British Airways has said it is beginning to see tangible benefits from a business change management tool it went live with four months ago that is linking up legacy systems to give it a better view of its customers.

The airline is using Calidris software as a core part of its strategy of using IT to drive business change. It will enable BA to implement new business processes to improve operational efficiency in order to deliver an improved service to customers.

The technology has let British Airways create what is believed to be one of the airline industry’s first Order Data Stores (ODS). The ODS will combine customer information from across the complete booking-to-fulfilment lifecycle in a single unified data layer.

The software means British Airways can now implement new business processes that bridge disparate global distribution systems and passenger service systems, enabling it to action sophisticated workflows against end-to-end customer orders.

BA said the capability is facilitating “the implementation of new business models and help[ing] the airline accelerate its transformation of the IT function into a business enabler to support key business goals and initiatives.”

The first application of the ODS has been to introduce new processes to reduce the problem of duplicate bookings. In the four months British Airways has been running this application, it has seen measurable improvements in being able to return more seats to sale at an earlier stage.

More recently, another process has become operational that monitors the validity of planned minimum connecting times for transferring passengers as bookings are made. In time this functionality is expected to improve the level of customer service provided and minimise disruption to passenger’s travel plans. The airline said it expects “significant bottom line benefits” to be achieved in the course of a year.

Paul Coby, CIO of British Airways, said: “One of the enduring challenges of the airline industry has been linking data and workflows between legacy global distribution systems and passenger systems. The legacy systems are optimised around servicing individual bookings one at a time and contain a lot of poorly structured data.”

Coby said the Calidris technology was allowing the airline to manage complex processes across multiple customers and flights in a way that was “impossible before, giving us opportunities to improve customer service as well as solve operational issues and address lost revenue opportunities.”

BA boosts monitoring of critical systems