Keolis Transportation | Huddle
Company size: 50,000+
Related industries: UK Government
Related use cases: Project Management


Keolis turns to cloud-based Huddle for bid & account management

As one of Europe’s leading public transport operators, Keolis offers a full range of transport solutions to meet the needs of local authorities and passengers. The organization operates in 12 countries and has more than 50,000 employees worldwide. To continue growth and extend its reach into new territories, Keolis participates in many competitive tender processes.

When working on projects for new tenders, teams from across Keolis collaborate to prepare bid plans and tender documentation. Each project involves the distribution of sensitive documents to customers, joint venture partners and external consultants based at a number of different locations. In the past, to maintain security, sensitive documentation was sent as hard copies via courier. Keolis also relied on email communication to transmit less sensitive material. However, with a restrictive firewall in place and the need to maintain high levels of security, this was less than ideal when it came to collaborating with dispersed teams.

The challenge of sharing information and working effectively across the firewall was further compounded when the Keolis UK team moved offices in London. Jonathan Barwick, Bid Manager, Keolis UK, explains:

“Leading a project bid team of around 60 people, from Keolis in the UK and France, as well as joint venture partners and external consultants, is never easy as people work from different locations. Moving offices without impacting on the project was a real challenge as we had to relocate the UK team in the middle of a bid process and ensure that everyone was up and running as quickly as possible,” Jonathan continues. “We were also concerned about ensuring the physical security of the new offices and any data we stored there. To allay our security concerns and resolve the issue of effectively sharing information, we decided to explore cloud-based collaboration and file sharing tools.”


"The bid management process is complex and can take several weeks.

Using Huddle makes us 35% more efficient in the time taken to respond to bids."


After examining an extensive list of products, including Central Desktop and Hyperoffice, a shortlist of four was drawn up. Huddle was subsequently chosen due to its government-approved security. “With Huddle, we can work with our government partners’ content, safe in the knowledge that it meets their security requirements. The way in which everyone stores, shares and collaborates on working documents and bid plans has also significantly improved. When plans need to be signed off, information has to go through each stakeholders’ internal approvals process. When relying on couriers to transport 1,500 page documents, this was a very drawn out process. Now, everything sits in Huddle workspaces and, using Huddle’s permission controls, we can ensure that various sets of people can access the specific content they need to review. Signing off files is now much simpler.”

One of Huddle's early successes was its use in managing a successful joint venture bid between Keolis and Amey to operate the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London. Tasked with bringing together internal staff and colleagues at Amey to work on the documentation for both the pre-qualification stage and bid itself, Huddle enabled seamless, and secure cross-firewall collaboration between the two companies.

To respond to the Invitation to Tender (ITT), Keolis had to enable internal staff and teams from across Amey to securely access, share and work on required files. The organisation had to capture all the required work streams, draft documents, research and create a final submission. With around 40 people working on the bid at its peak, full audit trails, version control and approvals were vital.

Jim Lawless, Bid Director for Keolis Amey Docklands says: “Huddle proved to be an efficient and effective tool for ensuring that we had a shared knowledge of each element of our bid. It provided the perfect platform for the team to work across the many plans required for the ITT and allowed us to secure a consistent vision and approach, which ultimately delivered a winning bid.”


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