An acquisition is an excellent opportunity to set a new course. When dnata, one of the world’s largest ground handling services provider, acquired the cargo services of Aviapartner in the Netherlands, it completely overhauled the existing IT infrastructure. Cegeka ensured a smooth transition, taking IT at dnata’s Dutch subsidiary to the next level.To absorb or start from scratch?
With roots going back to 1959, dnata offers ground handling, cargo, travel and flight catering services to over 400 airlines in 84 countries. And it keeps spreading its wings wider, acquiring companies around the globe. In 2015, dnata landed in Schiphol, a key European cargo hub, to take over Aviapartner’s cargo operations. With the acquisition came the need to incorporate the entire organization into the dnata group. For IT, that implied the choice of setting up a new infrastructure or absorbing the existing platform and integrating it into dnata’s bigger picture.
In a workshop, IT experts and business users assessed the IT environment across all its major components - applications, supporting infrastructure, organization, costs, etc. – to provide a complete picture of opportunities and challenges. “They pointed to issues that seriously hampered the efficiency of our operations, like poor network performance and availability and continuity risks. A serious overhaul was needed to solve these,” says dnata’s CEO the Netherlands, Erik de Goeij.Setting the course
When setting the course for the IT migration, dnata put forward a series of strict criteria. “We were aware that we couldn’t handle the project in-house. So, we wanted to outsource the new IT environment to a partner who would be able to act as a single point of contact, not only for our team but also for third parties,” Erik explains. The IT partner that would guide the migration and manage the new IT environment had to ensure business continuity and speed, to prevent disruption of the business. In addition, cost efficiency as well as flexibility were key, at every point of the collaboration.
Confidence was, in fact, the main reason why dnata chose Cegeka. Erik: “They offered a ‘fit for purpose’ solution at a good price – two important arguments. Yet, what may have been even more influential is the fact that the Cegeka team instilled trust. While the other suppliers tried to reassure us that ‘they’d take care of everything’, Cegeka patiently explained every detail of the infrastructure, solutions and services they had in mind.”
The Cegeka team instilled trust. While the other suppliers tried to reassure us that ‘they’d take care of everything’, Cegeka actually explained how they would help.
The migration was smooth, with hardly any impact on dnata’s 24/7 operations. Within time and budget, Cegeka replaced all the workplace IT infrastructure, which it is now managing. Every IT system and application is hosted at the Cegeka data center to ensure high availability, excellent security and premium backup and disaster recovery.
The resulting IT environment is a step-change difference from the former set-up; all systems and applications run speedily and reliably. And if a question pops up, Cegeka’s 24/7 helpdesk – in Dutch, which is definitely appreciated! – is just a phone call away.Flexibility is key
“Cegeka managed to keep us confident during the whole project,” says Erik. "Despite good preparation, there are always requests for change in such a comprehensive project. Cegeka handles these very flexibly. Although they recommend following the standard, they are open to other suggestions, too – a characteristic that will remain key as our world, and definitely the aviation industry, changes all the time.”