iPad with BlinkForms trumps SharePoint for Qld Airports

The regional airport operator is using BlinkMobile technology to introduce electronic forms and improve the efficiency of capturing data.

Regional airport operator Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) has adopted BlinkMobile's enterprise mobility platform to reduce the amount of paperwork that passes through the organisation with the use of electronic forms.

Blink platform used at one of QAL's airports. (Credit: QAL)

QAL had been using Microsoft SharePoint to manage forms for some time, but it was not user friendly at all, according to QAL ICT Business Services Manager Kirsty Ford. Staff would access forms through SharePoint, print them out, the forms will then pass through multiple hands, and then the information would be inputted back into SharePoint again.

The forms can go through 5-6 employees, and each might fill in additional information, leaving a lot of room for errors.

"We were looking for a way to allow users to either view or update information while out and about on a mobile device in the airport," Ford told ZDNet. "We came across the BlinkMobility Platform, then BlinkMobile came to set up a test for us. We ran a pilot using one form."

"From there, we purchased the platform."

QAL was specifically interested in using the BlinkForms module, which is designed to rapidly share electronic forms with data and image capturing capabilities for mobile devices. It allowed QAL staff to access any of the organisation's computer system or file, and put information into SharePoint on their mobile devices through Blink.

The organisation uses around 25 iPads, and six of them have been fitted with BlinkForms access.

QAL first tested its passenger lost property form on the Blink platform and has now expanded that to cover anything from plane departure and arrival forms to bird count register forms, which are used by aviation security officers to note how many birds are in the sky each morning.

Forms are developed by QAL's in-house ICT project team. Currently, only two departments across QAL's Gold Coast and Townsville airports are using BlinkForms, but the technology will be progressively rolled out within the next two years, according to Ford.

"We are going through one department at a time, and each gives us a list of forms they want to have access to on Blink," she said. "We're getting approached by departments all the time that want to get on-board and have access to Blink."

But for QAL, it's not just about introducing electronic forms. The organisation hopes that by using BlinkForms, it will be able to gain some business insight into how data is captured, and ways to improve the efficiency of the process.