Taxi fares well in the cloud

In the highly competitive world of the private hire business, innovative IT support services can make a significant difference. Cloud infrastructure and data specialist PeaSoup has partnered with Virtual Rank, a cloud platform, to deliver the secure infrastructure that is powering the spectacular expansion of one taxi firm - which has seen turnover grow six-fold.

Pulling rank to meet IT challenges

When a west of England private hire firm needed to automate its key business processes, it became obvious that none of the available off-the-shelf taxi management software solutions was able to fulfil its back-office or API integration requirements. The firm manages a fleet of private hire vehicles and business services to airports and seaports across three counties as well as nationwide.

Virtual Rank, in conjunction with PeaSoup, came to the rescue with a solution specifically developed to manage this geographically dispersed rural private hire business. The platform encompasses management of all the company’s back office operational systems - from enquiry to booking, delivery to fleet management, billing and automatic invoicing to reconciliation and financial reporting.

PeaSoup’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution has facilitated the smooth running of the Virtual Rank SaaS solution. IaaS from PeaSoup has the flexibility and simplicity of operation that allows the ongoing development of user acceptance-tested systems to roll into live services without disruption to the taxi firm. It also removes the costs that would have been incurred to develop, test and deliver on-premise management.

PeaSoup is the driving force

One of the key features of PeaSoup’s IaaS is that it comes with ‘hot add’ capabilities for an instant increase in resources to a live server without incurring downtime. This provides the ‘horsepower’ for smooth and safe computing. Developers can access a fully featured portal interface and have the ability to deliver additional bandwidth and build new servers in minutes as the Virtual Rank solution continues to expand to meet demand.

The IaaS has a firewall layer for remote connectivity and the security required to protect the customer and company data from attacks by hackers. Another layer of protection ensures business continuity for Virtual Rank’s software; there are also backup and recovery (BRaaS) schedules.

Partnering PeaSoup as the backbone of the management and operational systems supplied by Virtual Rank has enabled the private hire company to expand from four cars and eight drivers to 24 vehicles and 34 drivers. Turnover has grown six-fold over the last decade with no corresponding increase in IT overheads.

Functionality and flexibility for all types of fleets

The system’s functionality has expanded beyond basic fleet management and booking controls to also incorporate more in-depth customer information and staff time management. Benefits include minimising the staffing levels required to manage the taxi company’s fleet, including automated accounting and reporting.

PeaSoup Head of Marketing, Art Malinowski, explained: “We are delighted that our services have successfully powered Virtual Rank’s highly efficient automated cloud platform, enabling long-term growth for its private hire customer. The software architecture has been adapted to meet the increasing scale of usage, the costs controlled by utilising cloud computing and the flexibility of the PeaSoup IaaS.

“Although this solution was developed for a taxi firm, there’s no reason that it could not be leveraged perfectly well for any hire or fleet operation. That’s the beauty of IaaS flexibility and scalability. Switching to PeaSoup's cloud-based data services, powered by eco-friendly and high-performing liquid immersion cooling technology, will significantly reduce the risk of breaches and system failures in any fleet operation. Not to mention cutting carbon emissions which is of course a key target for any company operating vehicles of any kind.”

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