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Emirates to Use IBM Managed IT Infrastructure Service

By Casey Houser
June 13, 2016

International hardware and software development company IBM announced this past week that it has secured a $300 million deal with international airline Emirates. This marks the second agreement with a Middle East-based airline that IBM has completed in less than a year.

In this deal, IBM will offer Emirates its hosted information technology infrastructure so Emirates can begin to utilize application programming interfaces (APIs) and encrypt the data that travels through its networks. According to analysis at Zachs, the use of an IBM infrastructure-as-a-service will give the airline near real-time data encryption.

The use of APIs as an extension of this deal could give customers an improved link to their airline’s services. Other businesses can connect, for instance, their own Wi-Fi or hotel booking or appointment saving services to a single Emirates website or app that Emirates can then offer for direct download. Customers get all the benefits of convenience and usability while the airline gets to interact easily with its partner businesses. It is these sorts of relationships that will make a mark at the upcoming TMC All About the API conference.

Emirates will gain from IBM a platform to manage all their connections to such partners. It will have a link to its network of self-propelled and partner-driven services from any desktop or mobile device with an Internet connection. IBM will then take over the responsibility of maintaining all hosted hardware and completing updates of its infrastructure service.

As mentioned before, the ability to encrypt data in near real-time comes as a major benefit of this agreement. Not only will Emirates be able to rely on the security of its own data; it will also be able to assure its customers that the host of services that run within its network (the Wi-Fi, hotel booking, appointment services…) will have access to secure transactions as well. Customers can feel safe because any information stored on the airline’s servers can remain safe from prying eyes. Furthermore, data transmitted from one server to another should also gain safety in encryption so transmissions such as credit card payments remain secure.

This latest deal between IBM and Emirates continues a relationship that has existed for several years. Emirates has relied on the IBM z Systems Technology to power its own flight reservation and check-in system – everything that allows customers to book and manage their flights. The link to a cloud-based IT infrastructure may play a role in those existing operations, and it will definitely have its hand in creating new operations as the pair moves forward.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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