Virgin Atlantic Airways Case Study

Virgin Atlantic believes in equipping its employees with the right tools to be able to deliver an exceptional customer experience. That is why the airline decided to move to a data solution, recognizing that it would enable employees to work together more effectively and efficiently towards the goal of customer service excellence, and why it turned to Cognizant Microsoft Business Group for expert guidance along the way.


Virgin Atlantic relies on its teams to create a unique “Virgin experience” for its passengers. Access to data is intended to generate the necessary business insights and forecasting to help employees improve the customer journey and ultimately contribute to business growth. However, within its existing environment, Virgin Atlantic could not confidently extract and use the data it needed. There was no central platform or governance. Data was either hidden in silos in different departments or within third-party products, making collaboration difficult. Employees were left with an overall distrust of the data and inability to use it strategically for forecasting and other business needs. Aiming to overcome these challenges, Virgin Atlantic established four key goals:

  1. Improve access to data
  2. Ensure verifiable data integrity
  3. Save time
  4. Improve team collaboration and processes.


The airline saw an opportunity to achieve its goals – and get ahead of its competitors – with a cloud-based solution. It started by selecting Microsoft Azure as its platform for the modernized system and New Signature as its partner due to Cognizant MBG’s experience as a cloud-first and cloud-only supplier. Virgin Atlantic brought on Cognizant Microsoft Business Group’s Professional Services team, who began with a review of Virgin Atlantic’s legacy system and source data, then conducted design and data modelling exercises to develop an interactive data model that could be used by both technical and non-technical Virgin Atlantic users. Cognizant MBG also plugged in numerous additional data sources and designed a system with automated regression testing ability to ensure high-quality analytical data output. Throughout the process, Virgin Atlantic was also able to tap into Cognizant Microsoft Business Group’s knowledge of Agile and Microsoft cloud solutions to expand its own technology team’s understanding and skills.


With the Cognizant MBG solution, Virgin Atlantic now has its first data platform in the cloud. The biggest benefit to date: employees are able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently because they have access to timely, flexible data reports that they can trust. The new cloud-based system merges information from across the company, enabling teams from different departments to work together from one set of concise and verifiable data. In addition, because the system is automated, analysts’ time can be spent on insights and analytics rather than on gathering data sets. Reports that previously took three to five days to generate are now done daily – and are generated automatically – and analysts can provide operations teams with the full funnel of data from a customer’s journey, from ticket purchase to arrival at their destination. “We’re truly happy with the quality and standard of service provided by Cognizant Microsoft Business Group,” says Tim Lum, Head of Data and Insights at Virgin Atlantic. “We’re now able to deliver long-term projects more time- and cost-efficiently, contribute to an exceptional customer experience, and grow the business at the pace we’re aspiring to.”

Next Steps

Cognizant MBG and Virgin Atlantic are continuing to work together on an ongoing basis. Says Mr. Lum: “We continue to enjoy working with Cognizant Microsoft Business Group because of the relationship that we’ve built up over this last year, and we really want to see this partnership grow and to deepen with Cognizant MBG in the future.”

Complete Case Study

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