In June this year we took on an existing eTechlog and Electronic Flight Bag service for UK Airline Thomas Cook which had been developed by Optimised Systems and Solutions (OSyS). This was a much bigger deal for our newest employee Tony Reeves as he was transferred as part of the service. In his first blog for us Tony describes his experiences of transferring himself and his baby for the past five years to a new employer and service provider.
Transition of Service – Frightening or Eye Opening?
A Personal View from the Inside
In August of last year my previous employer made a strategic decision to exit the Electronic Flight Bag and Electronic Technical Log Market. The day to day support team affected was a small team that had been brought together for their particular skill sets over the previous seven years to develop and implement the first full fleet roll out of an Electronic Technical Log to UK airlines. In the weeks that followed the announcement a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions went through the team as it became evident they were going to have to relinquish parentage of their baby. Thoughts and emotions around transition crashed over the team in waves.
From the outset there was nervousness and anxiety about the transition process from within our Support and Development team. Why, Who, How and When were the initial questions asked. Who was going to take over the parentage of our baby? Then realisation hit the team…. What about us going forward? The first question WHY? was never fully satisfactorily answered but we were all assured there was still a future for us at the company, although this was a transition, this was not to be a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings – Protection of Employment Regulations 2006
). Meaning that we would not be obliged to transfer employment to the new supplier.
After the initial period of questions some answers started to appear, the target was for a six month seamless hiatus free transition for the customer Thomas Cook. From a Support team perspective the new provider selection process seemed to drag on until in the New Year (2012) the announcement was made. Conduce were eventually selected as the new service providers.
The Support team to a person were encouraged on meeting the guys from Conduce. It was evident from the start that here were people with a vision of where they wanted the EFB / ETL service to go, who had knowledge and understanding of not only Thomas Cook but also the larger aviation world and who could be proactive and react quickly to issues that were problematic and could see the development potential that the Support team had for years been trying to get our senior management to understand with continuing growing frustration.
From the outset it became obvious that the focused and enthusiastic Conduce team were the perfect foster parents to take on our support teams’ baby to enable it to grow, develop and hopefully achieve it`s true potential in the ever changing world of aviation.
In the Months leading up to T (Transition) Day the OSyS and Conduce teams worked closely and harmoniously together. From a personal point of view there was often a feeling of confusion, which way do I turn?
The major reason for this confusion was, a month out from Transition Day I was informed that I would be TUPE`d across to Conduce, although this thought never filled me with dread it confirmed to me that a large company in this case OSyS under the greater Rolls Royce umbrella often has little understanding of how to deal with an individual and the situation they find themselves in through no fault of their own, especially as in this case I was the only member of the support team to be TUPE’d – confused? I was especially as OSyS had suggested to me a couple of alternate roles to maintain my OSyS status.
T Day came and passed successfully without any disruption, this was essential to the Thomas Cook operation and was due totally to the professionalism, commitment and dedication of both the OSyS Transition and Conduce teams. In fact the true success is judged to have been that the users had no issues during transition in fact many were unaware of the change of service provider until they needed to contact the support team, also those doubters of whom there were a few had had the wind taken out of their sails.
In closing my view from the inside is that transition is certainly nothing to be afraid of and is often essential to move a service or product on to enable it to achieve its true potential. I feel confident that I will now see my baby grow develop and achieve its potential. My eyes have been opened and faith restored when I see how quickly things can be done with the commitment and vision of like-minded people who are willing to listen and have a real life view of where they want to be rather than a large corporate mission statement behind them with all the red tape that that often brings.