MANAMA: Gulf Air's tech-driven transformation continues apace, with significant new efficiency enhancements for internal and external workers will serve as main pillar of the strategy.Bahrain's national carrier has enlisted global Application Delivery Networking leader F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) to optimize the availability, reliability and security of around 100 critical business applications, enabling employees to better connect, collaborate and innovate both within and outside the organization.The news follows Gulf Air's May announcement that its 2013 restructuring strategy has helped to deliver a 52% reduction in annual losses and the company's best financial performance in eight years.The partnership with F5 will entail Gulf Air consolidating existing systems and paving the way for future growth by deploying F5® BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM) to simplify, automate, and customize application delivery. It will also deploy F5's BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager® (APM), a flexible, high-performance access and security solution that provides unified global access to applications and the network.In addition to boosting overall operational efficiency and slashing total cost of ownership (TCO), F5's solutions will scale to handle Gulf Air's future growth trajectory, enabling the airline to tap into the benefits of emerging technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN)."Gulf Air is all about continuous improvement that not only meets today's challenges head on, and with minimal waste, but also anticipates the future. F5 gives us the freedom to evolve at pace and ensures that our service delivery is the best it can possibly be," Maher Salman Al Musallam, Acting CEO, Gulf Air, said."Gulf Air's transformation into one of the region's most technology-savvy companies is at the heart of our growth strategy. F5's solutions introduce a new and essential level of flexibility for our workers in a secure, efficient and eminently scalable manner. It also saves us a considerable amount on TCO by consolidating existing systems," Dr. Jassim Haji, Director of Information Technology, Gulf Air, added.Technology is at the forefront of Gulf Air's recent resurgence, which has been driven by a number of major cost-saving initiatives delivering 28% cost-savings year-on-year and a 14% passenger yield increase between 2012 and 2013. In March this year, it received IDC's Best Innovation Award for its open-source Big Data cloud solution featuring Arabic sentiment analysis – the fifth such accolade in less than a year.Gulf Air's cutting-edge credentials also include becoming the first private organization in Bahrain to introduce Private Cloud Computing and, in June this year, it became the first company in the region to achieve a hat-trick of ISO certifications for its IT operations to include Quality Management, Service Management and Information Security Management Systems."Gulf Air is a shining example in the Middle East of a company that has used IT in an innovative and cost-effective way to achieve extraordinary results," Diego Arrabal, VP, Southern Europe and Middle East at F5, said."F5 is proud to contribute to Gulf Air's ongoing success story, and put in place a future-proof platform that can scale and adapt to emerging technology and business initiatives."