Re-positioning Aviation’s Largest Data Platform for Continued Success

To achieve its goal of transforming data usage across aviation, one of the world’s largest OEMs needed to reimagine how it could unify the industry.

The Challenge 

Airbus needed to break past perceptions that OEMs are biased and untrustworthy in order to push aviation forward into becoming an analytics-driven, forward-thinking industry that collaboratively leverages data for continual innovation. If successful in promoting its Skywise product as a neutral platform, Airbus could drive the revenue required to continue to support and expand the product and service offerings to the market. 
Airbus needed a third party to help understand and address perceptions about Skywise and provide a refreshed strategy for the broad commercialization of its products and services.


Skywise is an analytics-ready data platform created by Airbus to promote the aggregation and transformation of vast amounts of data across the aviation industry. Skywise was built to be a neutral platform for any and all companies - airlines and beyond - so that collaboration can easily occur. 

Airbus has been committed to Skywise for several years, partnering with outside companies and staffing internally to support the development and commercial activities required to bring the appropriate products and services to market. 
While the platform matured technically over the first few years and was validated with significant success on internal projects, overall progress started to plateau. The commercialization strategy wasn’t clear and misaligned perceptions about the platform existed both internally and externally. Airbus still passionately believed in the ability of Skywise to transform the aviation industry by harnessing the power of the data generated, but they needed a renewed perspective on how to drive it forward into the market.

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Elevate’s Approach

In the initial research phase, the goal was to create a comprehensive understanding of perceptions, both internal and external, and current and planned product and service offerings. The team conducted research to capture the Voice of the Employee, the Voice of the Market, and the Voice of the Customer. More than 30 interviews were conducted with Skywise management team members, uncovering pain points and opportunities from each person’s perspective. The team also explored customer feedback and analyzed market trends to capture an expansive external perspective. 

Additionally, Elevate was able to provide its own research, thanks to the team’s extensive background in data platform services, product development, and strategic commercialization within the industry. 

Following the initial research phase, Elevate hosted a design thinking workshop to test the three primary hypotheses that emerged from the research - without disclosing the concepts to the participants. The end goal was generating go-to-market strategies and revenue opportunities that the participants supported and felt invested in, paving the way for future adoption. By promoting team unification and creating a safe space where participants were free to think openly without fear of failure, the group was able to collaboratively develop and validate creative solutions, prioritize ideas, and ultimately accept or disprove concepts.  

At the end of the workshop, one clear recommendation emerged as the recommended plan for commercializing Skywise to the market. Additionally, the participants all reported gaining a newfound understanding and appreciation for their colleagues and the work they do, enabling future collaboration across the organization.

The Outcome

In the final phase of the project, the Elevate team presented the executive leadership team responsible for digital transformation with the recommended go-to-market strategy for commercializing Skywise. This solution had previously not been considered as the right approach for the organization, but the comprehensive research validated the proposal. 

Upon completion of the project, Airbus decided to move forward with the recommended go-to-market plan and continues to do so today.

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