You may have read in the press that Sungard Availability Services has signed a ten year strategic partnership with global airline services and major logistics supplier John Menzies PLC for the provision of IT services.

The partnership will enable John Menzies to transform its current IT infrastructure by leveraging our global data centre, cloud infrastructure and network management capabilities, and extensive experience in delivering global managed IT solutions.

Building on its current IT infrastructure, John Menzies will use the IT environment as a foundation for further investment in innovative IT and business systems to create strategic differentiation and enhanced operational performance and customer experience. The company recognised this is vital in today's digital age, where customers expect instantaneous services, from flexible and convenient deliveries for online shopping, through to instant updates on travel information.

With daily deliveries to 45 per cent of the UK's retailers, customers at 144 airports worldwide, and a business that serves over 300 airlines, John Menzies deals with millions of transactions on a daily basis. Operating out of 31 countries and over 150 locations, it needed a partner that could not only ensure the robustness of its IT estate, but also provide a solid platform to scale up as required.

As part of the multi-million pound contract, we will take on responsibility for John Menzies' IT network and effect a full transformation of its services to cloud-based solutions. This will deliver the robust, agile and future-proofed IT services the firm needs to continue growing both its aviation and distribution services.

The first phase of the project has already begun with the successful migration of the recovery services for Menzies' SAP environment into our main UK data centre. Subsequent phases will include data centre consolidation, enterprise managed services and network managed services – all underpinned by a cloud enablement strategy.

Steve Rick, Senior Vice President of John Menzies, commented:

"This strategic partnership represents a significant step forward for Menzies, and provides a new platform for further development and innovation. The excellent scalability of Sungard AS' IT solutions provides us with a cost effective way to scale up to meet our business demands, and the consultancy we receive provides a high return on investment. We are confident that this joint programme will support our continued focus on improving our customers' experience, and we are delighted to work with a global partner with an excellent track record for IT excellence and strategy."

Keith Tilley, EVP Global Sales and Customer Services Management for Sungard AS added:

"Sungard Availability Services has built its success on delivering strong strategic partnerships with forward-thinking organisations like Menzies. We're delighted to have the opportunity to work so closely with Menzies to build a model and methodology that will not just deliver, but truly power the mission critical IT systems that support their global customers' needs."

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