Since a few months, the SNCF (French Public Railroad Company) has started to release public data. Considering its numerous actions - opening the data.sncf.com portal, launching the OpenApp competition - the SNCF is a pioneer the French Open Data universe. Patrick Ropert, Communication Director at SNCF, talks with us about the importance of Open Data for the company.
It's an excellent incentive for skilled developers to transform our data in mobile and web applications, which are useful for everyone.
Open Data is an amazing leverage for innovation, to answer our customers' needs.
The SNCF has decided to open the way, firstly by participating to the creation of the White Book on Open Data, then by creating a portal (data.sncf.com) to stay aware of developers' expectations and put our data at their disposal in the best conditions possible. Other initiatives are emerging in parallel, such as our applications contest organized by SNCF Transilien, where more than 2000 apps ideas appeared, and the firsts Hack Days.
What's the influence of Open Data in the perception and the image of the SNCF by its customers ?
SNCF is one of the first mobility and logistic group in the world, and intend to remain one of them. To do this, the company searches ideas and experts where they are : on the Internet, with Labs, in mobility-specialized startups, with Ecomobilité Ventures, at the Camping, the cluster installed in the Paris stock exchange, where we already spotted great ideas.
Open Data takes us one step ahead. The dialogue with developers allows us to find and clarify new ideas for innovating applications, useful for our customers, profitable for the creators and marketable for our brand.
We're initating an Open Data model where everyone gets satisfied, which contribute to promote the SNCF.
If you should summarize Open Data, its philosophy, its consequences, in one word, which one would it be ?
Allowing the ecosystem to cross our data with other ones to create unexpected services: that's the goal of SNCF's Open Data.