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Published by Amit Shrivastava

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Published by: Amit Shrivastava on Aug 18, 2011
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The Computer Reservation System (CRS) has virtually revolutionised the travel business and given a concrete, palpable definition to globalisation. Shorn of fancy verbiage, this admittedly cutting-edge technology system is simply used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to travel. Originally designed and operated by airlines, the tool was later extended to travel agents as a sales channel. Major CRS operations that book and sell tickets for multiple airlines are known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS). In the rapidly changing market scenario, airlines have divested most of their direct holdings to dedicated GDS companies and many systems are now accessible to consumers through the internet gateways of hotels, rental cars and airlines as well as other travelrelated services. The spectacular global growth of online bookings is relevant. It grew from 0.01% in 2000 to 14% in the first half of 2006. Projections suggest that by 2010 this figure could jump to an extraordinary 40%. The hospitality industry estimates that currently nearly half of all their bookings are made online (Source: internal data). The GDS allows over 90,270 travel agency locations and over 29,660 airline sales offices around the world to make reservations on 490 airlines. This represents over 95% of seats on the world's scheduled airlines, 75,280 hotel properties, 22 car rental companies as well as numerous other travel provider groups. Perched on top of this is Amadeus. The brand has a presence in 217 countries across the world – that’s more than the number of countries in the United Nations – and a market share of 31%. Today’s world market poses significant challenges. The GDS system architecture is largely based on a mainframe transaction processing facility which, while reliable and capable of tremendous workload, has relatively little central processing unit power and can be expensive to maintain and enhance. The declining cost of modern server hardware and the introduction of pricing, shopping and booking software have allowed many airlines to shift significant buying volumes to their own websites. In recent years GDS companies have, to varying degree, begun selectively migrating or ‘offloading’ processes from their legacy mainframe platforms to service oriented architectures (SOA). By utilising a highperformance, low-cost open system platforms approach they have further improved their capacity to cost-effectively handle a fast-rising ‘look-to-book’ ratio – or the number of shopping visits compared to actual purchases. The explosive growth of this ratio was driven initially by the creation

and utilisation of robotic software and, more recently, by the rapid growth of consumers' proven multi-site shopping behaviour on the internet. Notwithstanding market vicissitudes, Amadeus’s Indian operations have flourished. Amadeus India has strategically expanded its network to cover 40 offices, including an office each in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Amadeus with a market share of over 50% (Source: MIDT – Market Intelligence Data Tapes) is by far the preferred GDS in India. Today, in excess of 9052 agencies are online, with over 28,676 terminal installations in more than 172 cities.

1800-111-200. The company has also been the recipient of numerous awards, most important among them the Electronic Software Promotion Council of India (ESPC) award presented by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in 1999. It has also received the PATA Grand Award for Education and Training in 2001 and the PATA Gold Award for Marketing Excellence in 2003. Amadeus India has been recertified with the prestigious ISO 9001:2000 qualification. As a well-recognised brand in the travel industry, the company has created significant brand loyalty, with many of its customers – top Indian and global travel brands – switching to Amadeus as sole system users. In 2006, Amadeus won twelve awards, including the Interactive Marketing and Advertising Award and, for the third year in a row, the World Travel Award as the World’s Leading Internet Booking Engine Technology Provider. Globally, Amadeus celebrated its twentieth birthday in 2007. Its ‘20/20 campaign’ focuses on two decades of unparalleled success but with its sights set firmly on the future. It envisages its role as supporting the world’s largest industry with a clear strategy for investment and at bolstering travel technology.

Founded in 1987, Amadeus IT Group SA became fully operational in 1992. The company was first introduced in India in April 1994 with the formation of Amadeus India Private Limited. The company had sole distribution rights for the Amadeus GDS in the subcontinent. Amadeus India Private Limited is wholly owned by the Bird Group, one of India’s largest and fastest growing travel conglomerates. With businesses as diverse as pioneering back-office processing to being the representative for many of the world’s leading airlines; from managing the backbone of the technological framework for airline IT and distribution to managing crucial relationships of international service providers, the Bird Group has ensured that a comprehensive portfolio of service offerings has been created to add value to an extensive client base and new potential customers. In recent months, the Group has taken several steps to increase its value offerings while broadening business horizons with new ventures. Today, its core business includes travel technology, comprehensive airline representation and management, hospitality, aviation services and ground handling, education and training, business consultancy and luxury retail. Together, the various

