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"We can build the best digital airport together"

Schiphol seeks to become the world's 'best digital airport'. User experiences from day-to-day practice will help further improve the latest IT systems. Joost de Boer talks about crowdsourced testing, or crowd testing. Standard procedure at Microsoft and Google. A new phenomenon at Schiphol.

Almost everything at Schiphol revolves around IT
'Schiphol has expressed the ambition to become the best digital airport in the world. A logical choice given that many people realise just how important IT is for an airport,' says Joost de Boer, test management team leader at Schiphol Group. 'Scanning, checking-in, flight information, baggage handling - nearly everything at Schiphol depends on IT. Getting that right translates into a huge service for passengers. That's why it's important to continuously test existing and new systems in terms of user-friendliness and functionalities. And by that I mean testing by actual users of the systems, including innovations such as face scanners, a new Schiphol app or a recently developed security procedure.'

Crowd testing
'With crowd testing, airport employees test our new systems in an organised fashion by actually using them. This allows us to make excellent predictions of both passenger and staff perceptions of quality. And improvement proposals mean you can positively influence the experience. As the testing department, we were previously always seeking verification of new systems. We focused on precision, where the key question was 'are we building the product right?'. Now we have added crowd testing to the process, where the key question is 'are we building the right product?'. That's a vital question to ask when you want to offer a smooth passenger journey with tailored digital travel advice. And by that I mean advice on the right parking space, passing through Customs quickly and without hassle or looking for a suitable catering establishment or the right shop.'

Sign up for the Schiphol Test Crowd
'The Schiphol Test Crowd is now a fact. Via the online Schiphol community platform SPOT, employees based at Schiphol and elsewhere can sign up very easily at www.spotschiphol.nl. It's great to note that 40 people have already signed up in a couple of weeks' time. That enthusiasm is fully down to the bond people feel with the airport. If you're proud of your working environment and of Schiphol, you're happy to help make it even better and more competitive. For others and for yourself. I am convinced we can build the best digital airport together!'

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