An interview with Simone Tiberti, Head of Infrastructure in South Europe, Middle East and Africa, KONE. By Ross Falconer
KONE is People Flow Partner at this year’s ACI Airport Exchange. It is also participating in the Airport Development & Sustainability Conference at the event, presenting a joint case study alongside Oman Airports on the people flow solutions implemented at Muscat International Airport.
“For the New Muscat International we had an extremely good collaboration with OAMC, for the early phases of defining the solution, but especially during the critical times of delivering and installing our solutions at the site,” explains Simone Tiberti, Head of Infrastructure in South Europe, Middle East and Africa, KONE. “As Airport Exchange is an event where success stories are celebrated and shared, we will, together with OAMC present some of the key factors which made our collaboration smooth and efficient.”
KONE invests a considerable amount of resources into continuously improving and adapting its processes to meet those of its clients. By doing so, the company believes it can truly leverage on value-driven project management.
“Project management is not just making sure we can deliver by respecting the triple constraint – scope, time and cost – and ensuring top-notch quality is also no longer enough to help our customers succeed in their business,” says Tiberti. “Today, on top of delivering on our promises, we must strive to make it an exceptional journey throughout the entire life-time of the project.”
After handing over the equipment, KONE is still in collaboration with Oman Airports. “There might be areas where we can improve, which you only realise once the airport is in action,” Tiberti adds. “This is what we coach our Project Managers to improve day after day. They all are trained and certified through a rigorous certification programme, which is verified by the International Institute of Learning. It’s not just about project managers, it’s how they can operate within the entire organisation, with senior sponsors to lead them, project management offices to support them, having latest tools and technologies at their disposal, and feeling a true sense of trust in what they do to point their teams towards our customers’ targets.”
He emphasises the importance of early engagement and collaboration to define how the latest technologies can support their overall vision for the project.
“Understanding and presenting the full life-cycle impact of our choices definitely helps our customers sharpen their business plans, and it provides them with the right confidence to move ahead in the project development,” says Tiberti. “Nurturing a working environment based on transparency and trust is the most efficient way to together overcome problems later on. It’s well-known how flawless people flow is an essential element of a successfully-functioning airport, but today this is no longer enough. Offering a superior passenger experience is a clear differentiating factor that can determine whether or not an airport is able to generate profitable growth. It encompasses all the touchpoints any passenger can go through during their journey and a single fail can compromise the overall perception, whether that is too long at security control, unclear signage, poor connectivity, or an escalator’s downtime.”
Full life-cycle approach
We live in a digitised world, and it is vital to ensure that any product or service is future-proofed. “Connecting our equipment to the IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform opens up a world of possibilities – from utilising AI to considerably improve reliability and availability by proactively fixing minor issues before they turn into problems (KONE 24/7), to integrating elevators and escalators to other services, such as robots, augmented reality, and many more,” Tiberti explains. “This is exactly what we do at KONE. The full life-cycle approach to projects is the only solid and safe approach to guarantee value to our clients for the years to come. We design our products to be future-proof, so that if you buy an elevator today, you don’t need to worry about not being able to integrate an App that is going to be available two years later. And you can keep updating more and more.”