The title of this year’s INFORM Airline Forum speaks for itself. In recent years, digitalization has become a hot topic in the aviation business. It’s not only about IT modernization or having a new mobile application. It’s about competitive advantage on the market in the next few years. Reason enough to gather some 100 customers from 14 airlines in Amsterdam for inspiring talks and exchange.
Co-hosted by KLM
This year’s bi-annual Airline Forum was co-hosted by our long-term customer KLM who are among the frontrunners in entering the digital world. Being the ideal partner in this regard, KLM provided lots of valuable impact. The Senior Vice President Ground Services of KLM held the keynote speech, talking about the challenges and successes on the way to digitalization. The speech set the tone for the rest of the conference day. It turned out that there are still a lot of challenges surrounding digitalization for most in the airline industry, and there is a great need for clarity. It was, therefore, no wonder that delegates from all over the globe attended, coming from as far as Sydney, Honolulu or Seattle. They gladly took the opportunity to network and consult the INFORM experts on the latest solution developments. These were demonstrated in a very practical way: the participants could see the new solution functionalities for themselves by attending software demonstrations on specifically built-up screens – called flying exhibition. "The exhibition tables were well-attended," recalls Michael Fluck, Team Lead Product Management. "Our Machine Learning show case demo was particularly high in demand."
Digitalization to improve operations
The agenda included many interesting customer presentations, providing first-hand accounts of how INFORM software had helped improve operations via digitalization of processes. Useful tips were shared and our speakers gave some excellent advice. INFORM´s presentations helped customers understand how the products are evolving and where the strategy is going. After each speech, questions were asked and inspiring discussions emerged.
The day was wrapped up with a one-hour panel discussion on the theme of “Transparency through Digitalization”. With more and more airlines embracing the power of digital transformation to improve their operations, the audience listened with great interest as the panelists talked about their airline’s experience in transforming their operations with the newest digital technologies.
And the icing on the cake: All delegates celebrated the official ending of the conference day at the Arendshoeve, near Amsterdam. The former greenhouse proved to be an excellent location for socializing, dining and partying. At the same time, the green location was a helpful reminder of the sustainability commitments in the aviation industry, as this topic is becoming more and more important for airlines, as well as for end customers.
KLM’s Digital Studio
The next day, the delegates that visited KLM’s Digital Studio, near to the conference venue, were given an insight into the future of aviation work. It is a development lab for tomorrow's aviation business world. At the Digital Studio, virtual reality trainings, apps for frontline staff and other new technologies are developed and tested. For the participants, it was an eventful site visit that inspired many for their own work.
The Airline Forum is an event exclusively dedicated to INFORM’s airline customers, focusing on the challenges and solutions most relevant to their business. At around 120 participants altogether, it is a more intimate format than INFORM’s User Conference, ensuring that everybody gets a chance to talk to everybody.
See you in 2020!
“INFORM’s Airline Forum 2019 was truly inspiring and a great success,” Uschi Schulte-Sasse, Senior Vice President Aviation at INFORM, concludes. “Many left the digital lab enthusiastic about the future opportunities taking shape in their minds. We’re already looking forward to seeing all of our customers again at the User’s Conference in 2020!”