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Fujitsu and Cisco revamp Gatwick's communications with new cloud-based platform

This article was originally published on Technology.Info.
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Fujitsu and Cisco are set to modernise London Gatwick Airport’s communications infrastructure to create a new cloud-based platform through a five-year project led by Xchanging.

The contract will be part of an airport-wide transformation programme, which will see an extensive investment by Gatwick between 2014 and 2020.

The partnership between Xchanging, Fujitsu and Cisco will provide a range of communications services including voice, video, instant messaging and presence to 1,100 of Gatwick’s staff initially, before extending the services to all 2,500 employees, as well as the airport’s commercial customers.

Moving away from the existing on-premise telecoms setup to a cloud-based model, the new approach is designed to enable staff to collaborate more effectively.

The cloud-based system is intended to allow greater flexibility in provisioning services to the airport, by allowing it to consume data as needed - increasing and decreasing usage when necessary - thereby helping to reduce costs.

The approach will also mobilise the airport’s workforce, as it supports connectivity through any device, enabling staff to work from anywhere, as well as powering collaboration via smartphones and video conferencing.

The rollout began in September and is based on Fujitsu’s Cloud Connect Collaborate solution (CCC), a hosted voice and collaboration service based on Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). It is managed and hosted through the Fujitsu Cloud, which is operated out of two Fujitsu ran data centres in the UK.

“A key focus for me at the moment is how to improve integration of the massive amount of data and IT services we have available to us, so we can offer a better service to passengers,” said Michael Ibbitson, CIO, Gatwick Airport.

“By adopting this new approach, we’ll be transforming the way our staff operates – video conferencing with each other for instance and working from home effectively during snow days. This slicker operation will have a significant impact on passenger experience – which is what we’re always striving to improve”.

Donald Mclaughlin, director of collaboration services, Cisco UKI added: “The adoption of this exciting new cloud service will enable Gatwick to deliver on its vision of being able to consume IT as a service and provide collaboration capabilities to users on any device and operating system.”

“This will usher in a new wave of productivity growth as Gatwick employees will be able to communicate and collaborate using voice, video, instant messaging, presence and web conferencing tools wherever they may be.”

Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and currently serves 34.2 million passengers a year, with traffic set to increase to over 38 million by 2020.
Image credit: Andy Potter