The client's eCommerce platform is a Web-based agent booking portal that integrates all the travel information that agents need. This is done using the client's global distribution system installed on the agent desktop. This intelligent capability delivers relevant content within workflows and generates additional revenue and new merchant sales opportunities through interactive offers. It’s ideal for the clients ConnectedSM agents that are working in a flexible workflow environment either in an office or remotely.
About the client
Largest GDS product & services provider is a technology company that expertise in several industry verticals. Coforge has 18+ years of relationship with the client enabling co-creation of values. The relationship kick-off started in 2002 with Coforge as a development partner of the client.
The client had requirements to provide agents reliable and easy-to-use browser-based solutions that have the ability to intelligently integrate with other client travel network booking tools and deliver deeply localized content so the agent need not switch back between booking tools, travel content, and the Internet. The solution should provide access to everything an agent needs including the client's systems. Everything had to be accessible from the agent’s desktop that will deliver relevant content at the right time to enhance the sales process.
The project required the development of a web-based agent booking portal that will integrate all the travel information agents need. This site would also provide the same look and feel to the agent as they are used to getting while using proprietary client products (which agents install on their machine to connect with the client).
Coforge with its capabilities and experience in the travel domain and a client base of renowned names in airlines and distribution came up as an obvious choice for application design, development and maintenance.
Coforge’s relationship with the client's project team began in 2004 where software development team of Coforge, formerly NIIT Technologies, initiated work onsite with the client's team for the design, development, and implementation of the client's product (on TibcoPortalBuilder).
Key considerations for solution development
- Multilingual Support: Should be available in multiple languages to clients travel agents worldwide
- Automatic Client Updates: Automatic update of the client on a visit to client portal
- Customizable: Allows customization at the global, regional, and agent level
- Fully Functional: Should have all the features/functions of the legacy desktops (SFW, eVoya, SNP) it replaces
- Backward Compatibility: Support legacy TA sharing via client service. Clients product scribe runtime re-implemented in Java
- Single Sign-On: HTTPS based services
- Active Listening: Workflow context and data elements (such as city pairs, dates, air/car/hotel context, etc.) to be published to other client components. Agent entries and host responses to be parsed and interpreted
- API: To allow authorized third-party developers to integrate application written in any of the following languages – C, C++, Delphi, Java, etc.
- Sustainable Technology: Design of application and technology of this project to be relevant for the next 8-10 years.
- Robust Design: Application design to be robust and flexible such that the application can evolve to support the dynamic requirements of eCommerce. These changes need to be anticipated to the extent possible such that rework would not be necessary for the presentation layer.
- Integration: Should be able to integrate with other client systems and its web fares and other bookable content from Agent59, Last-Minute Deals, client Vacations, clients Virtually There, client's Travel Protection, and Today’s Low Fares
- Non-Functional Requirements: Should factor in scalability, reliability, availability, performance, security etc.
Coforge proposed an end-to-end architecture for the new system. This included defining architectural layers and components. Coforge also:
- Defined and implemented the solution for catering to all non-functional requirements including multilingual support for the UI
- Built the POC of architecturally significant use cases for the validation of proposed architecture
- Reviewed and validated the standards and guidelines for schema creation, C# ,and Java development.
- Used a mix of onsite and offshore mix of developers
- Actively adopted agile methodologies
Delivering more value
The Coforge solution helped the client in:
- Streamlining the booking process with fast and reliable technology that integrated content delivery.
- Boosting sales skills to access to relevant content at the right time.
- Increasing new revenue-generating opportunities through interactive offers.
- Making client surpass all other travel agency desktop solutions in the marketplace.
The Coforge solutions helped the client's customers in:
- Accessing the client's system and its complete content on 8 major U.S. carriers and over 350 global airlines. They also get advanced shopping and pricing tools that make it easy to find the best fare. And access to over 77,000 hotel properties, more than any other GDS.
- Booking high-commission leisure products through VacationStudio™; one-stop access to leading vacation suppliers, including TripTailor™ Vacations custom packages, Agent59® last-minute getaways, client Cruises, client Vacations, clients Travel Protection, and plenty of travel extras to round out customers’ itineraries.
- Using the client's system with Point and Click to increase productivity instead of typing formats which can be difficult to remember. It was also made available for air, fares, Passenger Name Records (PNR), queues, cars, hotels, calendars, pre-reserve seats and helps in quickly and effortlessly add Other Service Information (OSI), Special Service Request (SSR), meals, special assistance and frequent flyer miles. Or if preferred, use the client's system with formats.
- Seizing cross-sell opportunities with interactive offers generated by the transactions.
- Using pre-populated information to enhance sales consultations.
- Quickly accessing other helpful information, such as Agency eServices, travel alert messages, currency converter, destination details, Format FinderSM online help system graphical clients PromoSpotsSM, hotel maps and photos, weather, and more.
- Issuing and modifying tickets through the client’s graphical ticketing.
- Streamlining the booking process with integrated content right from your desktop
- Boosting sales skills with the right content delivered at the right time
- Reducing time spent on staff training.
- Reducing communication expenses and facilitating flexible remote access