Delta Technology, LLC
"Working with the Sybase iAnywhere professional services group was easy and very beneficial. Our consultants were true mobility experts who worked with us throughout the project and enabled us to deliver the solution within budget. We found Sybase iAnywhere's corporate culture to be dedicated to rapid delivery and the fostering of strong customer relationships."
Advisory System Engineer for Field Operations
Delta Technology, LLC, a wholly owned IT subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, creates world- class technologies that enhance customers' travel experiences and optimize the carrier's business performance. To increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve service, Delta Technology partnered with Sybase iAnywhere to develop a Field Engineer Mobility Solution, powered by Information Anywhere Suite. Business Advantage Key Benefits Sybase Technology Industry
Delta Technology, LLC, a wholly owned IT subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, creates world- class technologies that enhance customers' travel experiences and optimize the carrier's business performance. To increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve service, Delta Technology partnered with Sybase iAnywhere to develop a Field Engineer Mobility Solution, powered by Information Anywhere Suite.
Mobilizing to Increase Productivity, Reduce Costs and Improve Service
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with flights to 327 destinations in 62 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. This is particularly impressive in the current business environment in which operating a commercial airline has grown ever more challenging and costly due to increased security, tighter regulations, soaring fuel costs, higher taxes and many other factors.
All too aware of this environment, the airline is under enormous pressure to increase productivity and efficiency, and contain costs, while optimizing customers' experiences.
To achieve these goals, Delta Air Lines relies on innovative technology solutions, developed and implemented by its technology subsidiary, Delta Technology, LLC. The airline recently turned to Delta Technology to develop a Field Engineer Mobility Solution to increase its field engineers' productivity and improve the uptime of its numerous IT systems including ticketing, self-service kiosks, automated bag tag printers and more.
Delta Technology is responsible for creating world-class technology solutions that touch virtually every passenger, whether the passenger is viewing, selecting, or changing a seat assignment at delta.com; getting a boarding pass at a Delta self-service kiosk; using a personal digital assistant (PDA) to check a Delta flight departure time; viewing standby clearance at the gate on Delta's customer information display screens or claiming baggage.
Providing Anywhere Anytime Access to Critical Information and Systems
For this project, Delta Technology was looking at ways to increase its field engineers' efficiency by enabling them to access critical back-end systems – particularly the company's HP Service Center environment – and get their email anytime, anywhere. That would allow them to identify and resolve problems more quickly – often before the problems impact frontline employees or customers.
"At the same time," says David Tyler, the manager of middleware frameworks at Delta Technology, "we wanted to do this in a way that was not just a matter of creating a one-off solution. We wanted to build this application on an enterprise-wide mobile infrastructure that would allow us to develop and deploy future mobile applications without having to start from scratch each time."
Information Anywhere Suite from Sybase iAnywhere Selected as Core Enabling Technology
As Delta Technology approached the development of the Field Engineer Mobility Solution it knew it needed a core enabling technology that would allow it to manage and support any device, any wired or wireless connection in either synchronous or asynchronous mode, and integrate easily with its existing back-end applications and databases. It had to be scalable and flexible enough to support not just this initial solution, but other mobile solutions it anticipated implementing in the future.
"We selected Information Anywhere Suite," says Rich Meurer, advisory system engineer for field operations at Delta Technology "because it met our list of criteria and had a proven track record that demonstrated its reliability. It furnished us with a development and management environment in a single offering, providing the secure, scalable mobile software platform and the core integration, synchronization, messaging and mobile data management capabilities we needed to address our immediate needs, while positioning us to deliver additional mobile functionality quickly and cost-effectively in the future."
Sybase iAnywhere Professional Services Critical to Successful Implementation
Delta Technology also engaged Sybase iAnywhere's professional services organization to help it design and implement the solution in a way that would ensure that it would stand up to the rigors of airline operations because downtime simply was not an option for the airline.
"Working with the Sybase iAnywhere professional services group was easy and very beneficial," adds Meurer. "Our consultants were true mobility experts who worked with us throughout the project and enabled us to deliver the solution within budget. We found Sybase iAnywhere's corporate culture to be dedicated to rapid delivery and the fostering of strong customer relationships."
Replacing Dependence on Pagers and PCs
The Field Engineer Mobility Solution provides Delta Technology's 220 field engineers with anywhere, anytime access to business-critical information, incident and asset management systems, and integrated mobile communication tools. Running on Symbol MC35 handheld devices, the solution enables these engineers to receive, report and resolve incidents in real time, wherever they happen to be – in the terminal, at the gate or in an administrative office.
The heart of the Field Engineer Mobility Solution is the Global Service Management (GSM) application that utilizes a new multi-channel access gateway (MAG) architecture. Delta's MAG incorporates Sybase iAnywhere's Information Anywhere Suite, which provides the email, messaging, mobile device management, security and application enablement capabilities.
Being an airline, Delta's systems need to be up and running all the time. There is no tolerance for downtime in airline operations. For the first time, Delta Technology is able to untether its field engineers from their desks so they can be closer to where problems occur. Their ability to receive information on the go enables them to react more quickly to emergency maintenance calls and to resolve problems. That ability is key to keeping customer satisfaction high.
The Foundation for Future Mobile Deployments
"Information Anywhere Suite has really helped lay the foundation for future mobile deployments," says Tyler. "It will be the basis of our mobile solutions going forward. So, in addition to the objectives we had for the Field Engineer Mobility Solution, we've also created the infrastructure for future implementations. That's very important to us because reusability is the name of the game."
The Field Engineer Mobility Solution has produced a number of solid benefits for Delta. It has made the engineers more efficient, saving them many hours each week as a group while empowering them to identify and resolve problems much faster. This has led to improvements in service and better control over personnel growth due to international expansion. Delta's customer-facing employees, including gate agents and ticket agents, also see the benefits of the solution in less system downtime and shorter wait times for repairs. As customer service improves, customer satisfaction increases, which leads to fuller flights and a more consistent revenue stream.