REAL WORLD CASE
Lufthansa: Taking Mobile Computing to the Skies While Keeping the Mobile Workforce Connected to phase out the desktop computers that it had previously deployed in airports, thereby streamlining its infrastructure and cutting even more costs. Helping Lufthansa even further is the fact that the total cost of ownership for notebooks has decreased signiﬁcantly over the last several years. Capital costs are lower. End user operations and technical support costs are decreasing due to improved manageability and stability. “We’ve been quite happy with Windows XP,” says Grabbe. “Not only is it stable, but it’s ﬂexible and gives us an environment that is easy to update and keep current. Overall, the total cost of ownership is quite low because of our system of browser-based components and a sophisticated update network.” Mobile computing is catching on throughout the Lufthansa Group. Rolf Mueller says that in addition to Lufthansa Cargo, he has been talking to Lufthansa CityLine, the company’s short-haul passenger line that serves Europe. “We’re really leading the way in using mobile computers. Lufthansa CityLine will end up with 800 of its own notebooks for ﬂight captains.” And the Mobile Initiative at Lufthansa extends beyond the company’s crew. Lufthansa understands fully the needs of mobile workers, including its own customers. The airline is testing a new FlyNet project that will give passengers in-ﬂight access to the Internet. As it moves forward, Lufthansa can point to a litany of beneﬁts when describing its mobile computer program. “Most of all, pilots work when they can,” says Rolf Mueller. “Whether they are on their way to the airport, waiting during a layover, or away from work.” Lufthansa regards their mobile computing initiative to be extremely successful based on their high return on investment (ROI). By deploying mobile PCs to all their pilots they have realized signiﬁcant productivity beneﬁts while effectively managing costs.
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