Air Transport World

SITA at 50.

Still in the forefront of IT amid new strategies

Not surprisingly, SITA isn't sitting on its laurels. Even after 50 years it continues to set state-of-the-art standards, says its secretary-general, John 0. Watson. And it "never sleeps--local-language product support is available 24 hr. a day on a global basis.

While evolving along various avenues of commercial diversification and strategic re-evaluation, however, Watson says SITA remains true to its core concepts of cooperation and neutrality as a cooperative venture, offering cost-effective responses to the industry's ever-increasing communications demands.

"We are changing the way we do business as we renew focus on achieving the highest customer satisfaction levels in the industry and continue to expand aggressively into new markets while increasing penetration in traditional markets," he says. "We're becoming more of a systems integrator and network solution provider--it was a real breakthrough when Sabre outsourced its entire domestic network to SITA."

SITA's attraction for carriers, Watson declares, is that "on the network side we're not driven by trying to make a profit from the airlines, we're driven by trying to help them find the best possible solution." Additionally, "because the airlines created and own SITA, there's a sense of ownership by our customers. Their needs are changing and we must change with them. SITA's vision and strategy for the new millennium is a response to those demands, which are linked to the fundamental SITA concept of a community sharing information."

As SITA marks its golden anniversary, the leading provider and developer of integrated telecommunications and information systems is embarking on a business strategy that focuses on key areas in telecom, IT and Internet Protocol (IP) technology that its managers believe will play a major role in shaping the future of the air transport industry.

By its own reckoning, SITA controls about 80% of the international air transport IT/telecommunications-solutions market, but it still has to contend with serious competition from ARINC, the French company Resa, Videcom in the UK and others. …

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