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Air France KLM : Optimizing the quality of IT service to improve user satisfaction

The General Direction of Information Systems (Direction Générale des Systèmes d’Information - DGSI) plays a preponderant part at the heart of the organization. With IT staff of more than 1,600 spread out across 4 main locations, this department’s mission is to develop, administer and maintain the 1000 applications currently in use in addition to managing a fleet of over 61,000 workstations located at 800 connected sites.

The need
To guarantee excellent application performance for external and internal users.

The scope
Active monitoring of 180 internal and external applications.

The benefits

  • Tighter control over the impact of incidents and upgrades
  • Greater awareness of users’ issues for technical teams
  • Improved communication with customers

The challenges

Within this information systems department, the “Studies and Monitoring” section develops and maintains tools dedicated to monitoring, automation, and customer relations. This section has three main goals:

  • to supply objective indicators of end-to-end quality
  • to contribute to analysis of disruptions
  • to provide real-time assistance to operations

These qualitative objectives led the DGSI to resort to a solution to check the quality of service delivered to external as well as internal users (R&D, operations, customer relations) in order to set up an SLA that is as representative as possible of application operation.

Managing application performance with ip-label

The solution is made up of robots (active agents), along with an administration tool and a reporting module. Robots simulate user access to an application that the DGSI wishes to monitor, by running pre-designed scenarios to emulate the actions performed by users.

Following deployment at Air France in 2003, and in 2008 at KLM, more than 180 applications are monitored today, of which over 130 are critical, sensitive applications. This calls for about a hundred probes deployed across some 50 sites in France and abroad, with around 500 scenarios in service.

One of the complex applications closely monitored by the DGSI allows passengers to perform their own check-in on the internet. This service is sensitive and strategic because the application is common to Air France and KLM, and is important to the group’s brand image.

“This project’s success would not have been possible without the dedication of the leading managers of the departments involved. They found in this tool a way to communicate and work objectively with metrics that were credible and accepted by all.” Claude Maillard

Initially, customer complaints about erratic performance were recorded.
A crisis management unit was formed at Air France, and the DGSI used ip-label solution to substantiate complaints.

Active monitoring was implemented with:

  • one scenario to create a simulated flight each day
  • a batch which creates “ip-label robot” passengers on that flight
  • a scenario to check in “ip-label robot” passengers via the Air France site
  • a scenario that cancels the check-in of “ip-label robot” passengers

After a few weeks of analyses a patch was implemented to put the findings to good effect.

Deployment requirements on the reporting side are situated mainly at the level of DGSI communications with its users. The DGSI publishes aggregated or detailed reports at different intervals for its many users. It also provides monthly dashboards to the executive committee of the Air France KLM group.

At the same time, Air France monitors the performance of its critical applications in real time via a dedicated portal, Management Console (Web Services). This monitoring system was developed by ip-label and customized for Air France to provide views of how downtime impacts applications, identify the users affected by incidents, and check the return to normal operation.

Advantages ip-label solution brings to Air France KLM

The chief benefits of deploying this solution are:

  • improved communication with users (IT and the customer rely on the same basis of communication)
  • heightened awareness of users’ issues on the part of technical teams
  • better control over the impact of incidents and migrations

“ip-label solution is now at the heart of our management of operations and customer relationships. We are working on three major projects: extending rollout to our entire range of strategic applications, implementation of reporting that is common to Air France and KLM, and the setup of a solution to ensure 24/7 continuity of monitoring,” Erwan Asseloos explains.

Air France KLM

Air France, founded in 1933, and KLM, which dates back to 1919, are two member companies of the group Air France KLM, formed in 2004. Today a major player in global air transport, its main activities are: passenger transportation (77.4%), freight (11.6%), and aircraft maintenance (4.6%).

Website: airfrance.fr