Q&A: Andrew Manington, information process manager, London Heathrow Airport

This week's EMC Momentum 2012 user conference saw the storage giant overhaul its enterprise content management system, Documentum. Here, London Heathrow Airport tells us why it is continuing to invest in the product.

On that note, what do you make of the enhancements EMC has introduced for Documentum at the event?

We're probably looking at another two and a half years before we upgrade again, but I can see Documentum xCP and D2 being big things for us.

The biggest pain for us [with Documentum] has always been the interface and D2 takes care of that.

I think the thing that does appeal to me going forward is xCP, which will take Documentum away from the user and what they see, so they might not even know they are using Documentum at all.

Cloud and big data have dominated discussions at this year's event. Are these areas of interest to your business?

Cloud certainly is. We deal a lot with third parties supplying construction information who need access to our IT infrastructure to load things in and out, which cloud makes easier.

I think there are some really great things we can do with cloud, although I'm a little sceptical about putting our entire environment in the cloud.

As for big data, I'm still trying to get my head around that. What is it? In engineering, I think there are some big things - in analysing information, cost of maintenance and the like - where it could be useful. It's early days, though.

What about mobile devices? How widely used are they within the business?

We're seriously looking at how we can run maintenance contracts through iPads or other tablet devices, because it will free up time for our technicians, because they won't have to keep travelling back to their offices to pick up their next [maintenance] job and can travel straight to the terminal that needs them.

I think mobile is the way forward for us, so we're not all stuck behind our desks. Although, in some instances in the construction world, they might be difficult to use [without damaging them], but there is definitely a place in our organisation for tablets and smartphones, I think.

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