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Addison Lee is Europe’s largest premium car service, operating in more than 350 cities and transporting 10 million passengers every year. It was the first car service to utilize a mobile app and SMS messaging, which it released in 2009, pioneered fleet allocation software to match drivers with customers which is now sold to and used by fleets around the globe, and today has a strong digital focus on engaging with its customers, recently being one of the first in the UK to launch Apple Pay and an app for the Apple watch. “We now take over 50% of bookings by mobile, and that has been led by customer demand,” says Chief Technology Officer Peter Ingram. Keeping at the leading edge of customer service and technology is crucial to Addison Lee as the company faces competitive pressure from new technology focused entrants in the marketplace.

Changing customer behavior required faster delivery

Addison Lee has always been at the forefront of the taxi and mini-cab service leveraging the latest technologies to deliver best-in-class customer satisfaction. “Customer behavior is changing. They want to pay by credit card. They want it to be very easy to use. They're not necessarily wishing to phone up and book, but they like the assurance there is someone there if they need to talk” says Ingram. Since Addison Lee has always been disrupting the ground transportation industry, before disruption was the thing, they decided to create consumer-friendly innovations on a regular basis to keep up with customer demand. Software development needed to happen faster, and couldn’t consist of bespoke code anymore - it needed to be composable and repeatable.

Unlocking data and infrastructure with APIs quickly

In just 6 weeks, Addison Lee securely unlocked their data and infrastructure with their first public API built on MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™. This was specifically designed to support development of booking apps and websites by third party affiliates and partners to incorporate the Addison Lee service. “We have a team of around 50 developers working full time on a number of our enterprise platforms, including Salesforce as well as our own bespoke allocation software, and support for digital development. The MuleSoft technology allows us to rethink how we connect our systems and expose our data and services in new ways to support a creative mobile strategy,” says Paul McCabe, Head of Addison Lee Development.

One important new revenue stream for Addison Lee is being able to seamlessly connect its mobile application users with its existing network of international fleets. Soon a customer will be able to book a car in a large — number of global locations using the Addison Lee app instead of doing this through the contact centre. “MuleSoft is enabling us to look at new standards for connecting to partner car fleets globally,” McCabe says.

MuleSoft reduced integration times from weeks to days

Addison Lee is fully on board with the composable enterprise philosophy, pulling together numerous backend systems, plugins, and third-party offerings though API-led connectivity. To make this manageable, MuleSoft has enabled Addison Lee to dramatically reduce the time it takes to integrate backend systems, plugins, and other services. CTO Peter Ingram says, “Now that we have MuleSoft in place, we are starting to see we can reduce integration times from weeks into days. That will make us much more nimble as we grow our integrations. We can offer new products and services very quickly.” In the past we would typically take a bespoke approach to integration, but today our focus is on APIs and management through MuleSoft.

MuleSoft will be the backbone for global integrations, for a new Service Oriented Architecture and customer innovation at Addison Lee. “API-led connectivity with MuleSoft is key to our growth aspirations,” says Peter Ingram. “It empowers us to be creative in how we connect our systems to deliver new digital products and offers, and to support new third party integrations, both with our customers and our partner network of fleets.”