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Virgin Atlantic Airways selects Smart421 as a partner to provide IT consultancy, development and support services

IT system transformation to improve services to VAA customers

IPSWICH, UK - 09 MARCH 2011 - Smart421 Limited, part of the KCOM Group (London Stock Exchange KCOM.L), announces today that it has entered a strategic partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited (VAA), to deliver a programme of IT services to transform VAA’s IT landscape, rationalising current shared services and developing additional services required to achieve the organisation’s long term strategic goals.

The programme of work will involve services for Virgin Atlantic’s reservation system and integration to Virgin Holidays’ business. It forms part of a significant investment in IT consultancy, design, development and support services for VAA’s service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform, with the objective of delivering service improvements that its customers will notice and appreciate.

VAA selected Smart421 as a partner due to its expertise and experience, recognising Smart421’s capability to drive this initiative and deliver successfully.

The programme is the initial phase of a multi-year engagement, and will deliver SOA governance and architecture, together with an associated set of key services across a number of business areas.

Beverley Sewell, Head of IT for Virgin Atlantic’s customer experience said, “Virgin Atlantic are pleased to be working with Smart421 to establish a SOA platform fit to deliver long term growth. Smart421 has shown a strong capability in this area and we’re looking forward to delivering some great services for the airline.”

Neil Miles, Managing Director at Smart421, said, “This programme will enable Virgin Atlantic to meet its strategic objectives, delivering significant costs savings and strengthen its position as a leading airline. The expertise, experience and agility offered by Smart421 meant that we were the right choice of partner for VAA.”

For more information, please contact:
Cathy Phillips, Director of Corporate Communications, KCOM Group PLC
+44 (0) 7778 335735 cathy.phillips@kcom.com

Joseph Spear, Marketing Manager, Smart421 +44 (0) 7912 578 910 jspear@smart421.com

Polly Durrant, Senior Press Officer, Virgin Atlantic +44 (0) 1293 747 373 polly.durrant@fly.virgin.com

About VAA

Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways has become Britain’s second largest carrier serving the world’s major cities. Now based at both London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, it operates long haul services to 30 destinations world-wide as far apart as Las Vegas, Sydney and Shanghai.

Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed huge popularity, winning top business, consumer and trade awards from around the world. The airline has pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service, which its competitors have subsequently sought to follow. Despite Virgin Atlantic’s growth, the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation.

Virgin Atlantic currently has a fleet of 38 aircraft which includes thirteen 747s and six A340-300s and nineteen A340-600s. Please visit www.virgin-atlantic.com/

About Smart421

Smart421 is an information and communications technology company specialising in systems integration and managed services of business-critical systems. It is best known for its work with FT UK 500 companies, especially among leading financial institutions, telcos and power utilities.

Smart421's agile business approach is solving business problems for companies more reliably than global sourcing and more cost effectively than many of the big names in IT consulting.

Smart421 has been delivering IT solutions to some of Europe’s largest organisations since 1989. The Company provides flexible, responsive and cost effective solutions that deliver business results from IT investment. Smart421 is part of the KCOM Group PLC (London Stock Exchange KCOM.L). Please visit www.smart421.com/