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Schiphol Group: IT Service Desk and Office Automation Systems

"At last, I can truly say we are an organization with a modern IT environment. IT supports the flexibility that we need for our business"

Kees Jans CIO, Schiphol Group

The customer

The Schiphol Group is an airport operator and developer of ‘Airport Cities’. In the Netherlands, the Group operates four airports: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Lelystad Airport and Eindhoven Airport. As well as being a rail, air and road hub, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is also an ‘Airport City’. The airport is equipped with all of the facilities you would find in a modern city, making it pleasant for people to spend time there.

The Schiphol Group aims to be one of the world’s leading airport companies, creating sustainable value for its stakeholders, with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol being seen as Europe’s preferred airport. The ambition of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is that more and more people should make a conscious decision to travel via Schiphol. It wants the airport to be more than just a random intermediate stop, but a conscious choice on the part of the traveller. This will also benefit the airlines and the businesses operating in the airport.

Schiphol Group is organized and operated as a commercial company with entrepreneurial management and a social function. This type of management is required in order to continue to operate successfully in the competitive aviation industry. A healthy and socially responsible management structure also enables the company to attract and retain talented employees.

The challenge

Since 2005, Fujitsu has been delivering IT services to the Schiphol Group for its Amsterdam Airport Schiphol site in the form of workstation management, helpdesk support and IT procurement (including IMAC service). In 2008, the Schiphol Group extended its contract with Fujitsu and in early 2012, the contract for the management of office automation and the IT Service Desk expired, at which time the Schiphol Group organized a European tender.

Around the same time that the contract with Fujitsu came to an end, the Schiphol Group was actively involved in implementing its ambition to become and to remain a good employer. Kees Jans, Schiphol Group CIO says: “We want to offer our current and future employees the IT capabilities of today, while retaining the same infrastructure.” This led the Schiphol Group to take a new look at both its conditions of employment and its IT environment. Part of the tender was therefore for a fresh approach to IT resulting in an upgrade of the IT environment.

Elements of the new IT approach for the Schiphol Group included:

  • Employees must be able to work from home with the same accessibility as at the office
  • Flexibility should be increased so that employees can also work while on the move
  • Employees should be able to bring digital documents to meetings

“We looked for a supplier who could think along the same lines as us, advise us and then offer us the right solution,” explained Kees Jans. ”In addition, the IT supplier also had to be a good fit with the ideas and brand values of the Schiphol Group. The tendering process once again revealed Fujitsu to be the right partner for the Schiphol Group.”

The main reason that Fujitsu emerged on top in this tender was the clear process it could offer for the delivery of services and its demonstrable experience with the IT Service Desk. The cost aspect was also an element in the decision.

The main reason that Fujitsu emerged on top in this tender was the clear process it could offer for the delivery of services and its demonstrable experience with the IT Service Desk. The cost aspect was also an element in the decision.

Kees Jans describes the outsourcing of IT services: “The Schiphol ICT organization acts as a focal point, directing all the IT services. For systems and services that do not specifically relate to airport processes, such as HR, finance, office automation and the IT Service Desk, Schiphol engages external parties with proven expertise. The IT organization ensures that these services are provided in an effective and efficient manner. When selecting a partner for the provision of office automation and IT Service Desk services, the Schiphol brand values of efficiency and reliability played an important role.”

The solution

Fujitsu were contracted to manage the entire back office and front desk 24x7, as well as the virtualization of workstations in line with the ‘New Way of Working’.

Together with the Schiphol Group, Fujitsu rose to the challenge. A modern working environment for current and future members of staff at Schiphol was achieved. Fujitsu proved to be the ideal partner for the introduction of the ‘New Way of Working’. Kees Jans says: “What is the best way to introduce the right elements of the ‘New Way of Working’ and to make sure they are successful?” That was the key question on the minds of both partners during the preparatory stage. Fujitsu’s experiences with other customers were considered, technical restrictions were discussed and decisions were taken jointly. It was all about using teamwork to achieve the best result.

The next step was the start of the migration process. The old environment (Novell) was phased out. A major success of the migration was the setting up of a hybrid environment with various technologies such as VDI and SBC, with a clear management concept. With a lead time of two years, the partners succeeded in replacing the legacy environment with the current up-to-date environment. “The ‘New Way of Working’ suddenly seems quite normal!” says Kees Jans with justifiable pride.

The Fujitsu IT Service Desk is located both on site at Schiphol and at the Fujitsu office in Maarssen. The IT Service Desk dovetails perfectly with the Schiphol system for recording incidents and orders. “In addition, Fujitsu needs to support a hybrid environment. This was an important precondition, and it is also working out very well in practice,” says Jans.

Kees Jans describes the preparatory and migration processes:
“We found both processes to be very pleasant, thanks to our teamwork with Fujitsu. They expressed a desire to be very closely involved. Right up to board level, Fujitsu showed a ‘willingness to solve problems’. As the customer, that gave us a huge amount of confidence.”

The benefit

At the start of the project, performance objectives were drawn up, which applied to both parties. If either party fails to meet the performance objectives, this has consequences. This ensures that there is clarity during the entire process.

Kees Jans says that the whole project proved to be more complex than originally thought. There were a few pitfalls caused by migrating from a very outdated environment to the ‘New Way of Working’. There was also occasional grumbling from employees during the transition process. Ultimately, however, the vast majority of staff are happy with the new IT environment. Many employees feel they now have more flexibility and are excited about the possibilities for working from home or while on the move.

In short: the office automation environment at Schiphol has now been virtualized and the ability to work independently of location has also become a reality.

At present, the concept of “Bring Your Own Device” is being fully rolled out, which will give employees the opportunity to use their own tablet or notebook for business purposes. This will be completed by early 2013.

“Working with flexible workplaces also means that employees have daily contact with more colleagues than before. The solution is also cost-effective with respect to office space. Thanks to the flexible workplaces, we need less office space.”

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see


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