Cognizant led consortium wins five-year deal to make British rail infra safer

Cognizant led consortium wins five-year deal to make British rail infra safer
Photo Credit: Reuters
29 Jan, 2020

Global information technology (IT) firm Cognizant has bagged a five-year contract from Network Rail, a British rail infrastructure company.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-based company’s solutions in artificial intelligence, internet of things, data analytics, and mobility technologies will help Network Rail improve its asset management and make railway operations safer and efficient, according to a statement.

The deal from the railway company has been struck with a consortium of companies, which includes rail specialists Amey Consulting and Arup, apart from Cognizant.

A subsidiary of Madrid, Spain-based infrastructure management and investment firm Ferrovial, Amey Consulting is an Oxford, United Kingdom-based infrastructure support service provider. Arup is a London-based engineering, architecture and consulting services company.

“Cognizant will lead the consortium in developing and applying enhanced data collection and analytics to Network Rail’s more than 12,000 connected assets, such as track circuits, signal power supplies, and switches,” the statement said.

The capabilities will provide Network Rail with real-time condition monitoring and data-driven insights. It will also improve decision-making. Network Rail expects to lower costs and enhance safety by predicting and preventing maintenance issues, prioritising work streams and minimising the time rail workers spend on the tracks, the statement added.

“Industry estimates indicate passenger demand for rail will more than double over the next couple of decades, with freight demand rising as much as 140%,” Santosh Thomas, Global Growth Markets president at Cognizant said.

This marks a second collaboration between the two companies. In 2013, Network Rail had selected the software major as an IT Solutions and Systems Integration (SI) Framework partner.

Network Rail operates and develops 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and thousands of signals, level crossings, and stations, of the British railway infrastructure.

NASDAQ-listed Cognizant had reported net income of $497 million in its third quarter ended September 2019, up by about 4% year-over-year. It also raised its revenue growth forecast revenue to 4.6% and 4.9% from an earlier outlook of 3.9% and 4.9%, for 2019.

It is yet to report on its fourth quarter results, a period that saw news of its workforce cuts and other cost streamlining plans. In October during its third quarter earnings call, it announced plans to lay off 5,000 to 7,000 mid-to-senior level associates over the next few quarters.

The earnings call also had CEO Brian Humphries announce the company's plans to exit some of its content moderation businesses over the course of 2020.

In Q4, Cognizant made its fourth acquisition of 2019 with London-based technology consulting firm Contino, to boost its enterprise DevOps solutions, cloud native deployments, IT security modernisation and advanced data computational platforms.