British Airports Authority pilots Windows 7

BAA has piloted the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, ahead of its UK release this Thursday.

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BAA has piloted Microsoft’sWindows 7 operating system.

The airport operator - which is selling Gatwick airport to investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.5 billion, after the regulator raised competition concerns - said 50 users tested the beta version of the system, mainly in its procurement and legal operations.

Philip Langsdale, chief information officer at BAA, told Computerworld UK at a Microsoft UK customer event earlier this month that expected “around 200 users will move to the system in the next 12 to 15 months”. He hoped that the system would help “reduce cost and complexity, increase productivity, simplify security and streamline PC management”.

He said there would be a phased introduction of the system to other parts of the business, mainly as hardware is refreshed. Separately, BAA, which has 12,000 staff, is implementing the new version of Microsoft Windows Server – Release 2.

The company has an ongoing £600 million IT overhaul plan in place, under which it will make a number of major system changes. BAA wants to simplify technology and cut operating expenses by £114 million annually.

It plans to implement a new enterprise resource planning system, for which BAA is now assessing suppliers.

It currently runs a legacy Oracle-based system, but has made “over 500 changes” to tailor it over recent years, and is considering multiple off the shelf suppliers, including Oracle again, Langsdale said.

It will also introduce a system to provide a real time view of its processes and resources at London’s Heathrow airport, as well as renewing its human resource management, procurement, finance and commercial systems.

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