Airport International Group Charts Course for Success through COVID-19 Crisis
Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), a leader in enterprise cloud computing, today announced that Airport International Group – a Jordanian consortium of local and international investors with proven experience in airport rehabilitation, enhancement, operation and management – has implemented Xi Frame to maintain business continuity through the turmoil and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution has facilitated set up of virtual training rooms for seamless delivery of extensive training on the newly implemented Airport Management System. It has also provided employees with secure access to specialized applications via shared desktops. As importantly, the solution has enabled the establishment of a virtual control room, giving the Operations Team secure, remote access to mission critical airport IT systems.
In 2007, Airport International Group was appointed by the Government of Jordan to manage the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA), which serves as a pillar of the national economy and the local aviation, transport and tourism sectors. Under Airport International Group’s management, QAIA has successfully expanded, recorded significant growth in passenger numbers and received several Airports Council International (ACI) awards. Today, Airport International Group employs approximately 450 professionals and utilizes the latest technologies and innovations to ensure that the over 50 airlines and millions of annual passengers who rely on QAIA are assured truly world-class experiences.
With the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the move to remote working, Airport International Group’s IT Team was keen to ensure that around-the-clock access to key services via shared desktops could be provided to employees (teams of technicians and skilled workers) in a secure and reliable manner. As a long-standing Nutanix customer, Airport International Group was quick to identify Nutanix Xi Frame as a perfect fit for its requirement.
Mr. Waseem Al Rousan, IT Director at Airport International Group, said, “Unlike other organizations that suddenly found themselves scrambling to deploy new cloud applications for their remote workers, we could offer our employees access to the same applications they were familiar with. This enabled us to maximize utilization of our existing IT infrastructure and eliminated unnecessary costs and learning curves. Providing employees with the secure access to applications using Xi Frame requires us to simply provide them with login credentials and a link – it’s that easy! Moreover, from an IT perspective, we have been impressed with the ease of deployment, intuitive and powerful web-based management interface, and the guaranteed availability that the solution offers.”
“The ease of use of Xi Frame meant we could easily and rapidly accommodate the business continuity requirements of each department in this challenging time. Moreover, rather than having to deal with the costs, complexities and inevitable slew of helpdesk requests typically associated with corporate VPNs, we could offer our new remote workers the most convenient, secure and intuitive access to the tools and applications they needed to stay productive,” said Mr. Al Rousan.
The timing of the deployment proved especially fortuitous as Airport International Group was in the midst of a mission-critical, multi-million dollar undertaking to migrate its Airport Management System (AMS), which controls everything, from the gates and immigrations services to check-in counters.
At the time when the Government of Jordan announced lock-down measures, consultants and implementation engineers were suddenly unable to travel to Amman. The team’s planned user acceptance and training programs for the new AMS solution looked to be in jeopardy. Using Xi Frame, in just a few hours, Airport International Group set up a fully equipped virtual training lab with 12 remotely accessible workstations. The team then simply provided users with an access link and login credentials, granting them instant, secure access to live training sessions. “We conducted four weeks of extensive training in this manner. The experience was seamless and our employees loved the ability to attend sessions from any location, and via any device,” said Mr. Al Rousan.
With members of the Operations Team also having to work remotely, Airport International Group decided to establish a virtual control room which enabled them to remotely access critical systems including the AMS, Airport Operations Data Base (AODB), Airport Resource Management System (RMS) in a secure manner. “Rigorous vulnerability testing gave us confidence that Nutanix’s solution could match our highest security expectations,” continued Mr. Al Rousan.
The feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive and Mr. Al Rousan noted that the efforts of his team have been duly recognized by C-level executives and his counterparts in other departments. However, not ones to rest on their laurels, Mr. Al Rousan and his team are keen to build on their success. They are now exploring further use cases for Xi Frame which include enhanced support for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and robust ways to respond to unplanned business requirements. “This project has created a shift in mindset across our organization and there is a clear appetite to explore further VDI use cases. With its extremely dedicated on-ground support and range of market leading solutions, Nutanix has proven to be a reliable long-term technology partner. Over the last three years, we have become more and more invested into Nutanix and we will continue to strengthen our business relationship with them,” commented Mr. Al Rousan.
“Airport International Group like many organizations across the Middle East are dealing with the reality of needing to set up all their employees to work remotely, while still maintaining access to the same tools and applications they require to be productive. Through Xi Frame, we are proud to have been able to deliver an automated, fully managed cloud hosted service solution with ‘do-it-yourself’ simplicity that simplifies the continuous integration and continuous delivery of the digital workspace. We look forward to expanding our collaboration with Airport International Group in the near future,” concluded Aaron White, Regional Sales Director, Middle East at Nutanix.