First Direct has benefited from some significant changes to its infrastructure in 2017 making the prospects for this year very exciting. After introducing all new cloud based technology and features for our customers and drivers, we are now completely resilient in the event of a disaster and are able to offer new and improved services for our customers and drivers.
To combat the challenge we were faced with late last year when our system was affected by a ransomware attack, we have implemented a fully cloud based dispatch system with multilayered points of redundancy to prevent our services from being affected in such a way again. We now have multiple backup sites throughout New Zealand and Australia for our taxi dispatch system and two fall-back sites for our Christchurch contact centre – one located in Palmerston North and the other in Canberra, Australia. This means that in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake or another cyber-attack, we are able to seamlessly fall-back to our backup sites without any affect to our taxi services.
Our new system offers exciting new possibilities for online payments and corporate accounts. Customers will now be offered their very own cloud-based portal to make and manage their bookings and payments securely. Customers will save time compared to over the phone and it can be done from anywhere providing you have an internet connection. Customers will no-longer need to wait to pay in the car – everything will already be taken care of during the booking process.These accounts are fully customisable for personal and corporate needs.
We are also now in a better position to maintain our services and provide further enhancements for both drivers and customers. Our recently launched taxi driver login will increase efficiency for drivers allowing them to actively manage and review their payments, account and bookings. This together with our online customer payments, has allowed us to make great progress in our environmental objective of being a paperless office. Other enhancements for our drivers includes the removal of radio communication with the contact centre and replacing it with templated instant messages and clear voice calls. For our customers, our new dispatch system’s integration with Google maps, has provided us an increased ability to provide booking enhancements online and through our mobile app.
The great thing about our new technology is the opportunity for more development. We know our customers’ needs are always changing and our new dispatch system helps us to adapt to this. We are always looking at ways to improve our services to our customers and our drivers.