We have outsourced 100% of our IT

DQI Bureau
New Update

As the CIO of JetStar, Stephen Tame is responsible for the delivery of

technologies and innovation to support the fast growing JetStar business. He has

more than eighteen years of experience in the airline industry. Tame was a part

of the team that worked on the merger of Australian/Qantas, the merger of Ansett/Air

New Zealand. He has also been part of the salvage crew for Air New Zealand and

has provided consultancy to Singapore, Thai and Malaysia airlines.


Tame focuses his management and leadership skills in challenging the

conventional thinking to deliver greater business services and opportunities

while minimizing the operations cost.

Tame is responsible for the introduction of formal project and project

initiation methodologies, development of project quality standards to meet

Tickit, ISO9001 certification. He is also in charge for the formulation,

business modeling and communication of business opportunities and the building

of infrastructure, systems, application architectures and business processes to

deliver opportunities across vertical markets and in the systems management

(ASP) space.

He is also responsible for building and management of a software

development team and the supporting procedures, delivering worldwide business

application and technology solutions.


That is JetStars vision as an airline and what is your level of

engagement with Qantas Airlines?

Ours is a no frills carrier, and both of our Asia and Asia Pacific

operations are based out of Singapore. The Asia Pacific business being second

largest in terms of size. Even though JetStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of

Quantas, we are fiercely independent with regards to our operation. We both have

separate processes, systems, and people in place. Our network and our

environment are different from Quantas. We are growing annually at the rate of


Can you elaborate on how you set-up the IT infrastructure at JetStar?

In business since 2004, we started designing the business from scratch and

the same goes for IT. I was fortunate to have started with no legacies and no

constraint, therefore, my IT model is service focused and very different from

what most of my compatriots have made. I have only five full time employees

running IT for an airline of that size. What we have done is to build a

variabilized system and service delivery models and variabilized supply

agreements with number of suppliers. A few years back I decided to go for

virtualization of 100% of all servers, storage and applications. We have

replaced PCs with Thin Clients and thin terminals at all airports we operate at.

We dont have any moving parts or hard drive. I keep joking that you can seal

the machine in a bucket of water and it will run for ten years. We run on a low

cost model even though we operate in fourteen countries, so far we have no IT

offshoring. We deliver all our business application over

through a VPN.


Who have you outsourced your IT to?

We manage our IT supplier just like someone manages the investment

portfolio. It is just like investing our own money on IT. Never with one, never

exclusive, but shared with a number of suppliers. I have suppliers for data

center (located in Melbourne, Sydney, and Singapore); suppliers who manage

services, ASP services. For example, Zensar looks after our operations

management system of aircraft position and scheduling and crew system, while the

Engineering systems are managed by iGate. Our data warehouse and executive

information system is managed by Capgemini.

Each supplier is considered a partner at JetStar and we expect them to work

that way. We have an onshore representation. I manage the portfolio and decide

which supplier gives me the best return, and that way we get best service from

each of them all the time. Each of these outsourcing deals is for a period of

three years.

There are two components of each dealsystems or service management, which is

generally fixed but reducing over the years. Then there is a variable component.

I have a pool of variabilized service pool from each of them.


What percentage of your revenue goes to IT?

For us, its about 0.9%.

What are some of the typical challenges that you face in the 100%

outsourced IT scenario?

As we move into Asia and expand our operations, we get into latency

situations in our network. In order to resolve that, we have set-up a point of

presence in Singapore. Once one gets into the Singapore network, one is

redirected to the data center. Once we start operating in the US and Europe, we

will need to set-up a point of presence in these locations where fat Internet

pipes are available for allowing us to continue with our low cost model. We need

to manage our technology in order to keep pace with our overall growth. At

JetStar, we are trying to build an effective service delivery model. Service

includes more than IT, it also includes call center services, transactional

services, lost bag management services so when we scale up, its not just

technology that we have to scale up. Resolution is managed by Accentures

Navitair, and we pay per ticket like most other low-cost carriers who use

Navitair products which may not be as sophisticated as some of the high cost

ones, but it is effective.

What kind of challenges has JetStar faced in terms of providing robustness

of Internet infrastructure, considering most of the ticketing has gone online?

Around 80% of JetStar sales comes from online, as being a low cost carrier,

we have huge Internet volume and direct sales. We also leverage our Quantas

relationship. We have undertaken some interesting initiatives to enhance

customer experience in the online world and at airports.

For instance, we have started POLi which facilitates real-time payment for

bookings made on via internet banking. Before this, JetStar

customers could only pay with a debit card, but with the introduction of POLi,

customers can avail of the convenience and security of Internet banking apart

from allowing payments to be made directly from debit fund accounts.

Sudesh Prasad