By deploying Dynamics 365 and Office 365, the airport of an acclaimed tourist destination in the Caribbean was empowered to optimize and automate processes, transforming its operations through collaboration and productivity.
Like many other countries in the Caribbean Sea, Antigua and Barbuda is highly dependent on its tourism industry. Even though the island is renowned for its sky-blue ocean water and clear white sand, visitors’ first encounter with the territory takes place in the international airport. Each year, the V.C. Bird International Airport serves approximately 900,000 passengers, who travel to and from destinations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the neighboring islands.
To better serve the audience most central to the country’s identity and economy, the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA) decided to modernize its technological infrastructure. To make this possible, the orga- nization sought the support of Microsoft and its local partner, Optimus Business Transformation.
“When ABAA contacted us, they were looking for digital and business transformation. Our job was to bring their operations to the new digital era,” says Hector Negron, Managing Director at Optimus Business Transfor- mation.
The organization had manual processes across airport facilities for critical operations, such as purchasing, recurring billing, HR management, and field services. Working in a heavily regulated market, ABAA required tighter and more accurate controls on financial transactions and preventive mainte- nance of facilities, among other tasks.
Another issue was the lack of integration between the teams working around the airport. According to ABAA executives, communication was decentralized and inefficient.
“There were people all over the company using different applications. Managing that was a nightmare,” says Nelson Simon, IT Manager at Anti gua and Barbuda Airport Authority.
“We needed to digitalize our organization and we chose Microsoft to help us bring all of our processes together,” adds Euletta Francis, CEO at Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority.
Transforming the business, even during moments of crisis
The first step was to optimize and automate its financial and operational areas. Optimus Business Transformation helped ABAA deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 to unify its management functions. The solution also meets field service demands by automating work orders and their status updates. Microsoft’s partner provided change management consulting to ensure all employees were aligned with the new processes.
In parallel, Office 365 was implemented to serve as the airport’s collabora- tion platform. All corporate communication is now centralized on Microsoft Teams. And, with Power BI, the organization gathers and analyzes the data generated by the business in one system, making information distribution and management easier and more efficient.
“We are in a top-to-bottom Microsoft environment now. We use it because it offers the full gamut of what we need” explains Simon. “We were able to use all these tools to help us streamline the business process- es and we see the benefits of it every day”, adds Jasen Lewis, IT Technician at Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority.
According to ABAA executives, among the many positive impacts the deployment has had so far are: faster financial reporting and closing; accu- rate control of inventory items and fixed assets; improved cash flow; enhanced productivity; and better controls in purchasing.
Another major benefit was achieving the compliance targets that the business required. “In terms of safety, since we moved to Office 365, the team feels reassured that the issue with data security-especially with emails-is something we don’t have to worry about anymore. In the past, it was something that had always been a major source of concern,” points out Simon.
“Microsoft provides a suite of products that are both on the cloud and on-premises, having one platform fully integrated running on SQL servers.” notes Simon. “No other vendor provides such in-depth solu- tions”.
This is just the beginning for the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority. Inspired by the prospect of converting crisis into opportunity to fuel its digital transformation process, the organization plans on expanding upon its success in the future. Francis concludes, “I am extremely happy with the project and we are looking forward to other opportunities to partner with Microsoft again”
Euletta Francis -CEO
Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority