Fujitsu and Cisco takes Gatwick to Cloud

Xchanging will lead a contract that will see Fujitsu and Cisco modernise London Gatwick Airport’s communications infrastructure to create a platform designed to support a fast paced, dynamic environment. The five-year project supports an airport-wide transformation programme, which will see Gatwick continue to heavily invest between 2014 and 2020, as it moves toward becoming London’s airport of choice.

As the United Kingdom’s second-largest airport, Gatwick currently serves 34.2 million passengers a year, with traffic set to increase to over 38 million by 2020. Following a review of its existing communications model, Gatwick recognised the need to update the technology originally installed in the 1950s and bring performance levels up to a standard capable of underpinning a 24/7 environment.

Under the terms of the five-year contract, Xchanging, the existing telephony service provider, will partner with Fujitsu and Cisco to provide collaboration services, including voice, video, instant messaging and presence to 1,100 of Gatwick’s staff initially, before extending the services to all 2,500 end users and the airport’s commercial customers. Moving away from a traditional on-premises telecom setup to a cloud-based consumption model, the partnership signals an important move for the business. By adopting this new approach, Gatwick will significantly enhance the user experience, enabling staff to collaborate in a more effective way.

This will increase efficiency for Gatwick and introduce improved agility in provisioning services to the airport, by enabling them to flex up and down – and consume services as necessary. Not only will this help to reduce costs, but it will also mobilise the airport’s workforce, enabling staff to work from anywhere, by connecting through any device. Staff will be able to collaborate with each other via smartphones and video conferencing. They will also be able to work from any location and still access the full suite of collaboration tools, improving productivity and helping to ensure business continuity for the airport. Importantly, this move required minimal construction costs, as a result of one cabling infrastructure.

“This is a crucial investment for Gatwick, as we focus heavily on making Gatwick the airport of choice, not only in London, but in Europe”, said Michael Ibbitson, CIO, Gatwick Airport. “A key focus for me at the moment is how to improve integration of the massive amount of data and IT services we have available to us, so we can offer a better service to passengers. By adopting this new approach, we’ll be transforming the way our staff operates – video conferencing with each other for instance and working from home effectively during snow days. This slicker operation will have a significant impact on passenger experience – which is what we’re always striving to improve”.

The rollout began in September 2013 and is based on Fujitsu’s Cloud Connect Collaborate solution (CCC). CCC is a hosted voice and collaboration service based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). It is hosted and managed in the Fujitsu Cloud, and operated out of two Fujitsu data centres in the United Kingdom (North and South London).

“The staff at London Gatwick will see significant benefits as a result of this contract”, said John Keegan, Head of the Communications Product Group, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. “A smoother, more integrated working experience whereby their telephone number follows them around their office, home and remote working locations. For the business the benefits are also great. Risk is transferred and costs are driven down. London Gatwick is taking great strides in making its business operate in a smarter way, and we’re very excited to be joining them in this journey”.

“The adoption of this exciting new cloud service will enable Gatwick to deliver on its vision of being able to consume IT as a service and provide collaboration capabilities to users on any device and operating system,”, said Donald Mclaughlin, Director of Collaboration Services, Cisco UKI. “This will usher in a new wave of productivity growth as Gatwick employees will be able to communicate and collaborate using voice, video, instant messaging, presence and web conferencing tools wherever they may be”.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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