EP SQUARE :: Project & Interim Management

Project & Interim Management

Alex van der Linden

Implementation of a new data network for KLM Schiphol

September 2005 to February 2008

Early 2004, KLM kicked off a project to replace its existing data network with a new IP network, and to outsource its network management processes to the network provider. The responsibility for this major programme, which was named LCA, was taken over by KPN in 2005. I joined the LCA programme in September 2005, first as a project manager, and in May 2006 I was assigned overall programme manager for KPN.

In essence, LCA is a new data network consisting of a high bandwidth backbone to which all 65 KLM buildings at Schiphol Airport and in Amstelveen are connected. The LCA programme encompassed the development and roll-out of the physical network (consisting of about 18,000 ports), the development and implementation of the ITIL network management processes at KPN, the migration of all KLM devices from the old network to the new network and, finally, the hand-over of network management process responsibilities from KLM to KPN.

The migration from the old network to the new Cisco environment was particularly complex because KLM network devices were often non-standard (i.e. ticket label printers, robots, specialised servers), and it was a requirement to reduce the risk of network outage to almost zero because of its direct impact on KLM’s flight operations.

The key to success was the development of specific migration strategies for each group of similar network ports. Therefore, sometimes a migration would encompass a full building if it contained mostly standard office workstations, but at other times a specific migration plan would be developed for no more than a handful of ports. This would occur in case the devices attached to the ports required specific attention, for instance because they were technically complex or particularly business critical. The KLM business units using the devices in their daily operations were closely involved in both the approach and the planning of migrations relevant for them. This allowed them to influence the project so that it fit their business needs, and to take measures in order to manage potential impact.

This approach has been highly successful. The complex programme became more transparent for all parties involved due to the structuring of the migrations. Because of the thorough migration preparations and the involvement of the business, there was hardly any impact on KLM’s daily operations.

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