The last few years have brought significant changes in the travel and transportation sector—changes that are driving companies to adopt more digital IT services to enable agility, speed and cost-effectiveness. Airlines, hotels, railroads, and trucking and shipping companies have all faced massively fluctuating demand due to the pandemic, along with travel restrictions, supply chain challenges, labor shortages and other variables. Not only that, but they’re under pressure to provide an increasing array of digital services to own the customer experience in a highly competitive market.
In addition to evolving market conditions, businesses in the transportation sector have been gradually undergoing digital transformation. Some transportation companies have been wary of using digital infrastructure because of their security requirements and reliance on other physical equipment, but this pattern is starting to shift as travel and transportation providers see the strong benefits of digital infrastructure and services. Digital infrastructure can provide the increased flexibility the industry requires, making it easier to scale up and down as business needs change. It can help transportation companies expand into new markets quickly, at a lower overall cost, and equip them with tools to safeguard sensitive customer and company data.
Businesses in the travel and transportation ecosystem recognize that they need to be more proactive about preparing for future disruptions, and they’re now turning to digital infrastructure to help them work faster and smarter, with a better return on investment.
Forrester Total Economic Impact™ of Equinix Digital Services
Read the full commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Equinix to see the detailed benefits realized by Equinix customers and understand the framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of Digital Services on your organizationDownload
In travel and transportation, timing is everything
Timing is critical for companies in the transportation sector. On matters ranging from package delivery logistics to flight and rail schedules, the transportation industry can’t afford delays and latency—either in their backend IT systems or their customer-facing services. Today, distributed infrastructures are becoming more mainstream. Placing infrastructure closer to your users and to the places where your transactions happen reduces delays and helps optimize costs. Plus—it enables a better customer experience. Travelers, for example, want a fast, easy booking experience on your website or mobile app, along with accurate travel information and tailored recommendations to keep them comfortable throughout the trip. Delays or frustrations anywhere along the way can cause you to quickly lose a customer to your competitor.
In the face of changing market conditions and global events, transportation providers need to revisit their digital transformation priorities. While physical resources—like vehicles and buildings—can be a significant portion of their assets, transportation companies today have an opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability and OPEX-based pricing model that digital infrastructure solutions offer. Digital services enable companies to respond more quickly, as the circumstances and their needs change—and we can be certain they always will.
Let’s look specifically at two types of digital services—virtual network devices and interconnection—to see how they might benefit companies in the transportation industry.
Virtual network devices accelerate time to market and support global expansion
We’ve established that modern global businesses need faster, easier, more flexible IT solutions—and in this way, virtual infrastructure has become a game-changer. Imagine being able to deploy virtual firewalls, routers, SD-WAN gateways and load balancers on-demand in minutes instead of waiting for physical hardware to arrive.
With Network Edge virtual network functions, transportation companies can modernize their networks with real-time deployments and excellent performance, on an OPEX-based cost model. Network Edge makes it possible for you to expand into new markets very quickly and adapt your networks easily as business needs evolve.
Interconnection services connect to key industry partners quickly and securely
Transportation companies also rely on numerous technology partners, such as network and cloud providers, booking systems, airport management solutions and many more. The ability to quickly and securely connect to partners on demand around the world boosts opportunities to accelerate innovation together.
Virtual interconnection fabrics can be a boon to transportation companies since they help you to securely and dynamically connect distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems. With Equinix Fabric® software-defined interconnection, transportation businesses can connect privately to thousands of technology partners, bypassing the public internet. You can scale up when business demands it, and just as easily scale back in the event of a recession or diminished demand. And Equinix boasts a huge ecosystem of technology providers.
Digital services in action in the travel ecosystem
Over the years, Equinix has helped many customers accelerate their digital advantage in rapidly changing industries. Here are a few examples of companies in the transportation industry putting our digital services to work:
Kansai Airports in Japan has been actively using IT to improve operational efficiency and simplify the sharing of real-time information among airlines, partners and aviation regulators. The company wanted to streamline airport procedures, promote safety and security, reduce the environmental impact of operations and improve customer experience. One of its key partners is Amadeus Airport Operational Database (AODB), a system that aggregates and centralizes information related to airport operations. But Kansai Airports was having trouble connecting Amadeus AODB—which was hosted overseas—with its networks over the internet, so it sought help from Equinix.
Using Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers and Equinix Fabric, Kansai Airports established a high-speed, secure, reliable connection with Amadeus’s overseas network. Not only that, but Kansai Airports realized more than 50% savings using Equinix over other service providers. The solution also lays the groundwork for future cloud services expansion. Amadeus is one example of the sort of key technology providers in the Equinix ecosystem.
Kansai Airports network architecture
The Frankfurt-based global travel agency Lufthansa City Center (LCC) also took advantage of Equinix digital services to create a flexible, scalable virtual solution to address its need for high-availability booking services for its franchise agencies. LCC worked with Equinix to implement a hybrid solution that uses Equinix Fabric to connect to key Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider IONOS by 1&1 (formerly ProfitBricks). The flexible, scalable virtual desktop solution is helping LCC provide its branch travel agencies with quick, easy, low-latency connection, while protecting data sovereignty.
For more digital-ready solutions for transportation, visit our transportation industry solutions page.
Digital services from Equinix deliver a strong ROI
We believe that Equinix is a perfect place for travel and transportation companies to connect. Transportation organizations often operate across many geographies and need technology partners that do the same. Equinix has a large global footprint, operating in 71 markets in 32 countries, with 10,000+ customers. Companies that work with Equinix benefit directly from its sustainability commitments, including achieving 95% renewable energy, which supports their own goals to move toward carbon neutrality. And as we’ve emphasized in this blog post, Equinix offers a range of flexible, easy to implement digital services that can help companies transform and differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.
Equinix digital services are producing tangible results, helping companies improve agility and lower costs through virtual infrastructure and interconnections to cloud and business partners. A recent commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Equinix[i] showed that a composite organization leveraging Equinix Digital Services realized the following benefits:
- 10x faster speed to market over physical deployments
- 60% lower infrastructure management costs
- Reduced cost of connections by 30%
- Reduced operational downtime by 80%
The composite organization in the Forrester TEI study ultimately realized a 142% ROI using Equinix Digital Services. Those numbers are compelling, and transportation companies today have an opportunity to tap into such benefits by adopting digital infrastructure solutions from Equinix. The best way to future-proof your business is to proactively plan for what’s ahead—and as the recent past has taught us—we can’t always predict it, so you need greater infrastructure flexibility.
To learn more about the tangible benefits of Equinix Digital Services, read the Forrester TEI study.
[i] Forrester Consulting, “The Total Economic Impact™ Of Equinix Digital Services.” A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned by Equinix. September 2022.