Digitising Air Travel in Flight

A major transatlantic airline needed to digitise services being used by customers, call centre and check-in agents. Everything from flight booking, check-in, seat reservations, meal and special requests, loyalty points redemption and complaints were part of the requirement.

Arrk Group alongside strategic partner KCOM worked collaboratively with the airline to deliver a digital shared services architecture and to develop key additional reusable service components.

Key Benefits
Highly scalable and performant services platform
Increased business agility and reduced time to market
Improved customer experience
Strengthens airline's integration with the Open Travel Alliance and as a leading airline
Simplified architecture resulting in a greatly reduced number of live technical incidents and simplified integration between disparate legacy systems

Summary

Through Arrk Group’s strategic relationship with KCOM, we have together supported the airline in the implementation of a resilient and robust shared service architecture used exhaustively throughout its digital platforms enabling improved and simplified integration across their digital estate and a significantly improved customer experience.

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The Shared Service Platform was designed and delivered on time and to budget by the Arrk Group and KCOM partnership. It is now used in numerous critical transactions, including passenger check-in, bookings, seat availability searches and seat reservations.

Situation

The airline has enjoyed a high degree of growth which has meant that its existing digital platforms have been evolved to meet this increasing demand, instead of being designed and built strategically to cater for its current business operations. As a result, the airline has digital systems which are complex to maintain and integrate, while implementing change is expensive and time consuming.

In the face of an increasingly competitive business landscape and the increasing costs to support and maintain its existing digital platforms, the airline made the decision to develop the Shared Service Platform (SSP) which was an enabler for rapid digital transformation across the organisation.

Challenge

The Shared Service Platform (SSP) programme was not only a significant financial investment, it was also a critical strategic initiative for the business as a whole. The existing organisational and technical context was very complex with multiple legacy digital platforms and the requirement to support the massive volumes of transactions to ensure consistency with the integration standards from the Open Travel Alliance a critical success factor.

The systems that the Shared Service Platform needed to integrate with were integral to the smooth day-to-day operation and success of the organisation, any failure would mean dissatisfied customers and complex operational challenges to resolve. In addition, these changes would need to be made and rolled out with no loss of functionality and availability of existing services. The changes were key to improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs and had to be rolled out against an aggressive timeline.

In order to deliver the new Shared Service Platform, the airline required a partner with the skills and expertise to manage such a business critical engagement. Key to the successful delivery of the digitisation project was the partner’s ability to deliver an extremely high quality technical solution with the capability of meeting the enterprise demands of Shared Service Platform. The partner would also need to work collaboratively with the airline to support any changing demands on the programme.

Solution

Built on brand new service-oriented architecture, the Shared Service Platform provides a consistent integration point across multiple diverse legacy systems as well as seamlessly interacting with the organisation’s trading partners. The level of abstraction that the new platform brings to the airline has enabled it to significantly reduce the time to market for change and greatly simplify any change to core legacy platforms, something that previously would have been time and cost prohibitive.

Arrk Group has been a crucial component in the successful delivery the IT programme of work for the customer. Their naturally collaborative style has suited KCOM and the airline’s need for flexibility through the journey and the quality of their staff has been second to none.

The transatlantic airline chose the strategic partnership of Arrk Group and KCOM to deliver the platform who, working closely and collaboratively with the airline, over 24 months have deployed a well designed shared service platform for use across the business’ digital landscape, helping its customers receive the exemplary experience they expect from one of the world’s leading airlines.

The shared service platform was delivered using Agile/Kanban software development frameworks and built using enterprise technologies such as Microsoft Biztalk, SQLServer, Oracle, XML and HP.

Outcomes

A key factor for the success of the project was the collaborative manner in which Arrk Group worked to rapidly understand what was required to deliver the programme and to quickly put a brand new team in place working highly effectively with strategic partner KCOM and the customer almost from day one.

An Agile/Kanban-style just in time working practice helped to ensure that the right tasks were worked on at the right time.

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