We link legacy systems with digital innovation in a simple way

Interview with Janet Richards, co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Ink.

We link legacy systems with digital innovation in a simple way
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Sleek v2.0 public release is here

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What has changed in our latest release?

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All new features available for all public channel users

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Coding collaboration with over 200 users at once

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How was Ink Innovation born, and how has it evolved during this time?

Aviation is something we fell into. Initially, we developed various systems for Menzies Aviation, an international ground-handling company, including cargo booking and tracking systems. Their request for a check-in system that matched the cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and efficiency of paper led us to adopt a forward-thinking web-centric strategy. This approach was innovative at the time and set the stage for our expansion into airport solutions. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we explored new directions, such as health-related bookings integrated into the check-in process, as well as expansions into logistics and rail systems.

You are a clear example of leveraging technology to deliver innovative solutions. How do you leverage this idea to the fullest within your business?

At Ink, we excel in bridging the gap between legacy systems and digital innovation, providing businesses with cutting-edge alternatives. Our mission is to enable companies to build connected journeys, enhancing the overall travel experience. Through this, we strive to redefine the landscape of travel technology.

Is the Spanish market a reference for tourism in the travel sector? How has your service been implemented in our country?

Our focus has always been on global expansion, although we have been headquartered in Alicante since 2011. We currently serve approximately 200 companies, including airlines, airports, and rail, operating across various locations, including Spain. 

In Spain today, we provide support to a few regional airports. And with recent news of a ban on short-haul flights, we believe our expertise and solutions for passenger processing may be used more efficiently in the Spanish transport network.

Ink has created an advanced departure control system (DCS) hosted in the Cloud, capable of running on a wide range of devices. Is it one of your differentiating tools?

Departure Control System was one of our first products designed to go beyond paper-based processes in the aviation industry. Since then, we’ve developed a range of Web-based, cloud-integrated systems. Today, our ecosystem includes biometrics, mobile and cloud systems, and self-service devices for check-in and bag drop processes. These connect within an ecosystem to handle airport ground handling operational tasks and improve financial performance. Still, DCS is one of the major products we are currently evolving to meet the demands of airlines.

The company was a pioneer in betting on mobile passenger management. What is this system based on, and how has it changed the panorama in the sector?

The mobile passenger processing application was introduced to alleviate long queues during check-in. By converting idle time into productive interactions, we've increased passenger processing volume and reduced boarding time per passenger. This innovation not only streamlines operations but also opens opportunities for airlines to offer personalised services, thereby boosting revenue. 

Extending beyond airports, we partnered with Jet2 to extend this mobile convenience to hotel check-ins and remote baggage services, allowing passengers to breeze through their departure day sans baggage worries. This pivot wasn't just a logistical win; it redefined passenger engagement and set a new industry benchmark for customer service and operational flexibility.

Ink Cloud is designed to connect to a wide range of systems. How do you manage these integrations?

All of our software is cloud-based and hosted on AWS. We are integrated with all major passenger service and aviation systems.

What are the main challenges facing the industry, and what challenges does the company face in the future? 

The industry faces the dual challenges of keeping pace with technological advancements and integrating these with legacy systems to deliver connected travel experience.

For Ink, the challenge lies in designing an ecosystem that not only simplifies flight check-in but also weaves hotel accommodations and leisure activities into a single, connected journey. Our vision extends beyond flights to a holistic travel experience.

The original story was published in Spanish by GD Empresa.

About the Author

Janet is the Chief Commercial Officer of Ink Innovation. She co-founded Ink, led business development and has negotiated contracts with some of the company's earliest customers to multi-million euro deals.

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