COVID-19 has devastated airlines. To put the impact of the pandemic in context, the aviation industry generated $328 billion in revenue in 2020. This is around 40% of the revenue generated in 2019. What makes this number worrying is the fact that 2020 numbers match the amount of revenue generated 20 years ago in 2000. And, according to forecasts from McKinsey & Co, air traffic won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024.
Jambojet is Kenya’s leading low-cost airline. The carrier flies to six local destinations and several regional destinations. Launched in 2014, the airline has always worked with Google’s range of cloud, productivity and collaboration tools. This stood them in good stead when the pandemic struck because they could weather the storm and keep the business running as close to normal as possible with minimal disruption.
Finding the right solutions to streamline old approaches to business
While Jambojet was ‘technically’ a digitally-enabled organisation, they weren’t using the Google Workspace suite as effectively as they could. But once they really started to explore and experiment with all of the different services available, and they began using these tools to solve different company problems, they were able to access a whole new world of efficiency.
Today, the airline is a fully Google Workspace enabled organisation, leveraging numerous Google solutions to boost productivity across countless areas of the business.
For example, in the past, various approval processes, like expense claims, were submitted manually. People would have to print their claims and then physically take them to their managers to be signed and approved. Google Forms totally revolutionised this process by making it possible for approvals to happen digitally, in just a few seconds.
Instant decision-making made easy
As an airline, Jambojet needs to make decisions very quickly but it is often impossible to get all of the relevant stakeholders in the same room at the same time. With Google Meet anyone can join a meeting, from anywhere using whatever device they have with them at the time.
“Even before COVID-19, Google Meet has been very helpful for our team because it allows us to make decisions much faster,” Benedict Mauncho, IT administrator at Jambojet explains. “Because our team is located in so many different locations, Google Meet has allowed us to communicate better. The experience has been so good that no one wants to do physical meetings anymore. I don’t know what we would do without it.”
In line with the above, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides offer the Jambojet team the ability to collaborate on documents in real-time. Staff can easily edit and update documents and, because the document is live, everyone has access to the most recent information.
Compliance, security enabled
With the Jambojet workforce operating from so many different locations, securing company data was a key priority. Supported by Incentro Africa, a Google Premier Partner and Digicloud Africa reseller, Jambojet boosted their email security to prevent potential data breaches.
Incentro Africa actually helped Jambojet run a security audit and assessment, explains Elizabeth Akinyi, customer success manager at Incentro Africa. She elaborates: “Based on the findings of the audit, we could make various recommendations to the Jambojet team. I think this was a very critical process because they handle so much personal passenger information. It is key for staff to ensure that the devices they are using to access sensitive data are properly secured. All of this is closely aligned with their security compliance needs.”
Everyone across the business uses Google Workspace’s backup and sync functionality to secure company data. So, even if an employee’s phone or computer is stolen or lost, everything is securely stored on Google Drive. “We actually have one server that backs up to Google Drive daily,” notes Mauncho.
As part of the IATA Operational Safety Audit programme, an internationally recognised evaluation system that assesses the operational management and control systems of an airline, Jambojet had to develop a reliable intranet to make it possible to share company information securely. They did so successfully using Google’s web page creation tool, Google Sites.
A workplace recipe for success
With an organisation of this size, securing licenses from software providers that charge per user would prove too expensive. And these vendors typically don’t offer companies the option to pick and choose only the solutions they need. Google Workspace gives Jambojet the flexibility to add and remove users without additional costs and they can tailor packages based on different user-profiles and preferences.
“Addressing the growing digital and work transformation needs of customers has become a critical business imperative for organisations in the African technology space,” says Gregory MacLennan, CEO Digicloud Africa. “Incentro Africa successfully helped Jambojet do just that, with the help of Google Cloud. Digicloud Africa is proud of its collaboration with Incentro Africa in assisting its customers with Google inspired digital transformation.”
Going forward, the Jambojet team intend to expand their use of the Google Workspace suite even further. One way they are doing so is by leveraging Google Currents for internal business communication. “We really value staff feedback and something like the Google Currents solution will make it simpler for employees to share their thoughts with management, which makes our business better.”
Akinyi believes that Google Workspace was the perfect solution for Jambojet because it offered the integration and visibility they needed to work securely and cost-effectively. “Jambojet has moved beyond using Workspace as a product. Today, they are using it as a solution to business problems and this has the potential to change how they do business.”
While Google Workspace licences are available online and every organisation can procure them directly, notes Dennis de Weerd, CEO Incentro Africa. “However, on its own, it is just a tool. Easy to use, yes. But learning how to configure and use them efficiently and securely is what really drives value in an organisation. It goes beyond technology and is about people and change. This is where Incentro came in. We are very proud to make that difference for Jambojet and our other customers.”
Most people have used Google products at some point in their lives, concludes Mauncho. When you bring the solutions that people are familiar with into the workplace, employees feel more comfortable using them. “When everyone is working in the same way, when everything is in the same place and when all the different systems and tools talk to each other it becomes so much easier for users to get their jobs done.”