Airport Company Soars to Record Heights With Help of New IT Technologies

A major South African airport company needed an enterprise-class network management solution that could handle the challenge of helping them manage the millions of passengers and thousands of flights passing through airports across the country each year. Upgrading to a new solution became a critical priority in anticipation of the huge influx of football fans and tourists that would be visiting South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. The company chose NetSpeed Technologies for their networking expertise and Entuity for its proven ability to provide exactly what they needed: proactive management, IT resource efficiency, flawless technology rollouts, and outstanding service around the clock.
Highlights

  • Increased IT SLA availability to 99.75%, exceeding guaranteed objective
  • Enhanced Help Desk call resolution with meaningful alarms, improving ability to serve members
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Leveraged intelligent reporting to improve network utilization
  • Improved relationships with telecomm carriers and ISPs, increasing end-to-end performance and availability
  • Prevented service disruptions
No Margin for Error

Managing a nation’s aviation infrastructure is no mean feat, especially when the world’s largest sporting showpiece, the 2010 Football World Cup, is not only standing on the doorstep but ringing the bell. The airport company that is the subject of this case study, ensures that South Africa’s airports run smoothly, and has done so for years. Its responsibilities extend beyond the maintenance of existing infrastructure. Further development of new and existing airports requires rigorous planning — and state-of-the-art technology — where there is no margin for error. The company supports over 98% of the country’s commercial air traffic. The extent of the growth it has experienced, and the company’s reliance on technology, has stretched their IT infrastructure.

Every year, their network of 10 world-class airports processes more than 36 million passengers and 291 thousand aircraft landings from nearly 50 international destinations, connecting South Africa with the world. World Cup 2010 will be the acid test for their aviation infrastructure management capabilities. The huge influx of football fans and other tourists visiting South Africa in 2010 will rely on outstanding airport services.

Thunderous Growth-Gusting Challenges

The company required a massive IT upgrade to facilitate business growth and deliver both internal IT services and efficient external services to commuters passing through South Africa’s airport network. The new technology needed to be installed without any disruption to service delivery. However, the existing IT management tools did not provide the ability to plan, analyse, and ensure that the new deployments were effectively and efficiently brought on line without service disruptions.

Before engaging with NetSpeed, the company was using a number of disparate IT and network management tools, which did not provide any consolidated performance management data. They wanted to improve its ability to analyse trends, plan capacity upgrades and automatically link a given fault to a specific piece of infrastructure. They wanted control of its entire IT infrastructure via a single configuration management database that met the requirements of the ISO telecommunications network management model for fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security management (FCAPS).

 

Strategic Objectives Eliminates IT Holding Patterns

The airport company needed to migrate from reactive network management to proactive network management in order to be more cost-effective, productive and leverage maximum value from its IT resources. The IT department sought a network management solution to reflect both this IT proactive strategy and accommodate their explosive growth. After evaluating a number of providers, they selected NetSpeed Technologies for its deep expertise in the enterprise management area. NetSpeed’s network management solution was Entuity. Entuity’s range of capabilities assisted the IT department to improve operations efficiency, protect critical services needed 24/7, and roll out new technologies without disruption. NetSpeed Technologies was chosen based on a 15 year successful track record with valuable experience in the enterprise management sphere. In addition to specialised product knowledge, NetSpeed adds industry knowledge for network management solution comparisons and an in-depth knowledge of infrastructure management practices.

NetSpeed took the time to understand the existing issues and delivered a scalable network management solution that offered the effectiveness and efficiency the airport demanded. The airport company’s network supports 10 airports around South Africa, and is constantly expanding. NetSpeed successfully deployed Entuity within a month, providing a real-time, integrated network management data to ensure 24/7 service reliability reducing performance holding patterns.

