Scandinavian Airline Service Flies High with TIBCO
Seamless transitions, modern functionality, faster time to market
As Katarina Khan, head of enterprise architecture, explains, “Over the last 20 years, the airline industry has evolved from a system of long-established, state-owned carriers to a dynamic free-market industry. There are a lot of low-cost airlines now, and for passengers, it’s become very much about a digital experience—self-service apps for booking, re-booking, and flight updates.
“Back in 2001, our challenge was to move away from old point-to-point integrations and become more loosely coupled—to reuse integrations and have a very reliable, secure, high-performing infrastructure. We wanted to give the business a shorter time to market and make it easy to integrate with partners and communicate with our customers in a modern way. If we didn’t modernize, it would have been very difficult to deploy new solutions to meet customer demand.”
Continues Ms. Khan, “In 2001—this was before my time—we did an evaluation, and the choice obviously was TIBCO. I think our goal from the beginning didn’t change that much, we just decided to implement in phases, and started with TIBCO’s enterprise service bus. In the second phase, around 2006, we implemented a new co-management system, which required a lot of integrations and TIBCO Enterprise Message Service™. We wanted a more service-oriented architecture so that every time a flight takes off, a message would be sent to backend systems.
The next major phase was around 2010 when we decommissioned our old homegrown system for modern ticketing, reservation, inventory-management, and departure-control systems. At that time, we did a new evaluation because we had a lot of Microsoft technology, so we actually compared TIBCO with Microsoft and decided to keep and expand TIBCO. After that, we invested more in our integration platform using ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks™ and TIBCO® Managed File Transfer, which was a good way to control our batch FTP and SFTP jobs. TIBCO had a very important role as a data hub to create these integrations from one system to all our backend systems. At the end of this program, we also established our integration competency center, the ICC.”
Seamless Transitions, Modern Capabilities
“The integration platform was again very important in 2013 through 2014 when we had a huge project to change our main supplier for system operation and maintenance. During the transition to the new vendor, we moved very smoothly rerouting the integrations to each application. For us, the stability and reliability of this platform is key. We trust TIBCO. Our integration platform is central to our infrastructure environment.
“Our web app for 24/7 passenger check-in is an example of functionality enabled by the integration platform.
Also, for the in-flight management system, there are a lot of messages that need to go through many processes and many systems. Real-time messaging allows us to have an overall smooth flight operation.”
Efficiency with Reuse
“It’s much easier for us to re-use services and messages now,” says Ms. Khan. “It’s difficult to say how much we reuse, but our goal is at least 50%. We document integration specifications so we can see what we have, which helps when new requirements come in. The ICC supports all the projects and provides shared integration services. Because they are experts in this area, they maintain the platform. They have a very good understanding of all our implementations.
“We started in phases, and we are still working in phases. We will soon implement a new flight schedule distribution tool, and we can re-use integrations from earlier implementations.”
Reduced Project Times, Fewer Silos
“We wanted to reduce project delivery times,” says Khan. “We saw that if we had a dedicated integration team that really knew the products and could help with integration, we would decrease integrations across the enterprise and eliminate business silos. We reduce project delays because we support clients with re-use. We can quickly roll out a new integration to onboard a partner and get to market faster. When we are decommissioning an old system and introducing a new system or a new partner, the preferred choice is always our integration platform.
“We have a lot of integrations with other vendors and partners, and to have the expertise in one place, with the integration platform and the ICC governing and maintaining everything, is more reliable.”
“Our business goals are to offer more digital solutions and win the battle for Scandinavia’s weekend travelers,” says Khan. “We will build flexible services so we can react faster to unexpected events, such as a weather delay that affects passengers. Our integration platform is crucial.”