Exclusive: Interview about Hectronic's new service software CityNet

Hectronic at Intertraffic 2012

A short while ago Parking Network had the chance to talk with Werner Lang, Product Manager Payment at Hectronic. Hectronic is a German developer of intelligent system solutions for the parking and refuelling sector. For the parking industry they specialize in parking meters, parking management systems and validation, payment handling and entry and exit ticket printing.

Recently Hectronic has released their new multi-tenant service system for dynamic inquiry of parking rights called CityNet.

Can you explain how CityNet works and what the experience has been with the software thus far?

The on-street parking industry has its own challenges. Coming from parking meters, nowadays, Mobile Payment Appthe city picture is dominated by complex pay & display machines. Such pay & display machines were successful, as they were able to give far better information to the parking customer. Also software logic - such as complex parking tariffs - could be added. So, complexity was increasing with the time and requirements from communes and operators were getting more demanding.

Hectronic has now bundled such requirements into service packages; multiple modules running under the umbrella of the Hectronic parking services. We have decided to provide easy access to our different kind of services using the internet. This makes our customers independent. They no longer have to wait for us to modify server based data anymore. We supply the log-in information so customers can manage centralized data in the cloud themselves. We have added the RealTimeParking module to our parking services. Other modules such as mobileApp, payment services and DynamicDiscount are already in place. More modules will follow.

How will this integrate with your other products?

CityNetThe majority of the services work best together with our on-street parking portfolio. I would just like to point out the challenges of card payment acceptance. With the payment service provider module we help customers focus on their core business. We want to discharge them on the maintenance of the technical infrastructure, especially the one coming with card payments.

Another example is the integration of mobile apps into the overall strategy of the parking space provider. With our services, a customer can use a smartphone or pay & display machine to register for parking. Both actions are captured by the same service module and provided to enforcement as all information is made available at a single place. Since we have our own dynamic discount module available, we get many requests supporting existing or new CityCards. CityCards are handed out to residents or similar individuals for special discounts. These cards have a tradition and are sometimes linked to other non-parking services. We ensure in the parking project, that residents can keep on using their existing card and the content of our dynamic discount module is configured accordingly. Even event driven discounts and more is possible with the module. All our modules are interlinked. As an example, a personalized discount could also be granted to a person paying by mobile phone.

How will the parking industry/customers/consumers benefit from this solution?

First of all, I would just like to point out that a service based agreement, other than just buying software licenses, profits from exchanging experience and improving functionality. A recurring quality process guarantees an always updated service to consumers. Also important is the cost control for our customers. We provide test accounts to make sure our customers understand the concept and possible limitation of our services. Instead of a big start investment with an unsure project result. As I said before, customers are getting more and more independent and that’s what I think they are looking for. That way they have the chance to spend more time on their core business.

Why is this solution unique to the industry?

You will see lots of isolated applications in the parking industry. Having an integrated processing of a variety of services does definitely optimize the workflow in the back-office. Our clients get the advantage to lean their supply chain and bring it down to a single supplier. In terms of understanding the service needed in a world where things are getting more and more complex, customers are looking for a safe harbor. We stay confident to be a good partner to talk to when it comes to extended parking services.

About Hectronic GmbHHectronic logo

Hectronic GmbH is based in Bonndorf in the Black Forest, Germany. The company specializes in developing intelligent system solutions for the parking and refuelling sector. Since the foundation of the original company Kienzle, in 1928, Hectronic has developed into an industrial company with operations in many countries. With about 270 staff, 7 sales subsidiaries and around 70 international sales partners around the globe, Hectronic solutions are now successfully marketed all over the world.

For questions and additional information

Hectronic GmbH
Tanja Löffler (Director Marketing)
Tel.: +49 (0) 7703 / 93 88 – 116
Fax: +49 (0) 7703 / 93 88 – 60
E-mail: loeffler@hectronic.com

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