The organization improved productivity by adopting a unified support solution to free up IT resources and focus on recovery and expansion.

With commercial aviation heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, one international airline trade association tried to reduce operational costs by outsourcing key elements of its IT service delivery.

Headquartered in Montreal, with its executive offices based in Geneva, the IATA is a trade association of commercial airlines representing 82% of worldwide air traffic and manages financial and support systems for the commercial aviation industry through its IT department.

During the global air travel crisis, the association’s SAP support department was heavily impacted. Being well aware of the changing economic environment and the possibility that the industry could emerge from the pandemic’s after-effects at any time, the association knew it would require significant IT agility and scalability to be built up during the lull. It therefore began researching third-party support options.

Preparing for travel resumption

As IATA was running on the SAP ECC 6.0 and Business Objects applications, they chose to strengthen the support and management of this infrastructure by switching over to a third party ‘unified support solution’. This switch allowed them to benefit from continuous improvements and reduce potential risks while the business prepared for resumption of commercial aviation. Application support and managed services have been integrated, enabling the association to meet business demand when world travel recovers from the pandemic.

According to the association’s IT Director and Chief Information Officer, Pascal Buchner: “From the start, we saw immediate improvements in application support and management. The onboarding process was quick and seamless, and we now have a much better view of our tickets and dashboards. Our in-house SAP team is constantly providing positive feedback on the quality of the support from the (solution provider). We feel that we can (now) deliver even more value to internal stakeholders than before.”

Buchner was referring to its switch to Rimini Street, Inc for preventative maintenance and proactive problem-solving to improve system performance.  The latter firm’s services were able to capture andmeet IATA’s business requirements through a unique service catalog that improves IT service delivery. IATA also benefits from services designed for preventative maintenance and proactive problem-solving to improve system performance.

Now, the association has already reduced its IT backlogs and it is benefiting from more transparency in its operations and an agile delivery model for system enhancements.

Said Emmanuelle Hose, Group Vice President and theater general manager (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Rimini Street: “IATA can now find more working capital and focus their budget and IT resources on strategic initiatives that can help its members navigate the current economic crisis. To better prepare their organization for future expansion (and) to address near-term budget challenges, while enjoying greater agility and lower risk in service delivery.”