Virgin, Affiniti ink deal

Communications integrator Affiniti is managing and monitoring Virgin Atlantic Airways’ voice and data communications networks across all 11 of its offices in the UK, in a 2-year contract worth £560k.

The nature of Virgin Atlantic’s business means that all network services must be robust enough to deal with mission critical communications. Affiniti is responsible for monitoring and securing the existing network, which is carried out remotely from Affiniti’s Hemel Hempstead Network Operations Centre, utilising state of the art network management and monitoring tools.  Virgin Atlantic support staff are alerted to any problems and if required, an Affiniti engineer is despatched to the site. Affiniti is also responsible for streamlining systems ensuring that processes such as ordering are centralised to increase staff efficiency and business responsiveness.

The network supports over 2,500 PCs, used by front and back office staff across a range of functions, including check-in desks, departure lounges, flight operations and engineering, who will all benefit from increased productivity and improved access to resources.

Affiniti has supplied onsite engineering to aid transition in change management processes and for reports into network traffic levels and hotspots. This is already reaping rewards. The network uptime has been improved and the fix response time has been reduced on a continual basis. The improved performance is enabling Virgin Atlantic to become more proactive in planning ahead to meet future needs.

Virgin Atlantic’s communications network is intricate and geographically dispersed with offices near Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports.  Affiniti is able to simplify the complexity of different service and product providers, giving a higher level of support for Virgin Atlantic’s IT Managers.

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Kim Pharro, Infrastructure Services Manager of Virgin Atlantic, said: “The ability to identify problems on the network in real-time, before they affect business operations is vital to our efficiency. Affiniti’s integrated approach provides a clear communication channel for us. They have been very receptive to our business needs and have already significantly improved our network performance.”

Gary Young, Managing Director of Affiniti, said: “We have worked with Virgin Atlantic for a number of years, managing their PBX systems. This heritage means that we are really focused on how their voice and data communications networks can make a difference to them - whether that is getting information to the engineering staff or flight operations team more quickly or ensuring that down time at the check-in desk is minimised to make flight departures a smoother process for customers.”

Affiniti provides managed services to more than 100 organisations, including Carphone Warehouse, British Airways, BMW and Ford.

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