Bet­ter haj mo­bil­ity with app

New Straits Times - - News -

MECCA: Tabung Haji (TH) has in­cor­po­rated new tech­nol­ogy into its op­er­a­tions to im­prove the over­all man­age­ment of haj pil­grims and in­for­ma­tion flow between units on the ground, as well as pro­vide a faster re­sponse time.

TH op­er­a­tions direc­tor for Mecca, Datuk Ah­mad So­haimi Abd Rahim, said th­ese tech­nolo­gies were tested in pi­lot projects last year and would now be fully im­ple­mented.

“We have an SMS Blast ser­vice, where haj pil­grims who are us­ing Saudi SIM cards and have reg­is­tered their lo­cal num­bers with us will get im­por­tant mes­sages and ur­gent alerts.”

An­other ad­vance­ment is the Bravo Sys­tem, a wire­less com- mu­ni­ca­tion net­work us­ing push-to-talk tech­nol­ogy (sim­i­lar to walkie-talkies). It con­nects TH op­er­a­tions in Mecca, Me­d­ina and Jed­dah, which en­ables TH per­son­nel to get real-time and up-to-date in­for­ma­tion from the ground at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions.

Us­ing spe­cialised mo­bile phones, Bravo can be used to broad­cast in­for­ma­tion to all users in the net­work or for a one-to-one com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Its lat­est up­date al­lows for nor­mal calls to be made.

“We have an ap­pli­ca­tion called Haj Mo­bil­ity, which will come in handy dur­ing the masya’ir (the move­ment of pil­grims to Arafah, Muz­dal­i­fah and Mina).

“TH of­fi­cers will re­port in­for­ma­tion sec­tor by sec­tor, and it will be up­dated and dis­played in the app on their (pil­grims) mo­bile phones,” So­haimi said.

He said for ex­am­ple, the de­par­ture of each bus trans­port­ing Malaysian pil­grims to Mina would be re­ported in the app, and up­dated when the buses ar­rive at their des­ti­na­tion.

He said the ap­pli­ca­tion had a search func­tion, where TH of­fi­cers could call up data on any pil­grim or of­fi­cer and know which mak­tab they were from, where they were stay­ing and other in­for­ma­tion.

“With Haj Mo­bil­ity, all the pil­grims’ data is in our pocket.”

So­haimi said this data was stored in an in­te­grated in­for­ma­tion sys­tem and was avail­able off­line.

He said TH’s op­er­a­tions in­for­ma­tion cen­tre was cru­cial as it con­trolled the flow of in­for­ma­tion dur­ing haj. The head­quar­ters is in Abraj Al-Janadriyah, with in­for­ma­tion rooms that op­er­ate 24/7 in Me­d­ina, as well as Ke­lana Jaya and the seven de­par­ture sta­tions in Malaysia.

“We have a Dash­board Haji dis­play that auto-up­dates daily statis­tics and data. All data ob­tained through­out the oper­a­tion is recorded and an­a­lysed for trends and po­ten­tial ar­eas for fu­ture im­prove­ment.”

Datuk Ah­mad So­haimi Abd Rahim

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