SISCOG Celebrates 20 Years of Partnership with Dutch Railways

SISCOG Celebrates 20 Years of Partnership with Dutch Railways :· Crew planning system was the first Portuguese software export

· Partnership awarded over the years

SISCOG, the Portuguese technological company specialised in software solutions for resource planning and management in transportation companies celebrates 20 years of partnership with its oldest international client, the Dutch Railways. On August of 1993, SISCOG and Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), signed the first contract for the development of a crew planning system (drivers/engineers and guards/conductors).

In need of a crew planning system, NS found the international offer of solutions extremely reduced. Still, the idea of handing its development to a small company in Portugal (at the time, with a very small structure), made NS wary. Nonetheless, in early January 1993, NS ordered SISCOG a two-month preliminary study to identify the needs of a crew planning system, which turned out to be crucial in NS’ decision to hire SISCOG. Once the contract was signed, NS told SISCOG that “after an exhaustive analysis of the worldwide market, we believed only SISCOG had the necessary skills to develop the envisioned system.”

The developed IT system went into full production at NS in 1998, and has been in use ever since and for the last 15 years, planning the daily work of over 5 000 crew workers. With SISCOG’s system, NS has obtained significant gains over the years, namely:

• Reduction of 6% in the number of crew members necessary for the operation

• Reduction of 60% in the number of planners

• Reduction of planning time, from several months to just a few days

• Response time to incidents now takes just 15 to 20 minutes

• Production of very “social” duties (taking in account pleasant working conditions)

The contract for the development of this system embodies two historical landmarks: it was the first time NS ordered a tailor-made IT system from an external company and it was also the first software exported from Portugal (according to data provided ICEP, current AICEP).

João Pavão Martins, SISCOG’s CEO, shares that “NS is considered as one of the most organised railways in the world by its international counterparts and NS’ medium and long-term business strategy has allowed SISCOG to work with them not only as a client but also as a partner. During the years, we have developed several R&D projects together, published scientific papers and received international awards. Keeping a client satisfied for 20 years makes us feel extremely accomplished as a company. To continue developing software for NS has become a privilege.”

During the last 5 years, NS evolved from using the original system, which included only the planning component, broadening the scope to cover real-time operation and management as well, thus minimising the effect that unpredictable events, such as delays or unexpected staff absences, have on the public service.

Along with this expansion, SISCOG launched last year a 24/7 maintenance service. Last June, SISCOG initiated another R&D project with NS, focused on the optimal use of security and passenger assistance staff, using a new approach to personnel planning.


Tens of thousands of people in different European countries have their daily work planned and managed by SISCOG´s systems. Founded in 1986, SISCOG is a Portuguese software company that provides decision support systems for resource planning and management, using a combination of Artificial Intelligence and Operational Research technologies. It currently offers three products: ONTIME (timetables), FLEET (rolling stock) and CREWS (staff).

Amongst its customers are renowned companies, such as the Dutch, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian railways, and the London and Lisbon Metro.

SISCOG has a team of about 120 people and ended the 2012 fiscal year with a turnover around € 6.700.000. The results obtained are reinvested in the company’s internationalization and innovation activities.

SISCOG was awarded in 1997, 2003 and 2012 with the innovation award by the “Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence”, the world’s most prestigious scientific organization in its field, and received in 2006 the merit award from the “Computerworld Honor Program”. In 2010 its CREWS RTD product received an Honorable Mention at “COTEC-Unicer Innovation Product” Awards. Due to its innovative character and for being an example of value creation for the country, SISCOG is member of the COTEC SME Innovation Network since 2006, and obtained in 2010 and 2011 the SME Leader and SME Excellence statutes. SISCOG is certified in Quality (NP EN ISO 9001), and in Management of Research, Development and Innovation (NP EN 4457:2007).More information at

SISCOG Celebrates 20 Years of Partnership with Dutch Railways

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