Have you tried to explain what cloud computing is to people who are not familiar with the concept? If trying in the future, you receive a literal “cloud” answer, your interlocutor won’t be wrong. There are some companies going to the cloud with Business Solutions...and literally. A real example is International Airlines Group.

IAG has selected Microsoft Office 365 as the business communication solution for approximately 58,000 employees, enabling its workforce to collaborate virtually, anytime, anywhere, around the world.

The new Enterprise Agreement includes Office 365, with Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Yammer, and provides the necessary features and security to help British Airways and Iberia (IAG) transform their businesses, by using cloud-based solutions.

“Giving our employees the tools and freedom to achieve more in their day-to-day activities was a key component in our decision to engage with Microsoft,” said Nigel Underwood, IAG – Chief Information Officer “Office 365 will allow employees to collaborate and achieve their work tasks, regardless of the platform, product or device. This is an excellent example of IAG enabling change within the group to create a common IT platform for our airlines, which
will be more efficient and reduce our costs.”

Nowadays,airline companies are looking for business solutions that complement their B2B and B2C activities. Technology is the perfect partner to increase customer satisfaction, with these new services and devices. Like IAG, this is also true in Delta Airlines’ case, as they serve more than 160 million customers each year.

Delta decided to “send to the cloud” some Nokia Lumia 820 handsets, powered by Windows Phone 8. The Windows Phone devices will be a customer interaction tool for more than 19,000 Delta Airlines flight attendants.  A solution, developed by Microsoft, Avanade and AT&T, that offers instant access to useful information, such as processing credit cards in real-time for on-board purchases and even for emailing, receipts and scanning coupons. With Microsoft Dynamics for Retail and Windows 8, enterprise manageability is a specific strength and security is enhanced. For Delta Airlines, this solution eliminates cost and complexity.

One more step further for Delta's mobility strategy: 11.000 pilots will travel with their trolley, and a new complement: a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, as "electronic flight bag". The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flights crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight related resources including key charts, reference documents and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated cost. Check out this video to listen some Delta's employees testimonials about the benefits of using Surface

 

These are just three examples of innovation in the real “cloud”. In terms of adopting a business solution, or implementing a new tool, what do you think might be the vision from a CIO perspective, internally or thinking more about customer experience?

 Share your vision with us!