Capgemini supports Lufthansa in the development of a reference architecture for the aviation industry
Well connected from landing to take off
Lufthansa can look back on a turbulent history marked by significant challenges within the aviation industry to see that while economic crises and political conflict previously affected aviation development, now it is extensive changes in the market. Lufthansa has always been able to rise to the challenge and continuously reinvent itself, resulting in a leading position in the international aviation industry. The airline can partially attribute its success to various alliances, such as the Star Alliance, which was founded in 1971 and today is the largest cooperation in the industry with 28 member airlines. The Lufthansa Group has a further three strategic joint ventures as well as over 550 subsidiaries and holding companies.
When a passenger flies from A to B, maybe transferring at location C, he or she passes through several IT-supported processes such as logistics, administration, and security. One airline does not operate all of these procedures, which are in fact often managed by the airports or the airline of the connecting flight. The reference architecture helps define the interfaces for the various processes, allowing the interlinked IT systems to successfully integrate with one another. Such a seamless integration of business processes requires an effortless data exchange, made possible by the pioneering IT reference architecture that Lufthansa and Capgemini jointly developed for the aviation industry.
The reference architecture provides a blueprint for business processes and interfaces, simplifying their integration with one another. Architects and developers from all partners and suppliers can quickly procure or develop new IT functions and modules. The architecture is based on the “The Open Group Architecture Framework“ (TOGAF) and maps ten specialist domains corresponding to the business functions of an airline: cargo, maintenance, sales, network and fleet planning, revenue management, flight operations, marketing, and customer service. The architecture also covers business, data, application, and technology architecture, tiers that are defined by the TOGAF architecture.
Mutual understanding fuels performance
The developed reference architecture provides much needed transparency. It allows partners and suppliers to connect their processes in order to develop new offers and strengthen the alliance’s competitive edge. This creates a shared vocabulary for all involved parties regarding the conception of solutions, IT systems, and interfaces. The common language facilitates collaboration and simultaneously increases business efficiency. New employees can train themselves more quickly because they have access to a comprehensive knowledge base. The reference architecture has been approved and published by the Open Group (https://publications.opengroup.org/p180). Building on the initial successful collaboration, Capgemini and Lufthansa are currently working on an updated version with other airlines such as IAG and Air China.
The collaborative approach
The Collaborative Business ExperienceTM is central to the Capgemini philosophy and a pillar of our service delivery.
Capgemini and Lufthansa worked as partners with close coordination between the teams. This style of working was showcased when they jointly presented the developed reference architecture at the Open Group Conference in Berlin in April 2017, in San Diego in December 2017, and in Dublin in May 2019.
Together Lufthansa and Capgemini are developing the Lufthansa Enterprise Architecture Framework (LEAF), which models the domains and view points of Lufthansa’s architecture work.
The entire global aviation industry will be able to use the TOGAF reference architecture as a guideline once it has been successfully certified.