Organising and providing private air travel for elite international travellers around the world for the last 50 years has put Air Partner in a ‘best in class’ position. The UK-based company arranges flights by chartering private planes to transport passengers and freight on any type of aircraft to every country in the world. Operating from 16 international offices, which together run an exclusive 24/7 flight operations centre, clients can access private air charter services at a moment’s notice, benefiting from Air Partner’s diverse experience, global reach and strong financial position. Air Partner offers the very highest standards of service to clients as diverse as the British Royal Household, entertainment and sports celebrities, Heads of State from around the world, aid agencies and NGOs, the Government & Defence sector as well as providing emergency services for multinational corporations.
Working in such a high-profile and time-pressured industry, Air Partner was keen to stay ahead of the technology curve and ensure that its staff remained highly efficient by working with a dynamic, agile IT solution. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the solution already in use, with AlfaPeople providing application support from the UK since 2014, but there was a desire to integrate Dynamics CRM further into daily operations. A second goal was set to improve the efficiency of the CRM support function, which at the time was only reactive in scope. This led to ‘fire-fighting’ the issues raised and meant that the cost of maintaining Dynamics CRM was higher than anticipated.
As an established partner with in-depth knowledge of the Air Partner business, AlfaPeople put together a proposal in 2015, suggesting that it enhance the Dynamics CRM support service to a new support offering called Application Maintenance Framework (AMF). After a research and implementation phase, the live service would provide the client with a dedicated support team and the ability to implement a set of proven processes. AlfaPeople started the discovery phase during a number of handover meetings held with Air Partner, to ensure that the new retained support team could provide a high quality of service based on their deep understanding of the business and its IT support requirements. A series of ‘Internal Knowledge Transfer Sessions’ were also held for the new team.
Air Partner began using AlfaPeople’s AMF service in December 2015, with resources provided by a dedicated team of Dynamics CRM and Scribe specialists based in the UK and India. The teams were able to use their knowledge of the Air Partner business and the industry in which it operates, as well as a range of technical skillsets in programming languages and the use of Dynamics CRM, to thoroughly support the client and its users. The system is now updated regularly and as a result, all users benefit from enhancements, security updates and bug fixes to what is now a more stable solution.
The team of highly-specialised consultants can address all user issues that arise, which are submitted to them by email or through a user-friendly web portal. The support portal means individual tickets can be managed and it provides visibility of all support requests at a high level. It has also played an integral role in the ability of the support team to inform all necessary stakeholders about the progress of any issues.
The new support model has been a success and the benefits of the overall approach, combined with active management of the solution by AlfaPeople, has led to less time-consuming upgrade projects and the prolonged lifespan of Air Partner’s live Dynamics CRM application.
Air Partner has significantly increased the level of efficiency it receives from its Dynamics CRM support service thanks to AlfaPeople’s AMF proposition. By leveraging the proven and high-performing processes within AMF, the client has reduced resolution times and at the same time achieved higher rates of customer satisfaction.
The new AMF arrangement with AlfaPeople provides Air Partner with a comprehensive range of pro-active support services, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Service Requests, Unplanned & Planned Release Management and Business Development, as well as the pre-existing reactive application resource.
Efficiency and value
By creating a bespoke blend of value and added-value resources as part of the AMF proposition, AlfaPeople has helped Air Partner to significantly reduce its Dynamics CRM support costs. This flexible yet structured service means the client always has full visibility of how their budget is being allocated, cultivating an open relationship between both parties.