For over thirty years in business, MAIOR solutions for public transportation have been at the very center of rapid change. This evolution has been influenced by the desire to continuously provide solutions in line with customer needs and technological progress. This process has been managed and achieved by maintaining constant attention on two fundamental points: the quality and security of our software.
In this interview, Duccio Grandi, Chief Technology Officer, and Lorenzo Sarti, Head of Software Development Division, speak about this journey and explain what we are doing at MAIOR to provide secure, high-performing solutions to our customers.
Customer needs and technological evolution on information technology have encouraged us to shift from providing solutions that ease the work of two or three people to offering our customers tools that support their business and operations.
Today, MAIOR products are essential for all business processes, from planning to production, and from real-time monitoring of the provided service performance to secure data sharing.
“In a certain sense, this scenario includes another aspect; I am referring to the role played by the suppliers we use to acquire the tools we need to develop MAIOR solutions. We are constantly engaged in a search for tools that allow us to provide higher quality software at more competitive prices, a choice leads to Google or Oracle just to name a few.” – Lorenzo Sarti, Head of Software Development Division
Big Data analysis is considered one of the biggest challenges that face the public transportation industry.
The main local public transportation players acquire an ever-increasing amount of data from the services they provide and realized that an important value is hidden among these data, and that is the possibility of offering a better service.
MAIOR, faithful to its mission of offering solutions developed from the actual customers’ needs, has proven itself ready to provide tools suitable for “digging” into this enormous amount of data and extracting that “hidden” knowledge.
To date, the MAIOR Transit Scheduling Suite provides our customers with this kind of insights to help make their services more efficient and to provide enhanced mobility solutions to passengers.
Software Development Approach
MAIOR is an ISO 9000 certified company for many years now, and this guarantees that the processes governing the company are always clear and well defined.
As to the organization of the software development teams, MAIOR has always explored the best practices out there.
“One aspect we found was particularly surprising because it looked a lot like what we were already doing: The AGILE approach, which is linked to the SCRUM approach, a methodology to organize software products development. In a certain sense, AGILE follows the natural evolution of our way of working.” – Duccio Grandi, Chief Technology Officer
Getting inspiration from AGILE has allowed MAIOR to count on a team with various seniority levels and experience. Thanks to the AGILE approach, everyone is aware of what the goal is, how the project is progressing, what their colleagues are doing, and what difficulties they encounter. Thus, various development projects can be optimally managed.
A fundamental aspect of AGILE is constantly questioning whether what we are doing is what the customer needs, which may lead to constant course changing, sometimes even with significant changes, by getting continuous feedback. MAIOR’s main feature has always been to build tailored scheduling solutions for our customers that evolve according to their needs.
The AGILE approach means continuously listening to what is happening out there and adapting projects accordingly, and even managing important changes that can happen from one day to another.
“This decision to continuously get feedback from customers impacts the way we develop our solutions. At MAIOR, we have changed the organization of work so that people collaborate even more.” – Lorenzo Sarti, Head of Software Development Division
Information Management Security
MAIOR follows the procedures indicated by the ISO 27000 certification, a worldwide recognized certification that details how data should be correctly protected in the software development, both at MAIOR’s and at our customers’ end.
“We don’t collect a large amount of personal data with our MAIOR Transit Scheduling Suit, but we still manage a lot of data that is important to the companies that use it; losing these data would represent enormous damage. In order to have a web system accessible in the cloud, cybersecurity becomes one of the most critical aspects.” – Duccio Grandi, Chief Technology Officer
MAIOR uses technologies that are as up-to-date as possible and market available. This way it is possible to guarantee maximum security for all the technological infrastructure supporting the MAIOR Transit Scheduling Suite: tools, databases, and application server, to name a few.
In addition, MAIOR works with companies that specialize in penetration tests to simulate external attacks on products and identify critical points. This process of continuous improvement allows us to resolve critical issues and weaknesses. This approach allows us to offer software solutions with a very high added security value, much higher than what could have been a few years ago when there was less general attention to these aspects.
Quality and Stability
In addition to a collaborative organization of development teams that facilitates cross-reviews, an internal Quality Assurance team has been created to ensure the quality and stability of software solutions.
A large part of the work of the QA team is the design and execution of tests that emulate the actions that the user will later perform with the MAIOR Transit Scheduling Suite, and this lets us make greater progress in terms of the quality of the services we offer.
To make the Quality Assurance team’s work even more effective, MAIOR pursues the automation of quality testing so that it can be performed continuously as development progresses. This significantly reduces manual and repetitive work and most importantly ensures that every change or new development is tested in every part of the MAIOR Transit Scheduling Suite.