Fujitsu has announced that it will be working with Xchanging and Cisco to update the communication infrastructure of Gatwick Airport in the UK, a move which will see the airport mobilise its workforce, improve the passenger experience and ensure business continuity.
The project, which will be led by the airport's existing telephony service provider Xchanging, will replace the traditional on-premises telecom setup with a cloud-based consumption model.
The rollout, which commenced in September 2013, is based on Fujitsu's Cloud Connect Collaborate solution (CCC), which is a hosted voice and collaboration service based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS).
It is hosted and managed in the Fujitsu Cloud, and operated out of two Fujitsu data centres in the UK.
After a review of its existing communications, Gatwick identified the need to update the technology originally installed in the 1950s and bring performance levels up to a standard capable of supporting a 24/7 environment.
Gatwick plans to invest heavily between 2014 and 2020 for the five-year airport-wide transformation programme.
Under the terms of the five-year contract, Xchanging will partner with Fujitsu and Cisco to provide collaboration services, including voice, video, instant messaging and presence to 1,100 of Gatwick's staff initially, following which the service will be extended to all 2,500 end users and the airport's commercial customers.
Adopting a cloud-based consumption model is expected to significantly enhance the user experience, enabling staff to collaborate in a more effective way.
The staff will be able to work from anywhere by connecting through any device, collaborate with each other through smartphones and video conferencing, and work from any location and still access the full suite of collaboration tools.
This will improve the efficiency at Gatwick and allow improved flexibility in provisioning services to the airport and consume services as necessary, which can in turn reduce costs.
Gatwick noted that the project required minimal construction costs, as a result of one cabling infrastructure.
GatwickAirport ICO Michael Ibbitson said that a key focus is how to improve integration of the large amount of data and IT services available, so that the airport can offer a better service to passengers.
"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," Ibbitson added.
Cisco UKI Collaboration Services director Donald Mclaughlin said: "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."
Gatwick Airport, which is UK's second largest airport, serves more than 180 destinations in 90 countries for around 34.2 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services.
Image: Gatwick plans to invest heavily between 2014 and 2020 for the five-year airport-wide transformation programme to update its communication infrastructure. Photo: courtesy of Dbx54.