Create & Innovate: align on goals and engage | Episode 1: RiverGuide

Solutions we launch are co-created with our clients. We believe this close collaboration with clients and users is the way to create products that will serve the needs to the fullest. One of the first big projects of Teqplay was RiverGuide. Together with two members of the RiverGuide steering committee, Ben Röhner (Port of Rotterdam) and Paul van der Maat (Rijkswaterstaat), we go down memory lane.

It is 2015 when Port of Rotterdam asks Ben Röhner to be the project manager of a pilot. “We were wondering how digitization could support barge skippers to make better informed decisions in and around our port. One of the results of our research was that they were yearning one platform to provide all the information required on the trip from A to B once navigating in our port.” Teqplay conducted a workshop and was asked to execute a pilot. “The pilot was a great success and we noticed there was a desire for a national platform”, Ben continues. Other waterway authorities (Rijkswaterstaat, port authorities and provinces) joined the initiative that we now know as RiverGuide. Paul van der Maat is the representative of Rijkswaterstaat in the RiverGuide steering committee. “A few years ago, the original RiverGuide app for inland shipping was extended with RiverGuide Recreant and last year another extension was made specifically for the Wadden sea.”

Man holds smartphone with the RiverGuide Recreant application on its screen. On his desk is a laptop that shows the front page.

Teqplay was involved with RiverGuide since the start by Port of Rotterdam. “Teqplay won the contracting, because Teqplay was one of the few companies that offered the specific knowledge that we need for this project”, Ben says. “Their enthusiasm and agile way of creating solutions with the users appealed to us”. Ever since, Teqplay is the developer of RiverGuide. “We are very positive about our collaboration with Teqplay”, says Paul. “Teqplay is dedicated to create the best possible app in close collaboration with the RiverGuide Committee as mandators and the users. Workshops with inland and recreational skippers were conducted, a WhatsApp group was created to directly interact with the skippers, both for suggestions or bugs.” Teqplay has also to deal with the requests and terms of the advisory committee as mandators. “The communication lines are short and that makes great coordination possible. We just give a call, explain what’s going on and the team get to work”, Ben says. Paul also likes to add: “Something I really appreciate about the Teqplay team is that they’re always willing to take that next step to make things work best. Even now we’re reaching the top of the technical possibilities within the RiverGuide Recreant application. We never expected this number of users, but Teqplay is still motivated to do what they can within this limited setting and I really think that’s a great asset!”

Talking about the future of RiverGuide, both see opportunities. “The power of RiverGuide is the fact that all information a skipper needs to get from A to B is bundled in one app. Whether it’s for inland shipping or recreational boating. It’s now time for the steering committee to set goals for the future of RiverGuide”, concludes Ben. “I’m very proud of the change we made by starting RiverGuide, says Paul. “With a wide variety of stakeholders with different backgrounds and goals, but sharing the same motivation and passion, together with Teqplay we created something that wasn’t done before. That’s really cool! I’m very curious what the future holds for RiverGuide!”

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