Virgin Trainswill work with inSTREAM to roll automation which will personalise each customer\u2019s experience and reduce\u00a0the \u2018manual effort\u2019 from 32 hours to four\u00a0hours, according to its CIO.\nThis isn\u2019t the first time Virgin Trains has deployed automation. Chief Information Officer John Sullivan last year launched ATR, a programme which compensates customers without the need for filling out forms.\nThe process would refund a customer a percentage of the ticket price if a train was 30 minutes late or receive a full refund if over an hour late, being \u201cautomatically\u201d repaid back into the customer\u2019s bank account.\nCIO Sullivan has found difficulty in implementing the new digital technology with staff concerns in understanding the artificial intelligence. Virgin Trains has been \u201cpatient\u201d in leading the team through the barrier in ensuring the change, Sullivan said.\n\u201cEssentially we are turning a negative situation into a positive one," he said. "Once our customer service team understand artificial intelligence they will see the opportunities for the public.\u201d\n\u201cI think what we have done is understood where artificial intelligence is best and sometimes where we actually need the technology for higher priority cases\u2026 this is where human intervention comes in and where we need people involved.\u201d\nVirgin Trainsis\u00a0continually improving its service in putting the customers at the core of the business strategy.\nCIO Sullivan recently launched a project called Beam which is an entertainment centre for its customers.\nSullivan insists Beam is \u201cslightly better\u201d than being on a plane because users can bring their own electronic device on board for free.\nVirgin Trainshave made \u201cvast improvements\u201d in terms of mobile ticketing where the public can purchase a ticket through the app and then be emailed the ticket, ensuring convenience for customers.\n\u201cWe are matching what the airlines are doing now\u2026 with a personal device making it much easier for commuters where you don\u2019t have to queue at the booking office anymore in being able to just get on the train for customers.\n"What we do now is sending messages to customers for when to board the train but we do that in groups to avoid the mad rush of people\u2026trickling individuals through rather than a mad rush of people.\u201d\nThe automation has seen security remain an \u201congoing issue\u201d for Sullivan and his IT team.\n\u201cWe are keeping up to date with the latest CTI standards and latest software techniques in ensuring we are spending enough time on protecting personal information. Security is not something you do one month and then leave it, it has remained a top priority for Virgin,\u201d Sullivan said.\nVirgin Trainsis\u00a0continually trying to innovate and \u201clead the way\u201d in terms of the transport industry.\nAs part of Sullivan\u2019s CIO role he makes a point of communication being a two-way tool for developing his digital team. Sullivan regularly listens and engages with his team in making sure they are satisfied in their job role with his colleagues being more likely to stay around.\n\u201cThere may be times when people want to leave and make a career choice and that\u2019s fine but I think as a team we are all in it together and not every day is going to be good but we can work together for the good days and do some really exciting things with technology.\u201d\nSullivan sees the future of Virgin Trains in being able to \u201csell and deliver\u201d the technology while building a better engagement with the business insisting his role as a CIO will evolve over the 12 months in being a \u201cbusiness leader rather than a technology role\u201d in influencing change.