Etihad Airways chooses Cognizant to support digital transformation

Airline aims to improve customer satisfaction by implementing programme of digital developments

Etihad Airways has signed a contract with IT services company Cognizant to support a strategy to improve its customers’ digital experience.

Cognizant will manage Etihad’s existing web applications and portals and integrate them into a new digital platform. A digital centre of excellence will be established to drive innovation with the airline’s key technology partners.

The three-year, multi-million-dollar deal will see Cognizant carry out a comprehensive study of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad’s current business and technology footprint to help it create the right infrastructure to enable multi-channel distribution, help it understand individual customers and use personalised marketing techniques.

The airline wants to create new revenue streams and commercial models.

Etihad Airways CIO Robert Webb said the agreement is core to the company’s technology and innovation strategy. “We chose Cognizant because of its leadership in digital transformation programmes, deep travel and hospitality industry experience, and long-term partnerships with digital technology leaders,” he said.

Peter Baumgartner, chief commercial officer at the airline, added: “Our guests are increasingly turning to digital channels to connect with us, and therefore we recognise the importance of delivering a personalised and seamless guest experience across all touch-points.”

Read more about digital developments in the airline industry

The travel industry, including airlines, is investing in digital technologies to attract customers. Like Etihad, many are turning to IT services suppliers to support their technology transformations.

For example, in January Virgin Atlantic Airways outsourced it IT to Indian services giant Tata Consultancy Services as it introduced a raft of digital services for customers.

The long-term contract will see Tata set up a private cloud for the airline, also providing infrastructure as a service, user computing services and application support.

Virgin Atlantic will also have access to Tata’s airline and digital innovation labs, which help customers to develop technology to address the changing needs and expectations of digital consumers.

Read more on IT outsourcing

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