Air France teams up with IBM to roll out next-generation Business-to-Consumer websites

Air France partnered with IBM to develop its next-generation e-business website, which came online in France in March 2001.
The new site marks the first stage in the deployment of 50 similar e-business platforms worldwide. By offering customers a full line of personalised “self-service” services that can be accessed from anywhere around the globe, Air France aims to generate between 10 and 15 percent of its global sales online by 2003/2004.
Commenting, Bertrand Lebel, Director of e-business Innovation and Development at Air France, said: “Air France`s e-business strategy addresses the fast-changing needs of the air transportation market. We are leveraging Internet technologies to support our corporate strategy for distribution, customer relationship management and promotion of the Air France brand image. The revamped www.airfrance.com website - the fruit of close collaboration with IBM Global Services and BroadVision - lies at the heart of this strategy. This next generation of websites will allow Air France to bring customers reliable and easy-to-access information and make online booking and payment even easier.”
The airline selected IBM Global Services to develop the new website and integrate a BroadVision platform that will enable Air France to build personalised online relationships with customers. Built around online purchasing and the benefits of electronic tickets, the new site offers customers a full line of services to help them prepare their trip: online booking and payment, schedules and also a personalised self-service access space, dubbed “Mon Air France” (my Air France).
“Mon Air France” lets customers select the sections they are interested in to create their own personalised space. The site features several new sections, allowing customers to find a selection of hotels throughout the world, check the weather forecast for their destination, find out what the exchange rate is for the local currency, which vaccinations are required, and more. And for every possible destination, Net users can check out the main tourist guides and maps and find out what`s going on locally.
Together with the IBM Global Services teams, Air France ensured management of the project, which also included teams from BroadVision and Amadeus, the Air France booking system. Air France also drew on the expertise of IBM Global Services to determine the future development of its e-business sites.
A new version of the website will come online each quarter. IBM Global Services worked with the Air France teams to define enhancements that will be phased in as needs evolve:
. The functional upgrades to the site

á The user and navigation interface deployed on the new websites

á The content development plan

á Personalisation and one-to-one marketing

á The technical architecture and solutions

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á The organisational impact
The expertise brought to the project by IBM Global Services allowed Air France to develop an overall vision and map out the development phases of its e-business websites as they are deployed worldwide. The airline has already defined action plans to ensure that its current organisation adapts quickly to the changing functionalities and content of its e-business sites.
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