British Airways pilots e-services growth

British Airways is aiming at making the Internet their key distribution channel of the near-future, using EMC as its storage partner
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

Airline doubles size of e-infrostructure to ensure reliable e-commerce thrust, leverage Internet as key distribution channel

SINGAPORE - British Airways is taking aim at using the Internet as its key distribution channel for reservations, ticketing, and customer information.

Already, the 81-year-old airline has earned a reputation for customer service with a flexible e-infostructure. Not content with that, it has doubled the size of its infrastructure, adding 30 terabytes if storage as well as employing EMC information protection software.

"Even though companies have talked about the need for 24x7 availability of information for years, e-business puts the requirement in a whole new light," said Peter Radcliffe, British Airways' general manager for Central Services. "At one time, access to our systems was primarily limited to British Airways' employees."

"Now that the Internet has emerged as a customer service channel, there is a much larger world of passengers, as well as suppliers and business partners who need access to our Internet infrastructure all the time," he added. "In recognition of that, we chose EMC Symmetric storage and software to ensure our Website is available around the clock to a growing audience."

British Airways, based in London, now relies on more than 50 terabytes of EMC Enterprise Storage across its IBM and Amdahl mainframe systems as well as Sun, IBM RS/6000, IBM SP/2 and IBM AIX servers.

Geoff Want, British Airways' General Manager, Operations Control, noted, "As we continue to put more airline operations online, reliable access to information is becoming more fundamental to our business success. We simply can't get planes in the air and passengers ticketed without dependable access to real-time and accurate information."

"Another potential roadblock to information access is haphazard management of a rapidly expanding infrastructure. We have customer databases, which, in some cases are growing as much as a gigabyte of information a day. EMC has the tools to manage such rapid growth smoothly and efficiently and still ensure the data will always be safe and usable."

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