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Stephen Driscoll Cooperation with Thomas Cook raises our market shares high

Mr. Stephen Driscoll, Managing Director of BlueSky Travel Systems speaks on TravelDailyNews about the major agreement with the Thomas Cook Group and gives details of the ‘hot’ deal.

TravelDailyNews: Major milestone for BlueSky Travel Systems. How is this going to affect your operations from now on?

Stephen Driscoll: We regard this contract as a major stamp of approval for both the design and functionality if iTour. The company will grow from 40 staff to 80 staff and we are doubling the size of the offices. It will further allow BlueSky to establish more effective infrastructures for our support services and development operations.

TDN: Why did Thomas Cook choose your solution? Who were the major competitors and what is their response?

S. D.: Thomas Cook chose our solution because of its ability to deliver outstanding performance which we proved using their benchmark. We also had a core set of existing functionality where we scored higher across the board than most of our competitors. Most importantly, the underlying design and architecture of the product allows it to provide support for the variety of business models across different geographies which Thomas Cook needed.

TDN: What are the basic parts of the agreement? Does the deal concern only the European reservation systems or will it include Thomas Cook’s worldwide network?

S. D.: The licence for itour is for Thomas Cook worldwide. The GLOBE project is for the European operations and the project will be delivered over a three year period. The itour system will replace 11 existing reservation systems throughout Europe in an effort to streamline existing processes and improve flexibility

TDN: The company is based in Manchester, UK. How will this agreement raise your company ‘shares’ in the international market?

S. D.: The profile of the company will be dramatically increased within the travel community, although we are already well known in the UK.

TDN: itour was the winning tool of this contract. How does this work and how will it facilitate Thomas Cook’s operations?

S. D.: Itour will be at the heart of all the reservation systems that it replaces throughout Europe. However, the flexible nature of product will allow implementation of traditional packaged solutions, component and dynamically packaged holidays. It will further facilitate local enhancements whilst retaining an underlying standard product.

TDN: What are the drawbacks of the existing reservation systems of Thomas Cook?

S. D.: The current systems lack flexibility. In particular they cannot meet the changing demands of the market place. Thomas Cook faces increasing competition from the likes of Travelocity and Expedia. Many of existing systems are old and are based on old technology. Thomas Cook wish to streamline a number of business processes and deliver greater flexibility and service to their customers.

TDN: What are the future plans of the company? Are we going to see other big contracts with major tour operators in the coming years?

S. D.: The itour product has already been sold to First Choice and to Mark Warner. We intend to continue marketing and selling itour to rest of the travel industry. We are hopeful that we will be able to secure other major contracts should any of the big tour operators elect to change systems.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.