Manchester Airports Group takes wing with SAP

Expanding on its existing partnership with SAP, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has chosen RISE with SAP in collaboration with AWS as the first step on its digital transformation journey across a number of key areas, from finance to people.

Operating Manchester, London Stansted and East Midland airports, MAG collectively saw 60 million passengers fly through its airports in 2019 and employed more than 40,000 people on site. But the pandemic has had a devastating impact on international travel in the last couple of years, with passenger numbers at 1 percent of usual levels at its peak.

As MAG started to recover over recent months, it spotted an opportunity to partner with SAP as part of an initiative called ‘Project Build Back Smarter’ – a programme focused on total departmental transformation as well as the considerable assets under management.

Through the initiative, SAP worked closely with MAG to identify a roadmap to support its recovery. Key to this relationship was SAP understanding the challenges that MAG has been experiencing, including reduced staffing through continued furlough schemes. Despite these challenges, MAG went live on RISE in March this year – marking the organisation’s first step on the road to transformation with SAP over the next five years, with a view to moving to SAP S/4HANA cloud in the near future.

With its core cloud ERP platform now in place, MAG will also be looking to maximise its SAP Ariba and SAP SuccessFactors partnerships to help create best-in-class experiences for finance teams and across its employees.

Michiel Verhoeven, UK and Ireland managing director at SAP, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting Manchester Airports Group as it embarks on its journey towards full digital transformation. The tourism industry has been profoundly affected over the last couple of years, but as MAG becomes more agile, automated and insights-driven, it is putting itself in the best possible position to take off as global restrictions ease.”

Nicholas Woods, CIO at Manchester Airport Group, said: “Following a challenging period for the airport industry, we’re now seeing a resurgence in the number of people wanting to get away. As passenger numbers continue to increase, we need to be as agile as possible to deliver the best possible service for our customers and to respond to our colleagues’ needs in the workplace. Our SAP partnership allows us to do just that, initially shifting key functions to the cloud, with a view to completing a full digital transformation in the next few years.”