4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/13/2013
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Korail Korea Essential App for Busy People, "Glory KORAIL" Released for Windows 8

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* The percentage of ticketing through Glory KORAIL will increase to around 40% during the first half of 2013. Recently, reservations through the mobile app are quickly growing.  With the release of the new version for Microsoft Windows 8, we can now expand our potential customer base to users of Windows 8-based desktops, notebooks and tablets *

Seong-Guen Jeon
Director of Passenger Information Office
KORAIL

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The Windows 8 version of Glory KORAIL, the essential app for busy people, was officially released on February 5, 2013. First released in 2010, Glory KORAIL gained sensational popularity among smartphone users. As a result, the percentage of ticketing through mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, reached 32.5% in January 2013. While receiving enthusiastic responses from customers, KORAIL had prepared to support a new platform just in time for the launch of Windows 8, so as to speed up the era of paperless tickets. The objective was to allow more users to conveniently use the Glory KORAIL app through a wider variety of devices including desktops and notebooks, as well as smartphones and tablets. KORAIL had completed the one-stop service app for viewing train timetables, reservations, payment, ticketing, and, returning after three months of development, released the first app for Windows 8 among Korean public organizations in February 2013. With the release of this app, KORAIL achieved the effect of improving the railroad service for people based on the N-screen support strategy catered specifically to users.

Situation

KORAIL has shown extraordinary leadership in the mobile app service area. The craze for smartphones started in late 2000s and KORAIL took interest in the development of the app at that time. Sensing that the "mobile big bang" would change everyone's daily life, KORAIL Information Technology Group moved quickly and introduced the Glory KORAIL app in 2010.

It was an incredible hit. In just one month after its release, Glory KORAIL achieved one million downloads. Because it enabled reservation, payment and ticketing for trains including KTX through smartphones, this app gave users the experience of a "train station in my hand." The buzz about the convenience of this app spread from person to person. Consequently, less than one year after its release, Glory KORAIL became a must-have app for any train user. Its contribution to improved convenience for train users was widely recognized, as shown when it won the grand prize at App Award Korea 2011 for the public sector.

Having been established as an essential app in the era of smartphones, in a short period of time the Glory KORAIL app once again emerged as an icon of innovation in early 2013. In February 2013 KORAIL released the first app for Windows 8 through Windows Store among public organizations: the Windows 8 version of Glory KORAIL, the essential app for everyone. KORAIL took the lead in supporting Windows 8 before other organizations because it has its own service principle and standards that it should provide the same experience and quality of service across all the platforms and minimize user inconvenience by quickly supporting the latest platforms.

It was late 2012 when KORAIL prepared to support the Windows platform. At that time, KORAIL Information Technology Group took note of the potential influence of Windows. They did not overlook the possibility of providing the same user experience on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Realizing that using the Glory KORAIL app on a desktop and a notebook, as well as a smartphone and a tablet, would allow people to enjoy the railroad services conveniently, through more devices and in more places, KORAIL Information Technology Group did not hesitate to start developing a new version of the app.

Solution

Since Glory KORAIL was first introduced, the native app has been continuously developed and maintained. At that time, KORAIL Information Technology Group deliberated over various methods, including native app, mobile app and Web app. It believed that it would take some time before HTML5 would be established as de facto standard in the market. Accordingly, it decided to develop a native app to provide the best user experience in terms of running speed and sense of control, while allowing anyone to easily download it from the market. The maintenance abilities of KORAIL even surprised app experts. It has provided the same user interface, features and sense of control, regardless of the platform, and deliberately chose the announcement date for upgrade versions. In this way, it has tried to understand the customers' needs and wants even in invisible parts.

KORAIL also meticulously prepared for the Windows 8 app by forming a task force in order to continue with the development and operation strategies of Glory KORAIL. As it was a new platform, it was initially a burden. KORAIL Information Technology Group expected that it would take 4–6 months to develop the Windows 8 version of Glory KORAIL, based on its experience with other platforms. Compared to Android or iOS, with which it has almost two years' experience, Windows 8 was a completely new environment. Thus, it was initially a burden having to become accustomed to the unfamiliar technology and platform. However, project completion actually took just three months. Public release through the market also was earlier than expected, and the request for its entry in Windows Store was completed in just three days.

After finishing app development and entry in Windows Store, KORAIL officially released Glory KORAIL for Windows 8 in early February 2013. The Glory KORAIL app for Windows 8 consisted of five menus: ticket reservations, ticket confirmation, discount products, reservation details and my page. Through these menus, users can use one-stop services from viewing the train timetable to reservations, payment, ticketing and returns.

In addition to these features, Glory KORAIL for Windows 8 also provides a comfortable feel because it is optimized for the unique Windows touch and sense of control. Based on its experience of providing the best user experience on each platform through native app development, KORAIL also achieved a well-polished sense of control on Windows 8.

