Airline group IAG deploys Office 365 to boost global collaboration

Monday 2 September 2013


For large businesses, with employees distributed in many different locations - even across the world - the ability to collaborate online is all-important. It is simply not practical to arrange physical meetings with colleagues based on the other side of the globe, given the time and costs pressures of 21st century business. Professionals need to be able to interact with one another in real-time across geographical boundaries and time zones, enabling them to work together effectively for mutual benefit.

IAG deploys Microsoft Office 365

There are few more global businesses than International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Vueling and Iberia. As one of the world's largest airline groups, with 420 aircraft flying to 230 destinations, and 58,000 employees around the world, the company stands to benefit in a significant way from the use of online communication and collaboration tools. For this reason, IAG recently made the decision to equip workers with Microsoft Office 365.

Seeking a collaboration boost

IAG set out looking for an "all-encompassing solution" which could support virtual collaboration anytime, anywhere around the world. Not only this, but the group wanted to ensure employees have access to the mission-critical enterprise tools they require to compete at the forefront of a highly competitive industry. In such a large organisation, small, localised gains can quickly scale up to significant efficiencies and improved overall performance - so there is some incentive to improve employees' IT provision.

Full cloud functionality for IAG

Under the terms of IAG's enterprise agreement with Microsoft, employees will gain access to Office 365 with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Yammer. With additional features and security protection included, IAG says the likes of British Airways and Iberia will be able to transform their IT and fully capitalise on the opportunities afforded by cloud technologies.

Enabling multi-platform use

"Giving our employees the tools and freedom to achieve more in their day-to-day activities was a key component in our decision to engage with Microsoft," said Nigel Underwood, chief information officer at IAG. He said Office 365 will allow employees to collaborate and achieve their work tasks regardless of the platform, product or device. As such, employees within IAG's various carrier businesses will be able to use laptops, smartphones, tablets and other connected solutions to access online productivity solutions.

Financial gain through Office 365

Mr Underwood said rolling out Microsoft Office 365 across the group will make a significant difference in terms of technology costs. "This is an excellent example of IAG enabling change within the group to create a common IT platform for our airlines which will be more efficient," he claimed. Employees will be able to access Office solutions on multiple devices using the same subscription, with no need for duplication.

Connecting employees more effectively

One of IAG's main priorities was to improve internal communication and collaboration through the use of social tools. IAG explained that Yammer brings its employees together inside a private and secured enterprise network that enables communication and information sharing regardless of business unit or location. "For British Airways and Iberia, this addresses major areas such as quickly understanding feedback from customers, responding swiftly to market changes, and keeping all levels of the organisation engaged in delivering the group's vision," IAG stated.

Find out more about the potential benefits of Office 365 by clicking here.

Posted by Alex Boardman