Boeing Global Services Launches Digital Suite, Sets Record
When Ted Colbert, who is an industrial engineer, assumed leadership of Boeing Global Services (BGS) in October 2019, one of his goals was to look holistically at the business to optimize it. In particular, he wanted to look at BGS’ digital capabilities and figure out “where we have core strengths, where we have adjacencies and where we can grow,” Colbert tells Aviation Week.
Two outcomes of that are evident through BGS’ planned announcements for the Singapore Airshow.
The first is the launch of Boeing’s Integrated Operation Center, which is a digital suite of solutions for medium-to-large airlines. The customizable suite is designed to provide awareness across operations—to keep the airline on time and recover from disruptions. Capabilities include flight scheduling, operations control, crew management, communications, flight planning and tail assignment.
“This is a one plus one equals three effort—putting together the systems that we have today in a much better user experience . . . that provides enhanced workflows, better optimization, better data sharing and alerting across many of the airline’s business functions,” Colbert says.
As with other large industrials, there’s a tendency for capabilities to “grow up” vertically by function—“so you have one solution for this and one solution for that” until someone realizes they should be more integrated, Colbert says.
The Integrated Operations Center’s backbone includes a “much stronger basic architecture,” application programming interfaces (API) and microservices, among other enhancements, he says.
Besides the stronger information technology backbone, the difference in the integrated product is that it is designed around airlines’ operational decision-making and “it takes the best of what we have today, improves the data model behind the solutions, improves the user experience and provides capabilities to make faster and faster decisions,” Colbert says.
He did not announce a launch customer, but says BGS completed Design Thinking workshops, journey mapping and use cases to support better integrated operations.
Colbert also revealed that BGS sold a record $2 billion in e-commerce parts and components last year, which is “way more than ever before.” The $2 billion in sales comes from more than 70,000 parts and products.
Commercial aviation sales made up $1.5 billion of that, a strong indicator that airline traffic is picking up. The other $500 million came from defense and government parts sales.
Similar to the Boeing Integrated Operation Center, the increased e-commerce parts sales also benefits from work the company did during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve the user experience. BGS teams doubled down on consolidating the back ends, improving site capabilities and leveraging analytics to improve the overall customer experience.
Overall, BGS generated $16.3 billion in revenue in 2021, 46% of which came from commercial aviation sales.