Business challenge

Happy employees are more likely to deliver the kinds of attentive services that create satisfied, loyal customers. How could TAV Airports make its business an even better place to work?


To empower employees at every level of the business to make their voices heard, TAV Airports implemented a social business network called TAVFACE, based on the IBM® Connections™ platform.



employees to get involved in decision-making, increasing engagement


employee satisfaction and inspires more attentive passenger services


identify process and policy improvements for better passenger experiences

Business challenge story

Helping passenger experiences take off

If you’re connecting through an unfamiliar airport, having your questions answered by a smiling service agent can take the stress out of your journey—and leave you free to relax in the bar, enjoy a coffee in the lounge or browse the duty-free stores. Delivering these kinds of passenger experiences is a key goal for TAV Airports, one of the world’s leading airport operators and service providers. The company serves over 100 million passengers every year, at locations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America, and aims to offer each traveler a seamless, enjoyable journey. Mustafa Sani Şener, Board Member, President and Chief Executive Officer at TAV Airports Holding, takes up the story: “Public-private partnerships have transformed air travel from what used to be an infrastructure service into a rich retail, dining and leisure experience. Today, aviation is more than a pillar of economic globalization—it’s a major consumer business in its own right. “We operate 15 airports and deliver services through a further 75 airports around the world. To drive our non-aeronautical revenues—which include things like duty-free, food and beverage and entertainment services—it’s essential to keep passengers happy and relaxed.” Şener continues: “Our motto is: connectivity is productivity. The smooth running of our business depends on staying connected to all stakeholders, including our passengers, airlines, ground handlers and even air-traffic controllers. We realized that while we were doing a great job at communicating with our passengers and stakeholders, we lacked an effective way for our own employees to make their voices heard within the business. “We see that happy employees deliver better customer services—and we were keen to improve their satisfaction. To achieve our goal, we decided to implement a social, digital approach to collaboration across our global organization.”  

We see that IBM Connections will help us work together more effectively as an organization, and deliver even better services for passengers.

Mustafa Sani Şener, Board Member, President and Chief Executive Officer, TAV Airports Holding

Transformation story

Empowering employees to participate in decision-making

To enable employees at every level of the business to make their voices heard, TAV Airports created a social business network called TAVFACE. Based on IBM Connections, the solution empowers personnel to share their ideas, suggestions and concerns directly with managers and senior decision-makers via forums, wikis and communities. Binnur Güleryüz Onaran, General Manager, TAV Information Technologies at TAV Airports Holding, comments: “One of the things that impressed us most about the IBM solution was its flexibility. IBM has created a wide variety of integrations—including one for our Microsoft Outlook email client—which gave us the confidence that we could deploy the platform alongside our existing email and calendaring environment quickly and with minimal disruption to business users.” Şener adds: “When IBM visited us to demonstrate the IBM Connections solution, they really took the time to listen to our needs—and that attention to detail really showed when it came to deploying the platform. IBM also uses the solution to deliver enterprise collaboration tools across its own global business, so we knew that IBM Connections was scalable enough to meet the requirements of an organization of our size.” Working together with the IBM team, TAV Airports launched TAVFACE to 10,000 employees in 19 countries around the world. “Before IBM Connections, many of our customer-facing employees were ‘readers’—people who consumed updates from their managers via emails and our intranet,” says Şener. “Today, these same employees are ‘writers’—people who are in conversation with managers and senior decision-makers. “Decades of experience have taught the air transport industry that collaborative decision-making is a highly effective way to improve the efficiency of airport operations, and with TAVFACE we are now extending that philosophy to the way we interact with our employees. We now have a platform through which everyone, regardless of their position in the business, can engage with senior members of the organization.” He continues: “Working with IBM to create TAVFACE was definitely a positive experience. Whenever we encountered a challenge, the IBM team was always right by our side to help us solve it—and by combining our skills, we achieved exactly what we were aiming for.”  

Results story

Happier employees, satisfied customers

By helping all its employees stay connected to their managers and peers, TAV Airports is realizing its goal of building a more motivated, satisfied and engaged workforce—empowering its people to deliver even higher-quality passenger services. “One-way communication with your employees means you risk missing out on countless opportunities to improve and grow your business,” explains Şener. “For example, one of our teams was attempting to set up a meeting with an airport executive, but his busy schedule meant that fixing a time was proving extremely difficult. “By chance, the executive was taking part in a training program at our TAV Academy, and one of the attendees uploaded a team photo to their TAVFACE profile. The team saw the photo in their social feed, and suddenly realized that the man they had been trying to get hold of for weeks was just a couple of hundred meters away. Without this social, interconnect approach, that opportunity to connect might have gone to waste.” With employees from all levels in the business free to voice their suggestions to senior members of the business, TAV Airports is already uncovering new ways to enhance the customer experience. Şener comments: “At one of our airports, we have two car parks: one next to the terminal building, and one further away. One of our attendants raised the concern that our staff were using up to 1,000 of the closest parking spaces, greatly reducing the number of spaces available for passengers at peak times. “We immediately implemented a policy that the car park nearest the terminal was reserved for passengers only—helping us to shorten transit times and improve their experiences. These kinds of improvements become possible when you harness employee knowledge in all the parts of your business. If our car park attendant hadn’t brought the issue to our attention, we may never have known about it.” With the IBM Connections mobile app, all users of TAVFACE can stay in contact, even if their day-to-day work means they don’t have access to a computer. “Uptake of TAVFACE has been extremely high,” says Şener. “Since we went live to 10,000 users, we have had 200,000 visits to the IBM Connections portal, and on average we are measuring 3,000 unique users every day. “Around 40 percent of our users log in on their mobile devices, and we see great potential in the mobile app to encourage further adoption. We recently improved the way that news story notifications appear in the social feed of the mobile app—prioritizing fresh information such as employees celebrating milestones, promotions and successes.” Onaran adds: “As IBM Connections becomes an increasingly popular way to share files, use of email throughout the business is decreasing. Because people can view and download files from links to IBM Connections, there’s no longer a need to send multiple copies of the same files via email—which has already helped us to cut our storage requirements by 20 percent, reducing our need for costly infrastructure investment.” Based on the success of TAVFACE with its employees, TAV Airports is planning to open up the platform to passengers. “TAVFACE is helping us to embrace the crowdsourcing model for inclusive collaborative decision-making, and we are very satisfied with the results we have seen so far,” says Şener. “Ultimately, we want to enable our passengers to use TAVFACE to communicate with us directly. These insights will enable us to identify customer struggles faster, and drive further improvements to passenger experiences of our airports and services. We are now in the process of carrying out customer satisfaction surveys, and anticipate very positive results.” Şener concludes: “Before TAVFACE, I thought that I knew everything about the company—but our social business network has taught me that I’m still learning! Looking to the future, we see that IBM Connections will help us work together more effectively as an organization, and deliver even better services for passengers.”  

business logo

About TAV Airports

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, TAV Airports is a leading global airport operator. The company’s affiliates and subsidiaries operate airports in Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, and deliver other key airport services including ground handling, IT, security, duty free, and food and beverage. In 2015, the company served more than 102 million passengers and 780,000 flights.

Solution components

  • ICS: Connections
  • T&T: Operations Planning and Optimization

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