Etihad Airways transforms its Finance Operations by leveraging Microsoft AI capabilities


Etihad Airways has carried out a transformation of its Finance Operations through harnessing the power of Microsoft AI. The Finance and Digital, Technology and Innovation divisions worked with Microsoft to modernize their payment inspection process using cognitive services.

The move will ensure that the process of identifying fraudulent or incorrect payments to suppliers becomes more efficient, cutting down significantly on associated hours required every month, as well as identifying payments that would have otherwise been missed by the manual process.

“Etihad partners with leading technology companies such as Microsoft to employ innovative solutions to further advance the company’s status as a world-class airline,” said Bhavesh Shivshanker, Head of Financial Operations at Etihad Aviation Group. “This automation initiative is an important milestone for Etihad Finance, as we advance improved efficiency, increase cost optimization and enhance the overall finance operations of the company.”

The successful project is the result of a longstanding and successful partnership between Etihad Airways and Microsoft, which collaborate to solve pressing business challenges through the Etihad AI Academy Powered by Microsoft and the airline’s innovation lab.

Faced with the task of enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of supplier payment processing, Etihad Airways, Microsoft, and Microsoft Partner Predica worked together to map out the existing business challenge and manual business process. This led to the development of the current project which leverages cognitive service “Anomaly Detector” model which runs on Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform on Azure. The tool, launched in early January, allowed the Etihad finance team to identify and rectify anomalies in payments quickly and efficiently, and has already shown promising results.

“Our work with Etihad Airways is a source of great pride to Microsoft, as we demonstrate how democratizing our AI Technology can have a huge impact on our customers by enhancing their operational efficiencies and saving on their bottom-line,” said Naim Yazbeck, Regional Director, Enterprise and Partner Group (EPG), Microsoft UAE. “The outcome of this partnership resulted in improved control, accuracy and efficiency, which demonstrates how Microsoft can harness AI to empower every person and organization to achieve more.”

The results are testament to the impact that Microsoft AI can deliver, saving the Etihad finance team around 600 hours per year through automation. Furthermore, the process can now be run daily rather than quarterly, helping with more rapid identification of anomaly payments.

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