In 2002, the first task for the project “Pathfinder” was to find a company that could manage to create one digital platform for 70 railway companies from 25 European countries so that they could coordinate freight and passenger transport. The project was being carried out by the Swiss Federal Railways SBB on behalf of the associations Rail Net Europe and Forum Train Europe. I was the project manager. All the leading players had taken part in the request for proposals and were now at the hearing. Over here were the IBMers, over there the HPers, behind them the McKinseys ... and somewhere in between Netcetera, represented by a brash young man named Andrej Vckovski.
Andrej was very convinced of what he said and, above all, very convincing. "You need a web-based application based on open-source technologies," he said. That was a completely new approach, as the competitors wanted of course to sell software as well. But just try to integrate proprietary applications into 25 different national IT infrastructures! Andrej simply had the latest and most pragmatic approach. Period.
Pathfinder became a great success and was the basis for further cooperation between Netcetera and the SBB. Patrik Auf der Mauer, Netcetera’s project manager and Andrej Vckvoski accepted the Swiss ICT Award for the Pathfinder project in 2004.