EP SQUARE :: Project & Interim Management

Project & Interim Management

Alex van der Linden

Migration of worldwide KLM data network

February to September 2004

KLM has a worldwide network of more than 1600 data connections, which run from central computers in Amsterdam to all cities and airports where KLM is situated. In 2003 KLM outsourced this network to KPN, the main objective being cost reduction. Also, KLM wanted to down-scale its ICT operation and increase focus on its core business. As part of these changes, all relationships with KLM’s network suppliers were handed over to KPN, including the operational ties with SITA (for many years KLM’s largest network supplier and KPN’s competitor for this outsourcing contract). Consequently KLM now has only one supplier managing all its network activities. The contract was appropriately named 1NSP: One Network Service Provider.

From February until September 2004 I was project manager for the Network Rollout Project. The aim was to make an inventory of expensive KLM network connections and to propose cheaper alternatives to be supplied by one of the network suppliers. These were global network suppliers like Infonet and SITA who in the new situation were obliged to work via the new integrator KPN. After delivering and testing the new and cheaper connections my team was further responsible for planning and managing the actual network migration and the first invoice for KLM. From February to September the 150 most expensive connections with a total annual cost of about 2.5 million euro were replaced, leading to a cost reduction of approximately 1.2 million euro per year. KLM made use of the opportunity to upgrade a number of connections, giving many KLM employees desktop access to modern facilities like e-mail.

The biggest challenge in this project was getting all the suppliers to comply to the same standards and to co-ordinate the efforts of all parties involved in ordering, provisioning, billing and incident management processes. For example, the international connections usually consisted of many different network segments, the end part often being the in-house cabling of a distant airport terminal building; it was not easy to get suppliers to take end-to-end responsibility for the total connection, thus for every network segment from Amsterdam right through to the termination point.

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