Air Works is India’s largest independent aviation MRO and India’s first EASA certified MRO. The company is certified to maintain 50 different types of aircraft – ranging from small, single engine machines to turboprops plus B737s and A320s. Air Works includes Air Livery, UK which is Europe’s leading independent aircraft painting and re-finishing company and Empire Aviation Group, Dubai which is the Middle East’s largest aircraft management services company. Hence, there has been a constant increase in the aircraft maintenance data digitization and automation. To cater to this there was also a need for a highly flexible and automated backend infrastructure supporting the applications that were being developed and deployed by Air Works.
Apart from these transactional and environmental issues affecting the user experience, there was also no specific HA or DR managed for the applications running in the organizations. As a part of the next steps Air Works was looking for a cloud solution which would meet these requirements for the migration of their applications and development of their new applications on the same line.
PC Solutions Pvt. Ltd, had reached out to Air Works and presented an overview of Microsoft Windows Azure offerings and the possibilities and their professional capabilities on the same as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Through the discussion PC Solutions found that this was a good opportunity to migrate/develop a cloud based solution to meet the business requirements.
Partnership in Co-creation and Innovation
The fundamental idea tomeet the growing needs and creating a balance between the capacity and the demand was to enter into a strategic partnership between Air Works and PC Solutions to co-create and innovate in the aircraft maintenance vertical. With their needs for digitization and automation growing in leaps and bounds Air Works have chosen Windows Azure as a growth platform and PC Solutions as a strategic partner to plan and implement their cloud adoption and migration strategy. Together Air Works with PC Solutions have successfully developed and deployed four business critical applications and have planned for many more apps in the near future.
The solution involved a major break up of three components i.e.
1. An Azure based solution comprising of a dot net based application running on the Cloud Services, SQL Azure, Blob Storage.
2. The second component was the back end administration where the code was maintained on the cloud in versions and backed up on Azure storage.
3. The final piece was the actual portal where the users can log in and access the applications.
One of the applications developed, was regarding automation of a billing process of the efforts done by their engineers on tasks. This effort done by these engineers needed to be tracked, monitored and integrated with their invoicing system to automate generation of invoices against the efforts spent and to plug the leakage which was happening prior to this automation. This process was also integrated with their existing ERP solution and tracks the end to end lifecycle of a work order. This application added a lot of value for the Air Works Finance team and helped generate considerable additional revenue.
Apart from this, we had migrated all the applications with a high availability scenario. Furthermore, the inherent disaster recovery features of Azure like Geo-replication and uptime SLA guarantee also ensure proper availability of data and application with enhanced user experience.
Teams from different offices now work together with ease, access data, documents, and collaborate the data from anywhere, and, are confident of a secure business environment.
The subscription based Microsoft Windows Azure provide them a platform to develop a customized tool which is meeting their requirements perfectly. At the same time, it protects business communications and sensitive information by meeting internal and regulatory compliance requirements.
Avoids Capital Investment
The Microsoft Windows Azure saves the organization from capital investment on infrastructure, hardware or software. The “Microsoft is responsible for patches, upgrades and maintenance. This minimizes administration, maintenance and hosting related resources and costs.
Assures Security and Governance
With the tool developed now the users’ authentication and authorization happens only from the office LAN premises only. Furthermore the login and IP are being tracked with the logs of the activities done by each users which helps in managing and maintaining the whole portal by the Administrators, Along with the same there is user, creation, provisioning, de-provisioning and modifying which can be done through the portal.
Improves Collaboration, Productivity
With this solution Microsoft is responsible for patches, upgrades and maintenance of the data center and PC Solutions for the administration, maintenance and hosting related resource management. This reduces the effort being invested by the Air Works team in managing the same.
Online presence of real time data and the ability to collaborate with proper security, minimizes delays over important decisions and ensures higher productivity.
Reduces Back up and Storage Risks
There is built in Disaster recovery and geo replication that is available with Microsoft Windows Azure. It ensure that there is no data loss on the cloud from the data center even in the case of the physical issues at the datacenter. Hence there is no need to take manual backups and maintain on-premise storage of the data that is already being replicated on the Azure Cloud.
As a part of the solution we had developed a centralized configuration management on the cloud storage concept which was used to maintain the various versions of the code deployed and to track the changes implemented by the team. This helped in having a backup of the code and also helped in case of any roll-back and disaster scenario.