Bell Integration helps International Airline Services (IAS) meet its end-of-life compliance and sustainability goals and demonstrate good governance.
Delivering a world-class service
For over 25 years, International Airline Services (IAS) has been serving airlines and travel management companies in 95 countries around the world and today operates three global expertise centres in London, Manila and Houston.
Established in 1994 by KLM Royal Dutch Airways as an airline sales and support company, in 2004 a merger with Air France fuelled further sustained market growth. A strategic operational partner to Air France, IAS oversees the IT requirements of their London based European Sales and Service Centre (ESSC), which handles thousands of customer enquiries each day – everything from requests for information, reservations and changes to bookings, to dealing with complaints, compensation claims and lost-luggage declarations.
Available on the phone – as well as via email, live chat and social media – the multi-lingual teams at ESSC serve customers 365 days a year in 11 languages. Under a joint venture agreement with Delta Airlines, the centre also supports European customers of the US airline.
The dynamic nature of today’s work and the industry sector within which it operates means that Fivos Averkiou, Group Information Technology Manager at IAS Ltd, needs to ensure the IT services he delivers are constantly aligned with rapidly evolving business goals.
In addition to ensuring that information security, applications and infrastructure services for all operational personnel are fit for purposes, he is also responsible for overseeing the group’s IT lifecycle management strategy.
“Over the years we’ve refined our process for handling moves and changes and workplace restructures. But when it comes to the decommissioning of end-of-life assets at scale, we need to ensure these are disposed of in the most efficient and compliant way possible. With ESG and sustainability regulations ramping up, that meant finding a risk-free way of minimising e-waste without compromising data security,” says Fivos Averkiou.
Simplifying EOL compliance
A major technology refresh programme had created a significant challenge for Fivos Averkiou, who needed to find a streamlined way of managing the disposal of some 300 laptops, as well as a number of servers and switches.
“Managing the odd item here and there isn’t a problem for our team. But handling the compliant and safe disposal of a large volume of IT assets requires considerable time, effort and know-how,” explains Fivos Averkiou, who in addition to his Group IT Manager role is also the group’s Compliance and Governance Manager.
When it came to divesting ourselves of these assets, mitigating environmental, reputational and security risk was a top priority. Which meant we needed to work with a reputable and fully accredited company that could ensure all data bearing media was appropriately erased in line with ISO 27001 and all data and privacy regulatory requirements. In addition, we needed to be certain they could apply an effective recycle/re-use procedure to recover parts wherever possible and minimise our contribution to landfill.”
To help navigate a way forward, Fivos Averkiou turned to Bell Integration. With over 25 years’ experience at helping firms achieve their environmental and sustainability goals, Bell Integration was well placed to advise on the best way to manage IT asset disposition in a cost-contained and secure way.
An award-winning IT recycling and disposal service
All it took was just one phone call to start the process rolling.
“Within minutes of running through the requirement, Bell Integration was able to take me through all the regulatory controls that would apply to specific items and tailor a solution that was fully compliant with waste directives and data sanitation rules. Ultimately, they found a way to take care of every aspect of the disposal and data destruction process at zero cost to me or my department. Any expenditure related to the asset disposal project would be offset through the resale of any parts of items that could be recovered – something again that Bell would handle on our behalf,” says Fivos Averkiou.
Having set a date, Bell Integration’s team of security cleared specialists arrived on-site to asset tag and scan all items marked for disposal. Generating a detailed asset register for Fivos Averkiou and his team.
“This significantly simplified a major task that would have demanded the time and resources we simply could not spare. Bell Integration worked under our supervision and created a secure chain of custody for all our end-of-life items,” explains Fivos Averkiou.
Having completed a full and accurate asset register, all items were securely transported to Bell’s AIDSA certified premises where they were assessed and data wiped. Parts and items that could be recovered for re-use and sale were segregated and the remaining items were shredded and disposed of in full compliance with WEEE directives.
“At the end of the process we received a full and detailed report on device, together data erasure certificates for all relevant assets. This meant we could demonstrate to auditors exactly what had happened to our EOL equipment and that the entire asset re-use, recycling and disposal process had been appropriately implemented,” continues Fivos Averkiou.
A cost contained solution
Working with Bell Integration has enabled IAS to proactively manage its end-of-life assets in a repeatable and streamlined way that eliminates any need for the IT team to have to dedicate time or resources to the task.
Providing the right people, processes and governance procedures that ensure IAS maintains a strong compliance, security and risk management posture, Bell Integration facilitated every aspect of the asset disposal process. Providing all relevant certificates of destruction (CODs) that could be attached to the asset records of disposed assets.
“The financial penalties for improper asset disposal are significant. Similarly, the risk of possible data exposure when divesting any previously operational asset is always significant – and it’s not just laptops and servers you need to think about. Copiers, scanners, mobile devices – everything has some form of memory that needs to be wiped,” says Fivos Averkiou.
Bell’s methodical approach ensured that the entire EOL process was handled swiftly and smoothly. From undertaking asset tagging and bar code scanning to create the initial asset register for disposed items through to undertaking all supporting retirement processes – included data wiping.
More importantly, Bell Integration applied smart thinking to optimise where assets could be recovered for resale. A move which meant the entire disposal process could be handled at zero cost to IAS.
“Bell Integration’s hard work enabled us to offset the cost of the entire process. From a resource and people perspective, aside from overseeing the initial asset tagging process we had zero touch involvement – which in turn released me and the team to focus our energies on more strategic tasks,” continues Fivos Averkiou.
Working with Bell enabled IAS to minimise its risk posture, reinforce security and unlock optimisation opportunities that meant the entire programme was managed in a cost-contained manner.
“We’re on a massive sustainability drive at the moment and IT is a key performance area that is under increasingly close scrutiny,” explains Fivos Averkiou.
“EOL procedures and the whole field of security and sustainability in relation to the retirement of assets has evolved rapidly over the past few years and Bell Integration are on top of every aspect of it from a regulatory and compliance perspective,” he continues.
“Very professional and with clear and well defined processes, they were able to provide me with detailed guidance on the most appropriate disposition procedures and managed our EOL assets securely and in the most environmentally responsible manner possible. Alongside certifications, they provides us with full end-to-end visibility of all disposition processes. Something that enables us to prove we have done everything that is required of us as a company.”
“When it comes to something as business critical and commercially sensitive as IT asset disposal, where a raft of complex laws and regulatory compliance rules now govern how IT equipment and data storage media must be sanitised, recycled and disposed, I needed to be certain I was working with a partner I can trust. I’m pleased to say, Bell Integration absolutely delivered on that front.”