Meanwhile, although there are not many domestic users yet, KORAIL also plans to support the use of Glory KORAIL on Windows 8 phones in the future, while watching the increased number of users and the market changes.

Benefits

Expanding Customer Base through Fast Support for Latest Platform

With the official release of the new version of the app in February 2013, Windows 8 desktop and notebook users can now conveniently download the Glory KORAIL app from the Windows Store. As a result of expanding Glory KORAIL to Windows 8, KORAIL can now deliver the benefits of mobile services to more people. Since the release of Windows 8, new desktop, notebook and tablet products are being loaded with Windows 8 as the default operating system as of February 2013. Through the release of the Windows 8 Glory KORAIL app, KORAIL expects that even users who replace their old desktops, notebooks or tablets with new ones will be able to conveniently use the train reservation service.

Speeding Up the Age of Paperless Tickets with

App Services for the N-Screen Era

With the addition of the Windows 8 version of the app, KORAIL anticipates that the era of paperless tickets will occur more quickly. In the case of home ticket services, which KORAIL Information Technology Group used in an attempt to initiate the era of paperless tickets, it took six years until its utilization rate for ticketing reached 10%. In contrast, since the release of the mobile app less than two years ago, its utilization rate reached 32.5% as of January 2013. This is an explosive growth and this trend is expected to continue.

Seong-Guen Jeon, Director of Passenger Information Office, KORAIL, said, "The percentage of ticketing through Glory KORAIL will increase to around 40% during the first half of 2013. With the increasing utilization of the mobile app, the use of home tickets and SMS is decreasing and ticketing through our counters has decreased from over 60% to 42%, achieving a cost saving of nearly KRW 2 billion." He added, "Recently, reservations through the mobile app are quickly growing. Moreover, with the release of the new version for Microsoft Windows 8, we can now expand our potential customer base to users of Windows 8-based desktops, notebooks and tablets. In the future, we will also release the app for Windows 8 phones to allow our customers to make train reservations easily and conveniently through a wider range of mobile devices."

Rave Reviews from Users of Windows 8 Devices Due to Excellent Sense of Control

Since the release of Glory KORAIL for Windows 8, positive signals have been received. The Glory KORAIL app for Windows 8 has also received favorable reviews from users, as with other platforms. Users of Windows 8 devices particularly appreciate the sense of control.

One characteristic of the Windows 8 version is that the menu always pops up, even without pressing the back button. It has taken full advantage of the Windows touch UI. To open another submenu after selecting a submenu such as ticket reservations or my page from the main menu, you don't need to press the back button, but simply touch the top of the screen and gently pull down to show the popup menu. Furthermore, for menus that require login, the popup menu appears smoothly from the right. Therefore, you can use various menus in one screen without moving to another screen for login. In addition, as the Glory KORAIL app for Windows 8 works in exactly the same way on desktops as well as on tablets, you can conveniently enjoy the same services, regardless of your location or device.

Railroad Services with No Platform Limits With the release of the Windows 8 app, KORAIL broadened the possibility of services with no platform limits. These days many people use multiple smart devices such as a notebook, tablet and smartphone. Users of multiple devices can install the Glory KORAIL app on all of their devices to experience the same services regardless of the platform. In the past, this was only possible with smartphones and tablets, but the release of the Windows 8 app extended the boundaries to include desktops and notebooks. For instance, you don't have to take out your smartphone while working because you can reserve your ticket through the Glory KORAIL app on your Windows 8 notebook or tablet. If you are in a traffic jam on your way to the station, you can just take your Android or iPhone out of your pocket to reserve a ticket and get it issued for a later time. This example shows that user convenience has greatly improved with the support of more platforms and devices.

Microsoft Windows

For more information about the Microsoft Windows 8, go to:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/meet For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:

www.microsoft.com

For more information about Korail’s products and services, call 82-1544-7788 or visit the website at:

www.korail.com

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 366 employees

Organization Profile

KORAIL is a public corporation that was established in 2005 with the goal of contributing to the national economy and the development of the railroad industry by enhancing the expertise and efficiency of railway operation.


Business Situation

As the number of users of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is explosively growing, the need for apps that support various platforms and devices is increasing.


Benefits

  • Expanding Customer Base
  • Speeding Up the Age of Paperless Tickets
  • App Services for the N-Screen Era
  • Railroad Services with No Platform Limits


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile Software For Pocket Pcs
  • Windows Technologies
  • Windows 8

Vertical Industries
Transportation

Country/Region
Korea

Business Need
  • Support and Services
  • Sales Management

IT Issue
  • Development
  • Consumerization of IT

Languages
English

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