May 19, 2020

Emirates helps African customers stay connected

African Aerospace
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
Emirates helps African customers stay connected

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Emirates airlines is helping its customers stay connected by providing free or very cheap Wi-Fi on 106 of its aircraft, with more being equipped all the time.

The airliner provides daily flights from Harare to Dubai and Lusaka, in addition to their extensive coverage of the African continent. In South Africa, the company enjoys a passenger market share of up to 40 percent.

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The service is already available on half of the company’s fleet, with every A380 having coverage and in-seat email, telephone and SMS services on every aircraft. Personal mobile phone services are available on 75 percent of Emirates’ fleet.

Two to three additional aircraft are having Wi-Fi connectivity installed every month. Having updated the service earlier in the year with a simpler sign-on process and updated software, the firm has experienced a 25 percent increase in uptake.

Emirates invests $20 million annually on installing connectivity systems which enable Wi-Fi on its planes. On its ultra-long-haul flights (ones that take over 14 hours), over a third of passengers use the available Wi-Fi services.

Currently, services are available on all A380 aircraft and 47 of Boeing 777 aircraft. The first 10MB of data is free on over two third of aircraft offering Wi-Fi services. If users exceed this amount, and on other aircraft in the fleet, users can access 500MB of data for $1. Since last October, Emirates has seen an uptake of over five fold.

Patrick Brannelly, Divisional Vice President for Customer Experience said, “Customers seek free Wi-Fi on-the-go, especially while travelling, and it is becoming the norm for most people who want to stay connected through online social networks and instant messaging. Emirates is subsidising or waiving the high cost of buying data to serve our passengers on routes across six continents.”

Based on data collected for 2014, roughly 650,000 users engaged with Emirates’ Wi-Fi and as of March 2015, over 350,000 people have already interacted with the service.

Brannelly also said, “We foresee that free Wi-Fi on board is the future standard for all our customers, something that will require no charge or limitations,”

Emirates’ mission to provide either free or low cost Wi-Fi connectivity across the entirety of thier fleet is certainly a noble endeavour and will allow passengers to connect with their friends, families, and loved ones. 

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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