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Joe Locandro of Cathay Pacific Airways: Soaring higher with technology

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 7, 2014
We find out how Cathay Pacific Airways is utilising technology to innovate as well as improve operational efficiency and customer experience.

We thus continuously strive to adopt new technology and initiatives to enhance the customer experience and increase our operational efficiency. We recently redeveloped our flagship websites and will continually do more in this area in future. We are using adaptive frame technology, which will allow the screen to automatically format itself according to the size and screen of the customers' device, in future releases.

We are also continuing to redesign our mobility apps to further enhance functionality for the customer to help them in their travel selection and meeting their travel destinations. Our newly upgraded check in reservation system has reduced customer check in times at the counter and allows us to more flexibly seat groups or families together. Our lounges in Hong Kong have also been upgraded to allow customers to download a variety of international newspapers so that they can read them on their own devices in the lounge or on the plane.

Cloud, mobile, social and big data are said to be the four big IT trends today. Which of these are currently at the top of your agenda? And why do you think that it is the right time for your company to embark on these projects?
We believe cloud has a place in the overall portfolio of the technology in Cathay Pacific. We use several Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, ranging from selected sales and marketing systems to our Amadeus ticket booking engine. These SaaS systems offer flexibility to scale as needed and provide a good model for variable cost computing. We also use Platform as a Service (PaaS) for a couple of development platforms, but more principally for our mobile development . These platforms allow us the flexibility to develop from/in numerous locations if necessary, as well as to roll out latest releases in a timely manner.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is also a key strategy for Cathay Pacific. It allows us to potentially spin up test environments or add additional capacity with on-demand service provisioning. This aids in quicker provisioning for development teams and also specific campaigns that require a short burst of capacity. Besides that, a lot of cloud providers offer managed services to assist with keeping the quality or the service level agreement's (SLA) relevant to business outcomes. We are moving towards selectively enhancing our infrastructure to take advantage of this technology.

Although cloud is becoming more mature, we need to be cognizant that there are things that are not always suited to this environment for various reasons. We must also not forget that it needs to interoperate with the existing on premise solutions, infrastructures and middleware. Hence, Cathay Pacific will have a hybrid environment with virtual private/public cloud solutions combined with "on premise" solutions and infrastructure.


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