Cloud Computing

American Airlines Soars Into the Cloud with IBM at Interconnect 2017

Yesterday marked an important milestone in IBM’s continued success as an enterprise partner with the world’s largest airline, American Airlines (American). Taking center stage at Interconnect, IBM’s annual cloud conference, American gave an update on their experience and journey with IBM Cloud and the path they are on with migrating their critical customer-facing applications to the IBM Cloud.

henry and arvind handshake

Daniel Henry, Vice President, Customer Technology and Enterprise Architecture, American Airlines, (left), is greeted on stage at IBM InterConnect 2017, by Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud and Director IBM Research. Henry used the occasion to announce his company’s move to IBM Cloud.

Late last year, IBM announced a strategic cloud partnership with American to migrate select enterprise applications to the IBM Cloud. At Interconnect, Daniel Henry, Vice President, Customer Technology and Enterprise Architecture, American Airlines shared his insights on the first phase of its cloud migration as part of the keynote with Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud and Director of IBM Research.

Three key takeaways included:

1. IBM Offers Best Enterprise-grade Cloud

It was very important for American to not be locked into one set of providers, so they made a decision to use Cloud Foundry as their platform for the cloud.

“We’re committed to public cloud, and we’re confident IBM is the right strategic partner for us, knowing all the investments you’re making in Cloud Foundry and on your data centers around the world,” Henry said.

Security was a huge factor in the airline’s selection process and the company felt that IBM has the best, most secure public cloud offering on the market. Additionally, they wanted a partner that could handle the complexities of connecting 50+ year old legacy applications to the cloud at enterprise scale.

2. Winning on the IBM Cloud

Henry also shared the company’s excitement about moving to the IBM Cloud.

“We’re moving away from talking about moving to the cloud to actively and aggressively moving to the cloud,” he said. “And this includes moving our most critical applications that run our airline on the IBM Cloud. We’ve been working with IBM on moving aa.com, our customer mobile app, and our kiosk application to the IBM Cloud. A lot of work, but we’re very excited about it.”

3. IT Transformation + Business Transformation

Henry reiterated something we hear consistently from our enterprise clients, which is that beyond the cloud platform serving as a conduit to digital transformation, clients are also looking for a cloud partner that can teach them the right process to migrate their business to the cloud.

“For us it’s all about delivery transformation. Take our delivery velocity to the next level. We believe that design thinking, devops is at the core of that transformation. And we’re excited to take that big step with IBM.”

During the past year, the IBM team has brought to American innovative business processes, including Design Thinking, Peer Programming and specific DevOps tactics and tools for a successful cloud migration. American Airlines has been a long-time partner with IBM.

Our journey together began more than half a century ago, when we worked closely to develop what would become Sabre, the first electronic reservation and ticketing system in the industry. Today we are helping them with their cloud transformation and together, we are off to a great start.

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