NCR Pursues Airport Managed Services Opportunity
MSPmentor concedes: Airport managed services haven’t been on our radar. But when NCR Corp. reached out to us about its new holistic approach to airport managed services, we decided dig deeper into managed services within the travel space. NCR Vice President of Solutions Marketing for Travel Owen Wild detailed NCR’s new solution, as well as the state of managed services as it pertains to airports.
“Managed services in the airport environment has always been very fragmented and disjointed,” Wild said, as he explained that, historically, managed services have been left up to each individual airline rather than a single solution for an entire airport. “We are putting together a very unique solution,” he continued. “It’s a single-source procurement process for airport IT operators.”
NCR is best-known for its point-of-sale (POS), automated teller machine (ATM) and help desk services across such verticals as healthcare, hospitality retail and travel. For the airport vertical, NCR is piecing together a suite of existing solutions to offer a common use environment to all of the airlines within any airport.
“They [airports] used to say to airlines ‘here’s the space, now go do what you want,'” Wild said. “Our offer is unique because we can provide a carrier that is operating in multiple regions with a consistent service offering, and we can give them the ability to provide a consistent service level across an entire airport. Trends are indicating that there will be a very significant increase in the number of passengers in airports, and the only way for airports to keep up is to adopt this type of common use environment.”
To NCR, a common use environment in an airport entails check-out counters, baggage carousels and gates that can be used by any airline at any time of the day. It also means digital signage and check-in kiosks that have access to multiple airlines. “In order to provide this environment,” Wild said, “you need a level of expertise that local IT providers don’t have. That’s part of what we do.”
Wild admitted that these types of common use environments in airports are more popular outside of the United States today. But NCR expects common use environments in U.S. airports to increase as the number of people passing through airports increases. We’ll keep an eye on this trend and on how successful NCR’s common use model is domestically and internationally.