Thomas Cook has recently signed a business deal with IBM to start a new IT platform which can manage its huge travel operation. The project is a part of the Europe 100m Global program, a worldwide IT project by Thomas Cook aimed at creating a uniform production product across all brands of the company.
Thomas Cook use IBM software to refine their business dealings and allow for more flexible, more efficient, and more responsive approaches to the changing market demands. This new platform would enable travel packages to be priced individually and put together when the customer requests.
The software for this new system will be provided by IBM. Also, the company will take responsibility for integrating it with the current IT systems, such as TM1 solutions, of Thomas Cook through a layer of integration built with the IBM’s Websphere.
The new system will enable Thomas Cook to align their production procedures more closely to their customers’ booking behaviours. Also, they can respond more flexibly and quickly to their customers’ needs.”
Thomas Cook – the adventure to IT unity
To create a multi-channel and single reservation platform which might cover all travel agency network and operator brands across Europe, Thomas Cook also signs up IBM as their systems integrator on a multi-year IT project. IBM will use their Websphere middleware service to enhance the integration of diverse IT infrastructure, which is regarded as “anti-homogeneous” and includes mainframe systems at different locations across many Europe countries.
The core reservation system will be provided in a £20m deal. iTour – a browser-based system that uses Oracle and Java technology, was extensively trialled by Thomas Cook earlier. Over the next few years, they want to replace or integrate substantial their existing reservation systems with the iTour.
The main purpose of this IT project is to enhance efficiency and reduce costs by creating a future-proof and sustainable reservations system that can deal with constant changes in the booking habits of their customers. Thomas Cook is using too many systems for reservation, some of them were previously self-developed or acquired. The Globe program will allow the company to better support their business processes as well as cut down on application developments in the long run.
The multi-layered and flexible architecture of the iTour will enable new functions to be built in more easily because it wasn’t based on any specific kind of travel transaction. The existing systems are almost all based on the particular parts of their business. But a well-designed system of hotel procurement isn’t adapted easily to other tasks. All reservation systems will be connected to the similar back and front-offices, and the layer of integration should map all of these systems.