Southwest Airlines Customer Story

Southwest Airlines Customer Story

Our goal is similar to that of VMware - to have the cloud seamless and transparent, so our customers, employees and IT team don't have to care about the technology underlying delivery of the service.

Bob Young, VP of Tech/CIO, Southwest Airlines

Reduced Provisioning Time

Southwest IT went from zero-to-40% globally virtualized in less than two years, reducing time to provision servers from six days to one hour.

Run Virtualized Business Critical Applications

SWA uses tools like GemFire to run critical applications such as Exchange, SAP, SQL Server and Southwest's online portal, which accounts for more than 80% of total business.

Added Social Media Channels

The highly virtualized environment also enabled Southwest to roll out their popular social media channels, which sees millions of visits per month.

How VMware Helped Southwest Airlines

When the VMware team arrived at SWA the dual challenges of infrastructure and application development, and how the two were intimately tied together required a complete redesign of the way IT built critical applications, such as southwest.com (one of the largest sites in the travel industry. Over 80% of Southwest's passenger revenues are booked via southwest.com, so all applications had to be delivered through an infrastructure that could easily scale the globe while maintaining their legendary customer service standards.

VMware was able to seamlessly integrate into Southwest's infrastructure. VMware provided performance and scale to expand the company's IT objectives of enhancing southwest.com, rolling out new employee tools, launching a new mobile platform and providing a quick transition of operations from the recently acquired AirTran Airways. Thanks to VMware's immediate response and turnaround from customer support, engineering and product teams, and Southwest's team, this was all accomplished without a glitch to Southwest's 39-straight years of profitability.

Southwest Airlines Fast Facts
INDUSTRY Airline, Travel
HEADQUARTERS Dallas, Texas
EMPLOYEES 37,000 worldwide (enterprise)
WEBSITE southwest.com
The Numbers
  • External customer - They serve 73 cities in 38 states, and fly more than 3,200 flights daily
  • Internal customers - 37,000 employees worldwide
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