GEWI’s Support Server to AWS as well.
One example is the map images for the TIC Web Client now being served by AWS to increase the speed, throughput and availability.With auto-scale built into the infrastructure, and the ability to span different regions almost instantly, allows to adapt to the growing demand.
Cloud hosting is also convenient when GEWI needs to deploy a demonstration or test system, paying only for the features and duration required for the project.
And with the clouds capabilities to completely isolate networks, private clouds can be established in no time to host customer TIC systems safely and securely.
Cloud Security, Backup and Redundancy
With the advent of server hosting, the risk pattern changed.
When Systems were hosted within the organizations own data centers, typically the network connecting clients with the central server belonged to the organization, creating a closed environment, less vulnerable to hacking
With servers hosted somewhere, clients connecting from the internet, infrastructure is way more complicated. Clients as well as servers can be hacked by any external party.
Cloud provider nowadays offer a variety of options to counter those risks.
The most prominent cloud feature are virtual networks, encapsulating different systems, making them easily controllable. With dedicated firewall rules for each private network, configurable routing, and private connections between individual virtual networks, security can be brought to a new level.
With encryption for data at rest as well as for data in transit, security and privacy can be ensured throughout the entire data processing chain.
That also addresses the data privacy issue. With Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, cloud providers such as AWS and Azure have been certified to be GDPR compliant.
23 Year GEWI Customer Upgrades to TIC3
German Radio Group Radio/Tele FFH has been a GEWI customer since 1997, and has recently upgraded to the TIC3 Generation of software. More than three million people switch to the radio programs HIT RADIO FFH, planet radio and harmony.fm every day.
FFH uses TIC3 to create Traffic News for Radio Reports for their stations. TIC outputs the traffic data to be used in multiple ways including spoken announcement, webs presentation and radio data (RDS) broadcast.
The Traffic News for Radio is just one of many off-the-shelf solutions available in the TIC3 Software, providing radio stations with an interactive web-based traffic news script which announcers can modify to tailor the report to meet requirements such as geographic area, report duration, even customized to each reporter’s reading speed.
In addition for Traffic News for Radio, TIC is also used for work zone management, traffic and travel information services, road incident management, automated driving, and real-time navigation services.
With the integration of Web Map Services (WMS) into the TIC Software Product, it is now easy for GEWI customers to visualize a wide range of data types as additional data layers on the TIC Map.
This new feature is now available in TIC to collect Open Data Portal or commercial types of WMS data. These can include data related to traffic including weather, traffic lights, transit, sensors and railroad crossings. Or a wide range of other data including colored terrain images, environmental data, population data and much more.
By displaying this data as additional layers, operators are able to use the WMS map images to check information create or correct events in the system to ensure reports being distributed reflect actual real-world conditions.
For example, if a Work Zone has a potential effect on public transit, an operator can review the transit data layer to be alerted to potential conflicts when planning the Work Zone.
Process improvement is a constant effort at GEWI, and recently the staff from GEWI EU had an opportunity to visit the Porsche factory located near the GEWI office in Leipzig, Germany.
As a software company, GEWI primarily deals with "soft" processes, quite different than the "hard" processes used by an automobile manufacturer.
The tour was quite impressive to learn how the factory processes have been completely automated, with simple manual processes and quality checks being handled by people.
GEWI Profile: Matthias Defee
Matthias Defée joined GEWI as Product Manager in 2002 and over the years has advanced through the positions of Business Development Manager and since 2008, Director of Customer Projects, Worldwide. In 2017, Matthias was promoted to Executive Director and has added responsibilities for finance, human resources and strategic planning for GEWI.
Matthias holds both a degree in Computer Science and an MBA. His education, combined with 18 years with GEWI provides the background, skills and experience to understand both the technical and business requirements involved in the increasingly complex traffic market.
Over the years, Matthias has managed many high profile projects including Viasuisse (Switzerland), Dubai Road Transport Authority (UAE) and recently many Work Zone projects such as in Hesse and North Rhine Westphalia (Germany). He is also responsible in dealing with the strategy and implementation of GEWI's hosted (cloud) solutions.
Smart Work Zone Product Info
Organizations interested in an all-in-one Work Zone solution can learn more about the features and benefits of the GEWI solution by viewing the "TIC for Work Zones" brochure.
The brochure includes information on the many product features implemented for Work Zone planning, management and operation including:
Smart Work Zone real-time data collection.
Submit request for permits.
Issue Work Zone permits.
Connected vehicle compatibility.
Click here to view the new brochure or visit www.gewi.com