 

Navigating The Network Proactively

During a thorough proof of concept phase, NetSpeed demonstrated the solution’s capabilities within hours. Ultimately Entuity was implemented on time and within budget. The implementation included on site training for the company’s staff and other relevant airport suppliers in all provinces. NetSpeed is also providing ongoing support and maintenance for the solution. Entuity’s comprehensive data is now being used for fault, capacity, asset, performance and security management as well as reports across their nationwide network delivering proactive management capabilities. Additionally, Entuity has been integrated with the company’s existing help desk solutions enabling fast resolutions using accurate data.

While Entuity includes several different components, the solution remains a single integrated platform, with all network management aspects visible via a single user interface. NetSpeed’s partnership with Entuity enabled the airport to benefit from best-in-class software and accompanying implementation skills.

“Dramatic results have been achieved—proactive management, IT resource efficiencies, flawless new technology rollouts; they all equip [the airport] to deliver outstanding services 24/7. Their IT infrastructure is truly a cornerstone in keeping them successful.” Julian Renecke

Director, NetSpeed Technologies

Taking Off Without The Turbulence

The solution is used throughout the company, and monthly reports provide both operational and executive information. The company’s ability to manage its IT infrastructure is no longer hindered by technology silos and accurate data can now be shared by all providing insight into key IT infrastructure devices and performance metrics.

Greater integration and automation of routine tasks has led to less human intervention during the reporting process, and has allowed IT staff to be more productive. The roll out of Entuity is helping to keep the company a market leader by maximizing the benefits delivered by their IT infrastructure.

These benefits include:

  • Consistent, reliable delivery of critical IT services
  • Proactive visibility to correct performance issues before they impact the network
  • Automation of IT processes to improve accuracy of information
  • Freeing up IT professionals to focus on more important tasks.

According to the IT Infrastructure Manager at the company: “The solution delivered by NetSpeed is helping [us] to monitor our IT infrastructure so we can continue developing world-class, secure and safe airport experiences for our customers. The complex services that operate our airports demand 24/7 network access. NetSpeed and Entuity have assisted the IT team to have insight into network performance and availability to a level that has never been possible for us. Problem resolution is now greatly enhanced due to this insight. NetSpeed Technologies has helped us maximise the benefits of the Entuity solution with their professionalism and outstanding technical expertise. We look forward to the future with our network foundation solidly in place to support [our] entire business.”

Additional benefits have included greater efficiency in terms of network port availability. A labor-intensive exercise, their previous network management tool did not allow for proactive management of network availability, meaning spare switches were in constant circulation to accommodate spare capacity needs.

The Entuity solution also has a unique “Green IT” component that addresses power utilization and consumption, and server utilization. This Green IT module informs management of power consumption and server usage consolidation opportunities on the network and provides implementation methodologies to realize power related savings.

“NetSpeed and Entuity have assisted the IT team to have insight into network performance and availability to a level that has never been possible for us. Problem resolution is now greatly enhanced due to this insight.”

IT Infrastructure Manager

The airport company and NetSpeed enjoy an excellent relationship based on the solution NetSpeed has provided, supplying the company with greatly enhanced enterprise management capacity. Says Julian Renecke, director, NetSpeed Technologies: “Speed, accuracy and agility are vital when managing a network that supports 10 airports and their associated passengers. As a team, NetSpeed Technologies has enabled [the company] to deploy a network management solution, Entuity, that really meets these requirements. Dramatic results have been achieved—proactive management, IT resource efficiencies, flawless new technology rollouts; they all equip [the company] to deliver outstanding services 24/7. Their IT infrastructure is truly a cornerstone in keeping them successful and we are proud to be their ongoing technology partner.”
About Entuity

Entuity takes the work out of network management. Our highly automated, unied enterprise-class solution puts deep network insight at your fingertips, frees IT staff to focus on strategic projects and easily integrates with major frameworks and networking environments. Entuity’s support and services teams are frequently praised for their rapid response, networking expertise and involvement in special engagements. Founded in 1997 by two senior-level IT executives from the financial industry, Entuity is headquartered in London with US operations in Boston.