INNOVATIVE IAAS:
FLEXIBLE, USER-FRIENDLY & EASY ON THE EYE

    Introducing FLYINGGROUP

     

    FLYINGGROUP, based in Antwerp, Belgium, has been the benchmark for private and business flights since 1995. Every day, more than 150 experienced FLYINGGROUP professionals are committed to getting their highly demanding passengers to their destination, safely and comfortably, using modern aircraft from their own fleet or planes supplied by partners. Wherever you’re going, FLYINGGROUP guarantees flexible and efficient service.

    Our in-house specialists manage these private or shared aircraft, tailoring them totally to our customers’ personal flying needs and combining all the benefits you’d expect from a private jet.

    FLYINGGROUP is the partner of choice for both private and business flights.

    It is FLYINGGROUP’s mission to excel by making a real difference to executive travel, offering personalised and tailored private and business aviation solutions that are engineered with boundless passion, guaranteeing comfort and peace of mind for every passenger.

    Overcoming IT and Infrastructural challenges

    FLYINGGROUP used to have its own on-premise servers and managed its entire business infrastructure itself. At the time, the company’s traditional setup provided the answer to any IT issues that might crop up. 

    But the downside of this type of traditional approach is the fact that substantial investments are needed in your infrastructure every few years to keep the environment up to date and to maintain it at the highly demanding standards required in a highly demanding market. So FLYINGGROUP considered the idea of exploring other possibilities. Not just to reduce costs, but to be more secure and more flexible – as well as disaster-proof. 

    Then an unfortunate incident occurred: due to a major power outage caused by an excavator slicing through a power cable and affecting the whole airport, FLYINGGROUP missed an important business opportunity. The company suddenly had no access to its servers and, as a consequence, found itself unable to comply with the agreements it had made with a potential customer. As a result, this potential customer lost faith in FLYINGGROUP and didn’t sign what was a potentially lucrative contract. It was an expensive eye-opener, but it did have the positive effect of accelerating our decision to take a different approach. 

    Another challenge facing FLYINGGROUP at the time was the complex web of licences, so the company also wanted a better, more efficient way to manage its licences. 

    While FLYINGGROUP was thinking about another type of setup for its IT environment and simplifying its licence management arrangements, yet another requirement came to the surface: the desire for a state-of-the-art headquarters, filled with the most innovative, high-end technical applications. Not just for security and mobility reasons, but also to attract (potential) customers and (potential) staff, delivering an exceptional experience to users from the moment they walked through the door. 

    ITCE’s recommendations 

     

    IT Infrastructure

    ITCE began by advising FLYINGGROUP to decentralise all of its data to the cloud and hence opt for an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. This meant that by using MS Azure, users no longer have to rely on their in-house servers to access data or applications. Instead, by offering VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), secure access is available anywhere, any time and from any device. Power outages or not! 

    At the same time, a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution was also created, meaning users don’t necessarily have to connect from a corporate device. 

    Better still, incidents such as power cuts, or theft or a fire no longer impact business-critical applications. 

    Other advantages of this set-up include FLYINGGROUP’s data being safer in terms of disaster recovery and backups, while GDPR requirements are also met. In fact, the entire environment is now much more dynamic, flexible and scalable, which also makes it future-proof. 

    IoT (Internet of Things)

     “Our premise has to reflect FLYINGGROUP’s innovative mindset and meet demanding customer requirements. To accomplish that, the integration of new high-end technologies is essential,” says Johan Van Lokeren, Managing Director of FLYINGGROUP.

     Our premise has to reflect FLYINGGROUP’s innovative mindset and meet demanding customer requirements. To accomplish that, the integration of new high-end technologies is essential.

    Johan Van Lokeren

    CEO, FLYINGGROUP

    To take the customer travelling experience to the next level, ITCE now also provides biometric access control: secure access to the premises via fingerprint ID. As you would expect, FLYINGGROUP customers have ‘sky high’ expectations, and servicing those customers starts long before take-off. 

    Although it may be just a small part of the high standards that customers can expect, having a state-of-the-art HQ makes its own contribution to the business, nevertheless. 

    Working in a pleasant and user-friendly physical environment is equally important for employees. So, ITCE suggested getting rid of traditional phones and migrating to VoIP Telephony and Video Conferencing by using MS Teams. And new cameras with motion-detection technology were installed for extra security, as well as 35 access points for stable and reliable WiFi. 

    ITCE’s Approach

    ITCE performed a glitch-free PoC (Proof of Concept) before the actual migration began. The migration process itself is always fraught with risk. Although it took place at night, in the aviation sector it’s business-critical to be up and running 24/7 and you can’t afford any downtime – as we once found out to our cost. 

    The next step in the migration process was to train all of our users, so ITCE provided training sessions on MS Teams to familiarise them with the VoIP and Videoconferencing solution. 

    Benefits for the customer

    • By implementing the proposals made by ITCE, TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) has decreased dramatically. FLYINGGROUP can now rely on a team of IT professionals for a fraction of the cost of a single full-time employee, thanks to the ITCE services model that guarantees 24/7 availability. As shown in the graphic below, the difference in TCO over 5 years is a whopping €123,490.00 – that’s a substantial cost-saving by anyone’s standards!
    •  A scalable environment, making it future-proof.
    • GDPR compliant.
    • Highly sensitive customer and passenger data is kept safe and secure.
    • The FLYINGGROUP image and reputation have been boosted, thanks to the state-of-the-art HQ, providing an unmatched customer experience.
    • FLYINGGROUP is now a great place to work as well: employees benefit from innovative technologies that enable mobility and flexibility without compromising user experience. They are also able to access all (business critical) applications any time, any place and on any device

    On-premise cost breakdown

    IaaS cost breakdown

    By partnering with ITCE, I kind of took out insurance on our IT activities. If there is a problem, I know which door to knock on. And I know ITCE will take ownership. This means we can put our trust in a long-term partner – and in turn this enables us to focus on our core business, namely providing excellence in private aviation.

    Johan Van Lokeren

    CEO, FLYINGGROUP