||With Lync, we still have all the energy and focus of a startup, despite being a decade old. We are five airlines; but we live and work as a single team.
| Steven Tame
Chief Information Officer
The Jetstar Group
To expand rapidly in Asia, Australian airline, The Jetstar Group (Jetstar) wanted an easily deployable telephony and video platform that supported top-grade collaboration and mobility. Between 2010 and 2013, the firm deployed successive versions of the unified
communications platform, Microsoft Lync, with on-premises deployments of Microsoft Lync Server 2010 in Melbourne and Tokyo, and Lync Server 2013 in Hong Kong. Powered by multi-party desktop videoconferencing and click-to-call telephony, transnational teamwork
soared, helping Jetstar launch a new airline in Japan months ahead of schedule.
With more than 100 aircraft flying to 62 destinations, the Jetstar Group (Jetstar) is the biggest low-cost carrier in Asia-Pacific by revenue. Much of the company’s recent growth is the result of international expansion, but back in early 2010, the challenges
to international growth appeared formidable.
“We needed to grow from being a predominantly domestic airline serving east- and south-coast Australian cities into a truly international airline network,” says Stephen Tame, Chief Information Officer, The Jetstar Group. “To do that, we needed to expand
or set up new offices and teams across Asia, but without losing our energy and team-working culture. We are young, mobile and dynamic—and we need to stay that way to repeat our success in Asia.”
To power expansion at reasonable cost, Tame wanted to provide staff in Australia and Asia with top-grade communication technology.
“We needed fantastic international collaboration,” he says. “We wanted the ability to quickly stand up new teams abroad, and work intensively with them as we are setting up new airlines. This collaboration had to include low-cost calls, desktop videoconferencing
and easy document-sharing as a minimum.”
Second, we needed our executives to be exceptionally mobile,” he says. “To get new joint-venture airlines off the ground, they need to travel almost constantly. We really needed to unchain them from their desks, so they could work to full capacity from almost
anywhere. Third, we needed a very high level of resilience. If our office facilities failed, we needed to be able to re-establish normal operations almost immediately.”
Tame was interested in network-based telephony, but with the technology evolving rapidly, he wanted a product that would be easy to upgrade as each new version was released. “In early 2010, we selected the precursor to Lync, Microsoft Office Communication
Server, because it was easy to deploy, and contained all the voice and messaging features we wanted in one platform,” says Tame.
Installed at new premises in Melbourne, network telephony proved a great success. With Sonus SBC Gateways connecting the firm’s virtual private network to the ISDN phone network, and with Plantronics high-quality headsets, Jetstar no longer needed a PBX
phone system. All staff retained local telephone numbers, but calls came through Lync directly to each recipient’s desktop, laptop or mobile.
In March 2011, Jetstar upgraded to Microsoft Lync Server 2010, with the help of Melbourne-based unified communications specialist IComm.
“We installed the Lync server on site, and downloaded the Lync application onto employee’s desktop or laptop devices,” says Stuart Callaghan, Account Director, IComm. “This app becomes employees’ access point for all communications: Presence, instant messaging,
voice calls, video calls and desktop videoconferencing. It also provides Jetstar employees travelling abroad with instant voice and video calling capabilities—all they need is an internet connection.”
In October 2012, Jetstar deployed Lync Server 2010 at its new office in Tokyo to support the launch of Jetstar Japan. With ISDN gateways linked to a local carrier, the new firm could issue all staff with local telephone numbers without installing a PBX.
With minimal capital investment, all new employees gained access to the full, Jetstar collaboration platform.
In preparation for another airline launch, Jetstar deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2013 in Hong Kong in March 2013. The new suite features dynamic, multi-party video-conferencing, which enriches collaboration amongst virtual teams. Lync 2013 also enables
employees to connect to conferences from a Lync App on their personal devices. And with Lync integrated into Microsoft Office, staff can contact document authors direct from the firm’s document-management platform, Microsoft SharePoint.
“We chose to go straight ahead with Lync 2013 because the dynamic, multi-party video conferencing helps us co-ordinate transnational teams,” says Tame. “It helps us leverage our core capabilities rapidly into each new business.”
Since an initial deployment three years ago, Microsoft Lync has helped power Jetstar into some of the most competitive airline markets in the world. “With Lync 2013, we still have all the energy and focus of a startup—despite being a decade old and spread
right across Asia,” says Tame. “We are five airlines; but we live and work as a single team.”
Seamless international collaboration helped Jetstar launch its Tokyo-based airline six months ahead of schedule.
“Our finance, IT and operations teams are spread across five countries, but with Lync, each team works as a single centre of excellence for each of our airlines,” says Tame. “With the collaboration features in Lync, we have become far more networked and
With cloud-based collaboration, Tame has dramatically improved mobility. “We have removed the desk anchor, and most of our staff work without a permanent seat or desk,” he says. “As they flew across China and Japan starting up new airlines, our executives never
had to worry about being on the end of a phone extension.”
“True mobility is just as important for our crew and cabin staff,” he adds. “Now they can easily connect to the Jetstar contact centre from a hotel using WiFi, through the data on their mobiles, or they can use Skype federation to call friends and family.”
With all Jetstar communication infrastructure operating from servers in datacenters, Tame believes he has increased business resilience. “If our head office became inoperable, we could relocate our core operations within a matter of hours,” says Tame. “This
is because each person’s contact point is whatever device they are working from.”
The technology roadmap for Lync is also a source of confidence. “With Lync, we are actively inventing and investing in new ways of working,” he says. “It means that when we recruit the bright, young graduates of tomorrow, their enthusiasm, mobility and energy
will be an asset to Jetstar from day one.”
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