Gatwick Airport set to overhaul 1950s tech with cloud-based communications

Xchanging, along with Fujitsu and Cisco, have signed a five-year deal with the travel hub

Gatwick Airport is set to overhaul its communications infrastructure, which was originally installed in the 1950s, by moving to cloud-based services that include voice, video and instant messaging.

The five-year contract, headed up by Xchanging and supported by Fujitsu and Cisco, will eventually provide services to all of the airport's 2,500 end users and Gatwick's commercial customers.

Gatwick is the UK's second largest airport, currently serving 34.2 million passengers a year, with traffic set to increase to over 38 million by 2020.

It hopes that by moving to cloud-based services, efficiency will improve and further agility can be introduced.

This will help to reduce costs, according to the technology companies involved in the rollout, as well as allow staff to work from anywhere, by connecting through any device.

"This is a crucial investment for Gatwick, as we focus heavily on making Gatwick the airport of choice, not only in London, but in Europe," said Michael Ibbitson, CIO, Gatwick Airport.

"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."

He added: "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".

The rollout began in September 2013 and is based on Fujitsu's Cloud Connect Collaborate solution (CCC). CCC is a hosted voice and collaboration service based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution. It is hosted and managed in the Fujitsu Cloud, and operated out of two Fujitsu data centres in the United Kingdom (north and south London).

This story, "Gatwick Airport set to overhaul 1950s tech with cloud-based communications" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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