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JetBlue Airways and WestJet Airlines - Case Study Example

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In the essay “JetBlue Airways and WestJet Airlines” the researcher provides a case study from which it is clear that both JetBlue Airways Corporation and WestJet Airlines Limited approached software upgrade process entirely different ways…
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JetBlue Airways and WestJet Airlines
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JetBlue Airways and WestJet Airlines
From the case study, it is clear that both JetBlue Airways Corporation and WestJet Airlines Limited approached software upgrade process entirely different ways. The WestJet had taken several years for planning before it switched to a new reservation system. The company launched its software upgrade process in October 2009 after it had entered a lighter winter schedule and cancelled some flights. Although WestJet implemented the software upgrade in the off-season, the overnight transition process was not flawless because it involved a series of complex steps to process the data. The case study shows that the WestJet did not limit customer volume on the flights operating after the cutover. In addition, the company did not inform customers about its reservation system upgrade plans until the day of the switch. As a result, the WestJet website crashed repeatedly after the switch and the company call center was overwhelmed. Furthermore, long waits and booking difficulties caused the company to drop its customer loyalty scores.
Learning lessons from WestJet’s experience, the JetBlue approached the upgrade process in a more proactive way. In order to ensure the smooth flow of the transition, the company limited its schedule and sold only very low number of seats on the remaining flights. In addition, the company had taken a number of measures to deal with software upgrade problems effectively. Although WestJet faced some issues such as increase in call times and network errors in kiosks and ticket printers, the comprehensive transition approach assisted the company to execute the upgrade process better than WestJet.
2. What precautions did the organizations in the case take to prevent software upgrade problems? To what extent do you believe those precautions helped?
While analyzing the case of WestJet, it seems that the organization did not take any precaution to prevent software upgrade problems. Actually WestJet was not aware of the complex troubles associated with switching to a new reservation system, and this is the reason why the organization approached the software upgrade process so frivolously. In contrast, JetBlue had WestJet’s crashing website in mind when the company planned to upgrade its reservation system, and hence it took several precautions to complete the upgrade process successfully. First, the JetBlue developed a back-up website to deal with upgrade issues if any. The company used this back-up website twice for a few hours during the time of switch and thus it really helped the company smoothen its transition process. In addition, the firm hired 500 temporary call-center workers. This additional investment really benefited the company to direct the basic calls to temporary workers, and hence to assign its own staff to tackle more complex tasks. Evidently, these precautions assisted the organization to implement the software upgrade process without causing much trouble to customers.
3. SAP customers have the choice between upgrading to the most recent version of the application suite or integrating third-party products into their existing infrastructure. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative?
According to analyst Ray Wang, partner with Altimeter Group, “upgrading makes sense for R/3 customers who are still committed to SAP and want new functionality provided in the packs” (as cited in Real World Case 2). In other words, upgrading to the most recent version of the application suite is recommendable for customers who plan to continue the use of SAP. However, upgrading expenses may sometimes account for 50-85 percent of the initial implementation costs. It is clear that needs and specifications of SAP customers would be different. Therefore if customers believe that it is possible to integrate upgraded SAP features back to the software, they may integrate third-party products into their existing infrastructure to cut down expenses.
References
Real World Case 2. JetBlue Airways, WestJet Airlines, and others: The difficult path to software upgrades. Read More
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Terrific work done on the "JetBlue Airways and WestJet Airlines". I think it is the best example I have seen so far.

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