etihad-select-sap_Standard.jpg.jpgFor airlines, there was never a more competitive time. Traditional giants have run into losses as newer, nimbler players have encroached on their turf.

Some governments support their airlines, which in some cases works well, and in others does not. Quality of management, and world-class software and services often make the difference between airlines that offer great customer service, efficiency and profits, and those who cannot.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), became a top-rated airline in the world in less than a decade, which is remarkably quick. It got there because it understood the value of great customer experience from the start. It is renowned for its superior service, and comfortable experience in the skies. Now it wants to expand further, and reach wider geographies. That means hiring new talent, expanding existing operations and setting up new ones, while making sure it remains efficient, nimble, and the employer of choice. That’s a tall order.

Given the sophistication and high level of complexity in the industry, Etihad has chosen SAP, the world’s biggest cloud software company, to help scale it up.

“Etihad is  among the top five airlines in the world, to sustain the rapid growth it has seen over the last decade SAP is proud to be Etihad’s strategic innovation partner to help simplify its core business processes,” said Sam Alkharrat, President, SAP MENA. In other words, as the airline increases efficiency, flexibility and effectiveness across the organization they will expand their focus on customer service.

SAP’s software and services will mean a higher level of customer service, and simplify Etihad’s core business processes such as finance, procurement, supply chain management and human resources. This will help the airline be more flexible as it spreads across more parts of the world and absorbs more people into its workforce.

Etihad will be able to utilize SAP offerings such as SuccessFactors for talent management, and Ariba for procurement management. It will also have the power of HANA as a key enabler, with its powerful in-memory platform. For example, the airline will be able to view possible new route combinations and select the most efficient among them in seconds that might have taken hours earlier. “SAP is the only company that offers an end-to-end, integrated, real time platform.”

“Implementation of the latest technology innovations, including cloud-based solutions will drive their commitment to bring world-class solutions and services to the Etihad Aviation Group,” said Alkharrat. Etihad has always been known for innovation, and with this deal it has the best on its side. It is time to rev up the throttle.

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