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Accenture helps KLM Royal Dutch Airlines design and implement a robust service-oriented architecture (SOA)—Reservation and Pricing Services Layer (RPSL).
As a company striving to achieve high performance, KLM was looking for opportunities to cut costs and boost overall operating efficiency. As a first step, the company wanted to migrate from KLM's mainframe legacy system to an industry-wide platform for airline reservations and pricing. KLM chose Accenture to implement the Reservation and Pricing Services Layer due to our excellent performance results in the area of systems integration.
For several years, Accenture's ongoing research into the characteristics of high-performance businesses has shown that leading companies view information technology (IT) as a strategic asset and a source of operational excellence and competitive advantage. Recently, Accenture research has delved a bit deeper to reveal that high performers are twice as likely as their competitors to use service-oriented architecture (SOA) to boost business performance, while reducing IT costs and enhancing the flexibility of business processes.
It's easy to understand why. SOA is an architecture that combines legacy and new technologies, thereby serving as a backbone for systems that are simpler, easily modifiable and cheaper to run.
Related Client Successes
As a company striving to achieve high performance, KLM was looking for opportunities to cut costs and boost overall operating efficiency. As a first step, the company wanted to migrate from KLM's mainframe legacy system to the Altea Reservation module of Amadeus—an industry-wide platform for airline reservations and pricing. One of the main areas toward achieving these goals involved optimizing its reservations and distribution, inventory and departure control systems.
More than 30 KLM e-commerce and operational applications were impacted by the migration, which was completed in early 2007. KLM knew, however, that the stable, secure and seamless migration of all these applications to the new system would require the support of an exceptionally robust and service-oriented interface layer—the Reservation and Pricing Services Layer. KLM chose Accenture to implement RPSL due to our excellent performance results in systems integration.
Professionals from Accenture's Transportation and Travel Services industry group, Systems Integration and Technology service line and Systems Integration and Technology practices teamed with KLM to design, build, test and deploy RPSL, and were also responsible for the project management of the solution's delivery.
RPSL is a service-oriented architecture, which standardizes and connects a number of back-end systems. Through this standardized architecture, customers experience a ticket booking business process that is designed and managed end-to-end, defining an uninterrupted flow, independent of organization and application boundaries. With the standardized RPSL layer, it has also become more efficient for KLM to migrate services from its back-end legacy mainframe to the third-party application provider Amadeus.
A thorough analysis was conducted to understand the requirements around the functionality, stability and scalability of the solution. After extensive testing of the designed-and-built system, Accenture helped KLM launch the RPSL. The services layer is based on an SOA and is built on J2EE with IBM WebSphere technology. The application can hold 1.5 times the performance requirements projected three years ahead.
Accenture's extensive cross-industry research reveals that high-performance businesses develop distinctive capabilities to support operational efficiency and business innovation, which is why Accenture and KLM made SOA the cornerstone of the RPSL services layer.
With Accenture's help, KLM has been able to realize cost savings and boost its overall operating efficiency. It took just 12 months to implement the first release, which went live in January 2006.
The RPSL SOA layer allowed KLM to switch from its legacy mainframe seamlessly and transparently. It also minimizes the use of scarce resources by centralizing functional service mappings. By enabling all applications to communicate with just one central layer, the RPSL achieves long-term operational cost reductions.
Furthermore, it boosts operational quality by upgrading legacy screen-scraping applications to SOAP—the industry-standard protocol for exchanging XML-based messages over a computer network. Most importantly, KLM can build on the SOA application architecture to continue to innovate and develop new projects as part of its overall information technology strategy to help sustain high performance in the future.
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