BaneDanmark (Rail net Denmark) - Customer Case Study

Organizational Background

Banedanmark (BDK for short), provides the rail infrastructure for the country of Denmark. BDK keeps the trains on track 24 hours a day, year-round, by making sure the tracks, signals and safety systems are properly maintained, by renovating the network, and by building new lines.

BDK’s 2500 employees together with its myriad partners operate, maintain, and upgrade more than 2,000 km of railway infrastructure, which each year is used to transport 170 million passengers and 15 million tons of cargo across Denmark, using 3,000 trains operating out of 300 stations, with 40,000 daily arrivals and departures

The Challenge

In 2009, the Danish Parliament mandated a national ‘Signalling Programme’ – a total renewal of the rail signals across Denmark. This complete replacement of signals on a national rail network has never been attempted on this scale before in Europe. Complete replacement means that all existing equipment was to be replaced - regardless of age or level of technology. As part of the program, Denmark will be the first country to carry out a countrywide implementation of ERTMS level 2, the newest European common signaling standard.

This EUR 2.5 billion program is expected to produce an 80% decline in signal-related delays on main and regional lines, while improving safety. By 2011 and 2012, contracts with the main suppliers were signed. A client organization of 180 people and a great number of supplier staff have been recruited to implement the program, which is scheduled to be completed in two phases; 2018 on the S-Bane and in 2021 on the Fjernbane line.

The BaneDanmark Strategy

The complete renewal of the signaling systems necessitated major changes to BaneDanmark organizational units, including how business operated and communicated with each other. Additionally, to realize a project of this scale, BDK needed to work closely with outside suppliers, directly from the design stage, to promote the exchange of information with a goal of solving of potential problems before they became problematic. And like all for projects, documents for the Signalling Programme represented a key mode of business communications amongst the many constituent parties.

The key driving force for collaboration amongst partners was trust, openness and early information sharing, with a strong belief that working together would improve the end product. As such, collaboration tools were needed to support BDK’s project model.

The Solution

At the beginning of the project, In 2009 BDK identified the need for a project space where users could collaborate on and share documents internally and externally. A requirement specification for this project, dubbed the ‘Track Project,’ was prepared and approved by BDK IT Council.

Microsoft SharePoint was selected as the BDK electronic document and records management system for both internal and external document sharing. was selected as the user interface for business users. made it easy for employees and contractors to upload, classify, and later find important documents. Working from within email, employees were able to interact with SharePoint documents from the place where they spend their word day, namely their email client, including the easy assignment of required metadata, and search for important documents.

The Rollout was initially rolled out to approximately 400 employees as part of the Signalling Programme kickoff. These employees participated in a short training session on how to use to classify and store important project email messages in SharePoint.’s automated mapping of email headers to SharePoint columns has been particularly useful for being able to later find and use important email correspondence.

At BDK, most documents are classified according to discipline or department such as library, project management, planning, reporting. Technical terms are often used to classify engineering documents. made classifcation easy by prompting employees to specify required metadata as part of the message/document upload process.

“Many of our employees, especially engineers, embraced early on. There was a great need to catalog and store email messages. Once we saw how easy this was with, we expanded our use to include internal documents and later to documents shared with outside contractors.”

BaneDanmark Information Manager training has become a standard part of the onboard training for new employees. Additional training sessions are available on demand, and wiki and other training materials are accessible to employees who want to learn more.

“Employees who are not part of the Signalling Programme can also request licenses. These employees are the lucky ones. Some employees receive huge amounts of documents as email attachments. makes it easy for them to share the documents with colleagues.”

BaneDanmark Information Manager

What’s Next? Moving to the Cloud

BDK is planning to move its IT infrastructure from the current SharePoint 2007 to Office 365. As part of the move to the cloud, BDK plans to expand its use of SharePoint and use to additional employees – reaching up to 1500 of its 2500 employees.

Working with outside contractors is a key element of the Signalling Programme. To support outside contractors, BDK has set up a partner extranet based on SharePoint, called the ‘Course Project.’ Today, many external contractors collaborate with BDK on documents using this system. In the future, contractor access to SharePoint will expand to mobile devices, allowing people in the field to access documents such as blueprints, project plans, and project requirements directly from tablets and smartphones, via Mobile.

The Business Value

The advent of Office 365 with its subscription model together with the availability of mobile SharePoint access through Connect, BDK plans to deploy to SharePoint extranet sites to facilitate collaboration with contractors. The ability to easily work with partners via SharePoint extranets has the following three key business advantages:

  • A standardized model for document types, storage and access rights, metadata definitions, routing, workflow, and views makes it easy for a limited staff to manage a large number of similar projects.
  • Ubiquitous SharePoint access, even on the construction site through Mobile means documents are completed on the spot with a huge reduction in errors and handling overhead.
  • The new Office 365 monthly subscription model makes SharePoint access cost-effective for temporary partners. When a project completes, subscription access (i.e. licenses) can be cancelled.


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