How SITA technology is underpinning Garuda Indonesia's quantum leap
Founded in 1949, Garuda Indonesia is the largest flag carrier in Southeast Asia, based both on fleet size and seat capacity. In 2013, Garuda carried 25 million passengers, a 22% increase on the previous year, while domestic and international flight frequencies increased by 28%, and the fleet was increased by a third to 140 aircraft. Given the size of the country – 13,466 islands and the fourth largest population in the world (238m) – it is perhaps not surprising that almost 80% of Garuda’s seat capacity has been focused on this extensive and diverse domestic market.
All that is changing. Located at the heart of the world’s most dynamic air transport market, Garuda has ambitious plans to share in the region’s future. In the past five years, the airline has been progressing through a bold and vigorous business transformation program, called Quantum Leap. A complete change in Garuda’s strategic direction, network, brand and fleet has included expansion of the international network and substantial investment in new aircraft (55 in 2013/14). Even the airline’s sponsorship of the UK Premier League’s Liverpool Football Club has played a part in the airline’s determination to become a company with a global footprint.
The benefits of this investment are becoming clear. Garuda was named the ‘World’s Best Economy Class Airline’ in the 2013 SkyTrax airline ranking, and has been awarded a shelf full of other awards. Crucially, in March 2014 the airline became a member of SkyTeam, the global alliance of 20 airlines flying to more than 1,000 destinations.
Information and communication technologies play a critical role in the planning and implementation of Quantum Leap. For example, joining SkyTeam required migrating from Garuda’s 25-year old in-house legacy system to a new reservation system. The timelines were challenging and in-house experience limited.
A full CRM system is being introduced during 2014, with more use of Business Intelligence following. Mobile is also a key part of the future, with a strong focus on digital marketing also being implemented in 2014.
All of these changes place massive demands on the resilience, quality and resource of the available IT
infrastructure. This is further complicated by the varied quality and coverage of the Indonesian national telecoms and data networks, and level of internet penetration in the country (22%, compared to 60% in Europe). Huge advances are being made, but gaps remain, particularly in some of the more remote parts of the country, where air travel is an essential component of day-to-day living. Almost 50% of Garuda’s destinations are domestic airports, and another 20 are opening in Indonesia in 2014. Effective and cost-efficient management of operations is dependent on those airports, and on the strength of the IT infrastructure.
Underpinning all decisions on the use of IT is a requirement for substantive cost reductions, future-proofing of airline data and communication processes, and further opportunities for growth and route expansion – driven always by the need to improve and enhance passenger experience.
Garuda has been a member of SITA since 1963, primarily for the use of network and operational messaging services. Supporting Garuda in its “Quantum Leap” transformation program, SITA proposed in 2013 a range of infrastructure services, based around two core elements:
- SITA to fully manage Garuda’s international network infrastructure and standardize IT operations – including the airline’s domestic IT infrastructure – and facilitate quick migration to the new reservation system.
- SITA to extend its current role from managing Garuda’s international network to also include Garuda’s domestic network. This would involve managing domestic infrastructure vendors, providing end-user computing, network services and managing operational messaging. It also includes end-to-end visibility of network status and operational performance via a comprehensive, real-time dashboard.
Garuda’s choice of SITA was based on a number of criteria within a comprehensive value bundle that was tightly aligned both to their strategic requirements and present situation:
- SITA’s track record in migrating airlines to a new reservation system – the only provider able to deliver in all areas, including network, operational messaging, end user computing, consultation and project management.
- SITA’s ability to provide future-proof single-stop-shop international and domestic data and telecommunication network and end-user computing services – thus simplifying management, administration and billing.
- SITA’s experience in vendor management – essential for the end-to-end operation of the domestic network and domestic end-user computing.
- SITA’s unique network offering, with a footprint in more than 220 countries and shared infrastructure at over 300 airports, including SITA’s community approach to operational messaging, connecting over 2,400 air transport industry companies.
True to a partnership approach to operational messaging, connecting over 2,400 air transport industry companies, SITA helped Garuda with timely migration to the new reservation system, including professional consulting services, deployment of the necessary infrastructure for the new system and support for associated new business processes.
SITA also took over the infrastructure management role for the international and domestic network later in the same year. Under this scope, SITA is progressively deploying the infrastructure management portal that will provide much needed operational control to Garuda management over their international and domestic infrastructure. This has enabled the effective management of incidents, problems and vendor performance.
SITA Communications and Infrastructure solutions used by Garuda include:
- Network: IPVPN, IPVPN@airports, Express IP, ServiceNet, Integrated Traffic Management Riverbed, Voice over IP, Managed LAN, Regional Internet Access.
- Messaging: SITATEX, Type B Messaging Service.
- End User Computing (EUC): EUC desktop and printers, PC image production, procurement of equipment (desktop), staging, delivery and testing.
“Our new agreement strengthens our ongoing collaboration with Garuda Indonesia to support its transformation and modernization efforts. it’s also a perfect example of how SITA is helping to power growth both for Garuda and also for the wider air transport industry in Indonesia.” says Ilya Gutlin, President Asia-Pacific, SITA.
SITA’s Airline Infrastructure Management simplifies the airline’s administration and billing, provides substantial cost savings, and ensures all end users globally benefit from the same high level of reliability and performance. By bundling operations together, it allows the airline to manage IT costs
and align Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with their business requirements, simplify operations through a real-time self-service management portal, and facilitate access to the latest air transport industry innovation – including cloud computing, desktop virtualization or VoIP, and unified communication paving the way for future airline modernization.
Airline Infrastructure Management is fully supported by SITA Global Services, with dedicated service managers proactively monitoring the infrastructure, identifying and resolving problems.
For Garuda, the decision to select SITA as a trusted partner for its network and IT infrastructure has delivered results from the outset. Substantial cost savings are being achieved, an integrated service management layer has been introduced to include both international and domestic network and
end-user computing, operations are being optimized, and an end-to-end Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been successfully introduced. This is on top of the seamless migration from Garuda’s legacy PSS to their new reservation system and the seamless introduction of Garuda to SkyTeam.
As the airline prepares for the next stage of its development, following the progress of Quantum Leap, Garuda knows that its IT and telecoms infrastructure is in safe hands, fully able to meet whatever challenges arise.
“With SITA managing our it infrastructure, we are reducing our costs, simplifying our IT solutions and future-proofing our network, which will position us well to take advantage of future growth. We are now able to provide high-quality network solutions to all of our offices around the world, which was critical for our entry into the Skyteam Alliance earlier this year.” says Judi Rifajantoro, Director Strategy, Business Development & Risk Management, Garuda.