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Innovative Baggage Handling System Improves Efficiency of Airport Operations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—February 28, 2011— InterSystems Corporation, a global provider of advanced database, integration and business intelligence technologies, today announced that technology firm BagDrop Systems BV has received the InterSystems Award for Breakthrough Applications. The international award program honors companies that use InterSystems’ advanced technologies to build innovative game-changing solutions.

The turnkey BagDrop system, now in use by KLM/Skyteam at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands and in Switzerland by Zurich Airport and their airline Swiss International Airlines and handling agent Swissport, automates one of the most frustrating and delay-ridden parts of airline travel—baggage check-in.

The process begins when a passenger places his luggage in a BagDrop unit and scans his boarding pass. The unit can produce a new type of self-adhesive baggage label which the passenger attaches to the baggage item. When the passenger has confirmed that the label is attached, a mesh door will close and the unit checks the baggage item for weight, dimensions, shape, presence of the right baggage label and absence of life, takes photographs of the item as well as positions the item in its most stable position.

All relevant information related to the passenger, flight information, baggage items as well as operational and technical performance is automatically captured and stored by the InterSystems CACHÉ® high-performance object database. If the item is overweight, a charge is automatically calculated and payment can be made with a debit or credit card.  Finally, passengers receive a printed claim ticket. And, upon completion, the BagDrop unit passes the item through to the standard baggage handling system.

As a result, all checks, including a match between individuals and their baggage, are carried out at an early stage in the baggage drop-off process, in accordance with international regulations. Upgrade proposals and other airline offers for passenger comfort, such as requests for seats with extra legroom and purchase of access to airline lounges, can also be handled during this phase.

Operational Business Intelligence for Rapid Information Delivery

InterSystems DeepSee real-time business intelligence software, which is applied as part of the solution, is used to drill down and create informational dashboards and reports, eliminating any need for a separate data warehouse. The dashboards are available for viewing by BagDrop as well as by other stakeholders including airlines and airport operators who require  immediate insight into processing and baggage-handling information such as the number of passengers and pieces of luggage, destinations and payment transactions.

“Performance, flexibility, and the ability to quickly generate different dashboards tailored for specific end-users were all key factors in our selection of InterSystems CACHÉ and InterSystems DeepSee software,” said Edwin Sneekes, Director of BagDrop. “Since CACHÉ is an object-oriented database, information can be accessed more rapidly than with relational databases and the platform is well-suited to store different data types, including graphics,” he continued. BagDrop’s software platform was developed based on the latest standards of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) known as the Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS).

Benefits from Every Perspective

Some industry observers view BagDrop as the ultimate fusion of mechanical and electrical engineering with functionality managed by software.  And, self-service baggage check-in addresses the concerns of multiple stakeholders. Passengers are unhappy with long lines for checking baggage and with missing baggage when they reach their destination. Airlines must reduce operational costs while generating additional revenue. And, airport operators must make optimal use of terminal space and infrastructure in order to improve passenger flow. “BagDrop meets the needs of all of these concerned parties,” Mr. Sneekes said.

“This breakthrough application helps airlines and airport operators to adapt baggage check-in processing to fulfill requirements of increasingly challenging business models while streamlining the process for passengers,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “It’s a leap forward for the airline industry and we’re very pleased to recognize BagDrop for its innovative application.”

“This award is great news for BagDrop,” said Mr. Sneekes. “We are proud to get this industry recognition of our products and creative use of database and business intelligence technology.”

See BagDrop in action at

Bag Drop

About InterSystems

InterSystems Corporation is a global software leader with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 23 countries. InterSystems provides advanced software technologies for breakthrough applications. InterSystems CACHÉ®  is a high performance object database that makes applications faster and more scalable. InterSystems DeepSee is software that makes it possible to embed real-time business intelligence capabilities in transactional applications.  InterSystems Ensemble® is a seamless platform for integration and the development of connectable applications. InterSystems HealthShare is a strategic platform for healthcare informatics, providing capabilities such as sharing of clinical information (including regional and national EHR solutions), comprehensive advanced analytics, building clinician and patient Web-based communities, and quickly filling informational and functional cross-system “gaps.” For more information, visit InterSystems.com.

About BagDrop

BagDrop BV is a technology firm focused on specific passenger solutions that deliver value to multiple stakeholders including airlines, airports and passengers. It has offices at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and in Rotterdam. For additional information, please go to www.bagdrop.com.

Editorial Contacts

InterSystems:
Rita Shoor
Shoor & Company
(803) 699-0710
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InterSystems:
Maureen Flaherty
InterSystems
(617) 621-0600
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