AAR is an independent provider of aviation services to commercial and government customers worldwide. Incorporated in 1955 and today has revenues approximately $1.7 billion with more than 4,500 employees in 20 countries.
Digital Services is a small team of individuals at AAR who are tasked with business transformation for AAR’s offerings and services. Facing aggressive new markets and technology trends, Digital Services wanted to transform their Oracle Forms-based sales quoting application. With a plan to unlock their legacy systems, it was crucial to keep valuable business logic in legacy systems while enabling newer applications.
Increased Business Development
Drive Incremental Revenue
Create Modern Scalable Solutions
Digital Services began the journey by measuring current processes and systems. They needed fresh data on how their team collected customer demand and how efficiently sales employees were able respond to opportunities. AAR found a lengthy process slowed down both decisions and quotes. Direct feedback revealed that customers expected responses in minutes to a half-hour at most.
Slow response times were due to changes in sales processes outpacing updates to the supporting quote and sales systems. Since their legacy application was homegrown over a couple of decades, AAR employees were accustomed to a shorthand way of processing the application’s complicated workflow. Unfortunately, these workarounds led to a loss of data over the years. Ultimately, data is an important asset to AAR.
The challenge was to improve the efficiency, speed, and effectiveness of the quoting system with a project now known as Quote Accelerator.
The Digital Services Group at AAR knew they wanted a modern application and extreme performance. AAR chose PITSS to carve out a roadmap for Quote Accelerator. However, they wanted to accomplish this without changing the underlying data structures. Thereby they could preserve the existing IT investment.
This meant the large Oracle Forms legacy system, which serves many vital functions, would incur very little technical debt to interoperate with the new Quote Accelerator. PITSS architected the project to avoid radical changes to the underlying system, all while enabling the business’s objectives.
Between our knowledge of backend systems and past performance, PITSS’ experience and expertise put us ahead of the pack for this project.
PITSS […] has a great knowledge of our specific infrastructure. We are an Oracle shop and we’ve got an Oracle database with an Oracle forms application […] PITSS having that background knowledge enabled them to more quickly understand what we were facing.
The Digital Transformation Process
It was important to AAR to get a partner like PITSS involved early and often so that they could engage in a deep discovery process. AAR had ideas about how they wanted Quote Accelerator to move forward.
PITSS brought in a small team to listen, gain knowledge from stakeholders, and understand the specific, in-depth business processes. The discovery stage was important because it allowed all stakeholders to come back with ideas and put them on the table.
We used our experience to take those ideas and improve them using modern technologies. Fully understanding the business requirements led us to recommended an architectural approach for Quote Accelerator that would help AAR achieve their goals. This technical solution included a plan for fast, responsive, and modern user interface.
An Aviation Digital Transformation Success Story
One of the key goals for Quote Accelerator was to unlock AAR from their legacy Oracle application. PITSS helped do just that. They helped plan for a powerful API that delivers data quickly, securely, and can be exposed to more modern applications. This allows new digital investments to remain unaware of the underlying system, reducing duplicate work and leveraging legacy system investments.
After PITSS helped develop the roadmap for the API, AAR created a single-page application that focused on user experience. AAR employees can now process a quote in fewer clicks, page changes, and tab changes. All of this while also retaining crucial data that was previously lost in transit. Using this fast new interface, the AAR sales team moves on with their other day-to-day activities including more sales and quoting.
We’ve certainly looked at the relationship [with PITSS] as more of a partnership and a transfer of knowledge on both ends…I think we’ve become more effective working together as a result.
What’s Next for AAR and PITSS?
AAR has a long-term digital transformation roadmap. The ongoing collaboration between AAR and PITSS will improve efficiency, scalability, and revenue potential for the company over the next several years.
PITSS will continue to help improve AAR’s legacy Oracle applications and deliver the best user experiences possible to both employees and customers.