Ultra Electronics Airport Systems is a major provider of IT services and integrated solutions to the aviation industry.
Our comprehensive suite of offerings in Information, Passenger and Baggage processing systems, which can be delivered as individual products, integrated solutions or managed services, meet the key business drivers of airports, airlines and ground handling agents.
Ultra’s offerings help our worldwide customer base to meet their common objectives of:
As a result of our long standing presence and specific focus in this marketplace, Ultra has developed a unique team of dedicated Project Managers, Solution Designers, Engineers and Service Delivery professionals with the experience and domain knowledge to provide a quality of service acknowledged throughout the industry. Ultra’s systems are in use at more than 100 airports worldwide and are consistently selected by the world’s best airports.
For the 2nd year running, 4 out of the 5 top airports in the Skytrax Airport Awards use and trust Ultra to supply their mission critical systems:
Incheon International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport
Singapore Changi International Airport
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
In addition, the airports voted Best in Region for the following regions all use Ultra’s systems:
Africa – Cape Town international Airport
Asia – Incheon International Airport
Central America – Panama Tocumen Airport
Eastern Europe – Moscow Domodedovo Airport
North America – Vancouver International Airport
Northern Europe – Copenhagen Airport
China – Beijing Capital International Airport
Ultra employs over 200 staff at locations in the United Kingdom, France, United States of America, China, South Africa, Ireland, and Oman; all of which are dedicated to providing solutions and services to the air transport industry. The majority of our employees are educated to degree level in an engineering or scientific discipline all of which have been recruited for their capabilities in the implementation of solutions and services within the sector.
Ultra also provides a 24x7 fully compliant service and a global Incident Management Team with clearly defined hotline numbers. Ultra’s Service Delivery processes are based on the ITIL Service Management framework, and the team was awarded the global recognised standard in Service Management, “ISO 20000” by the British Standards Institute in August 2007, with successful further audits completed since.
One of the underlying philosophies of Ultra is ‘We listen to our customers’.
Our strategy is to not only deliver our stated commitments but also to fully adopt and immerse ourselves in our customer’s methodology, strategy and vision.
This form of collaborative working breaks down departmental silos and streamlines the process of communication between airport, airlines and passengers, thus delivering a consistent, reliable and stress-free experience for all.
In addition, as part of the engagement cycle, Ultra establishes a process where stakeholder feedback and enhancement suggestions are assessed for their global appeal and, if found suitable, are placed upon Ultra’s development roadmap. In this way our customers know they are benefiting from a global customer community of ideas to help drive their business forwards and achieve their stated goals and objectives.
Our customers have differing requirements when deciding on a supplier and service offering but at a basic level the key focus is on maintaining availability of their airport systems. From a practical point of view, the main elements are around having a 24 hour 7 days a week technical service team as well as accreditations to ISO20000 and ISO27000 in order to prove we’re a serious credible service provider.
We have been an active user of SerioPlus since its launch in the SaaS space 3 years ago. We use SerioPlus to manage the service we provide to our customers rather than for the internal IT within our business meaning the most important processes are Incident, Problem, Change and Request Fulfilment. Having said that, in order for these to work correct we also need to have strong release and configuration management strengths too.
Probably the most complex process we currently run is the Change function as we’ve made the business decision not to have a full time Change Manager and instead use SerioPlus to manage the change requests through a well structure change plan ensuring the tasks required for a successful change are all completed by the most relevant person. In specific terms, we need to make sure someone from the technical area of the business understands the roll out and back out plans, but someone from the account management area needs to provide business and cost approval. The way SerioPlus divides up these tasks and by allowing multiple events to happen in parallel has given us efficiency gains whilst ensuring the ISO200000 fundamentals are observed.
Due to the nature of our customer base and the fact we don’t provide 1st line support to all our customers we receive far more emails than telephone calls. The method used by SerioPlus to handle inbound emails is a significant improvement on the method we used previously as the system now recognises when an email belongs to a ticket and automatically adds it whilst making the owner aware. Typically the Service Delivery team handles around 2,200 tickets a month.
The most significant trait we looked for in a supplier was the adoption of continual service improvement principles as when ISO standards change, ITIL gets a refresh and as business needs grow, the tools and systems need to follow. If we had a static system with no new features or changes we’d find it quickly becoming obsolete and therefore in need of replacement. Serio as a supplier have adopted many of the suggestions we’ve made and as a result of our changing business needs have made updates to our product.
Everyone has a view on ITSM looking forward, and it’s easy to simply suggest it needs to be better, cheaper, more efficient etc etc… But instead we need to think about how we can make better use of the resources we have and the responsibilities around balancing cost with availability, responsiveness and critically the ‘human element’. Specifically here I’m referring to the point when you need a person to make a decision that’s not in an automated process, a portal or another restricted framework and instead give people the space and authority to go the extra mile and provide great customer service. At the end of the day, this is the element of service delivery that makes the difference when it really comes to the crunch.
Nicholas Frain, Support Manager