Future Ready Reference Architecture for the Smart Airline

Competitive market needs and business pressures have compelled airline IT to embrace legacy technologies and heterogeneous architectures to keep up at a brisk pace. This has worked out well over the short term, while slowly accumulating technical debt and unwarranted inflexibilities. These quick-fix IT decisions and hard-coded products have led to inconsistent customer experience across channels and scattered functionality. Today, it is increasingly getting difficult to enable simpler real-time customer engagement and personalization, which is stunting the growth potential

How long can the airline sustain these challenges?

Smart airlines need to future-proof their IT architecture, that can address the long-term needs of the business. This architecture should provide the business, with complete ownership and management of data and allow plug and play capabilities with minimal inter-dependencies.

Coforge’s Airline Commercial Reference Architecture drives digital dexterity for airlines and delivers business capabilities quickly and efficiently without changes to the core airline systems. At the same time, this architecture provides the modularity needed for business agility.

The commercial systems layer includes the core PSS, Revenue Management, Loyalty, CRM, etc. that allow smooth sales and operations. This layer constitutes the heart of commercial operations and serves as the system of record for the complete airline.

The Core Systems API layer provides access to the capabilities of the commercial systems using modular lightweight APIs. These APIs include PSS APIs like availability and fares, pricing, reservations, schedules API as well as standardized APIs for Payment Service Providers and disruption management. This layer encapsulates the core commercial systems and uses common standards and integration patterns to integrate with PSS and other backend systems.

The Propositioning and Merchandizing layer is responsible for the Product definition, product servicing, and distribution functions. This includes the capability to bundle and merchandise with ease, and without much change to the core PSS. New technologies and nimble solutions enable airline commercial business users to easily configure and manage advanced merchandising strategies, including dynamic product offerings, bundling with real-time interaction management (RTIM) capabilities for contextual and personalized customer interaction. Dynamic offer capabilities coupled with Order Stores outside the PSS provide the flexibility and dynamism to excel competition and launch newer commercial strategies with ease.

The unified channel services layer is the direct interface with customer channels. Airlines have been striving to build a complete omnichannel experience for their customers, and this layer provides the capability to standardize the customer channels. Additionally, this layer provides alignment to customer analytics and real-time operational data to drive contextual customer communication across channels.

The customer channels layer abstracts business logic from the channels and protects the web, mobile, and other channels from any changes to backend system logic. Airlines have been able to successfully encapsulate their distribution channels from changes to PSS, thereby making this a failsafe option to implement.

Powered with this data-driven reference architecture, airlines can welcome a future-ready solution providing:

  • Business agility
    • Faster rollout
    • Future-ready solution
    • Extending product offering
    • Enabled business teams
  • Easy to change
    • Different layers have their responsibility – modularity, single source of truth
    • Inter-operability – work with other products with ease – integration is flexible
    • Leverage Existing Investment

This architecture realizes CIO’s vision for aligning IT goals to steer faster rollouts, provide personalized customer experience, enable real-time interactions and risk-free transition capabilities across the IT estate.

Reach out to us to assess your current IT estate, identify bottlenecks and build a roadmap to overcome constraints to unravel your complete growth potential.