Integrated Travel Booking and Management
Bamboo has had a long history in dealing with both the travel industry and also with the challenges of integrating applications with technology to rapidly deliver significant business solutions.
So when a major Chinese airline approached us with a requirement to provide a “onestop” online experience for both its travelling customers and for its sales agents, Bamboo was in a prime position to assist.
In the travel industry it is essential to be able to present and advise travelers on complete packages. In addition to selling airline seats, travelers may want to book hotels, rental cars, tours and even reserve restaurant tables. The commissions on these additional items increase the net value and the overall margin of the sale. In times when airline profits are under pressure this additional margin may make up the difference.
Unfortunately delivering such service to the traveler has proven to be rather difficult. There are multitudes of service channels, such as the internet, travel agencies, and call centers, each with their own unique interfaces. At the backend there are numerous internal systems which play a part in the booking, thereby increasing the complexity of the system.
All of these must then be able to communicate with the systems run by the various companies whose services they are trying to sell. Tour agencies, rental car companies, transfers, bus companies and ticketing agencies must all be able to accept bookings seamlessly.
The work goes beyond the bookings themselves. Payments must be made, commissions calculated and outstanding amounts reconciled.
AIRLINE EXTENDED THEIR BUSINESS REACH
A major Chinese airline was able to increase the “share of wallet” they made from their passengers by being able to sell an extended range of travel related products with an easy to use interface, operating through multiple sales channels. They were able to simultaneously improve service to their customers, improve their sales margins, increase customer loyalty and reduce their cost of sales.
Upgrade to First Class Desired
For this project to be a success, multiple disparate systems running on both their own computing infrastructure and that of their partners needed to be unified into a single sales engine. Extensions to the system would enable an enhancement to customer service by being able to handle booking changes, enquiries and other customer service issues.
This needed to be done while using as much of the current backend systems and infrastructure as possible. Extending the lifetime of the existing systems was an important consideration in choosing a vendor. Bamboo provided a solution known as “Application Enhancement Services” that extends the capabilities of existing software assets rather than the more costly approach of rewriting the solutions to meet new requirements.
Bamboo designed an integration architecture that enabled the multiple disparate systems to work together to provide the desired outcome. The presentation layer of the delivered application made heavy use of Web 2.0 technologies to provide a rich web application that behaved in a similar fashion to more traditional desktop clients. Frontend views were tailored for each of the various sales and service channels, each of whom had specific needs.
The finished system provides capability for many categories of products, flexible price setting strategy and marketing tools.
The end result? Increased sales, a “onestop shop” for passengers, improved flowthrough sales to the airline’s partners and a simplified sales and service system which led to a reduction in the overall cost of sales.
What they Say
“The delivered system greatly enhanced our ability to upsell complete travel packages to our clients”. The client was so pleased with our work that Bamboo has been called upon repeatedly to assist with other challenges.