The accomplishments of Amadeus India include creation of the subcontinent’s first CRS. It has also been the first CRS in the subcontinent to introduce a customer support, toll-free number

team spirit. in which customers state the price they are willing to pay was created in 1998 by Priceline in North America where it is now widely credited with turning the traditional shopping paradigm upside down and revolutionising online commerce. Mangalore. Jalandhar. It provides unbeatable. Kochi. Trichy.brand. Even as the industry imbibes this information. call-centre and inventory and departure control. By enabling secure information sharing between carriers. tailored to meet every client’s needs. In addition. This e-commerce business model. ease of use. and the Service Solution for post-sales activities.000 properties worldwide. With partners of the calibre of ITA.000 travel agency terminals connect to Amadeus globally The Amadeus Data Processing Centre in Erding. partnership and excellence are integral to the SUPERBRANDS 13 . the help desk staff makes courtesy calls on travel agents. Bangalore. These consist of the Merchandise Solution for pre-sales faring and shopping. Kolkata.amadeus. www. sell and manage travel. Colombo. Amadeus will have evolved to the next level of technology and will be ready when tomorrow’s traveller emerges. designed exclusively for low-cost carriers. SAP. Germany. Such is the commitment of this company that when tomorrow dawns Amadeus will have preceded it. keeping in mind the specific needs of travel agents in the Indian subcontinent. Since October 2006. go through periodic refresher courses that focus on both. Jaipur. THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT Recent Developments The introduction of AeTM – a browserbased self-booking tool – has come as a boon for corporations who want to ensure that reservations comply with their travel policies. as well as Hutchison Priceline’s ambitious expansion plans. too. Amadeus also provides the technology back-end to support India’s newest travel retail phenomenon – online travel agencies. This is part of the company’s policy of building and maintaining customer relationships. comprises specific solutions relating to sales. around-the-year. Brand Values Amadeus as a brand is identified with consistent service levels and performance standards. In an effort to reach out to prospective customers. substantial savings on airline tickets and hotel rooms to consumers in Asia. Ericsson. Amadeus will allow Hutchison Priceline to access its comprehensive air and hotel content to support its operations in the current markets of Hong Kong. The core values of leadership. Mumbai. thirteen of the twenty-one Star Alliance airlines and three of the ten Sky Team airlines. Ahmedabad. has multiple redundancies and is configured to provide around-the-clock. data and passenger security and unrivalled support. Through the CRS. The report aims at advising the airline industry on potential demographics and psychographics of the traveller of tomorrow. The browser offers advantages that include cost reduction. Vadodara. efficiency and end-user appeal of an airline’s entire e-commerce cycle. companies within these verticals generate direct revenue in excess of Rs. Indore. The powerful Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite’s three solutions integrate seamlessly to improve profitability. Calicut. the Amadeus helpdesks receive an average two calls every second The trainers.in Product The company has indigenously developed new products. Coimbatore. thereby winning satisfied customers. Amadeus has added 5000 hotels to its distribution system providing travel agents with access to a total of 75. Amadeus engaged The Henley Centre Headlight Vision to utilise primary and secondary research data to project the future traveller. The company has state-of-the-art facilities in New Delhi. In its first panregional agreement with an Asian online travel agency. This IT platform. Pune. Chandigarh. the organisation provides key support to the global trend of carrier alliances. 400 crore (US$ 100 million). failsafe availability The average age of an Amadeus employee in India is 29 years Amadeus India is the only Computer Reservation System to feature in the Limca Book of Records Around-the-clock. Amadeus has developed e-commerce solutions that impact on how people and companies buy. In 2007. Guwahati. hotels and car rental companies across the world. Amadeus has also strengthened its position in the low-cost carrier market by signing up with Air Deccan. Kathmandu and Dhaka. Agra. With its trademark friendly-and-open style. Promotion In order to stay true to its slogan – Your Technology Partner – Amadeus ensures that comprehensive training is regularly imparted to all travel agents and providers who are connected to the Amadeus Central System. travel agents can instantly confirm reservations on a host of airlines. market leading control. Hyderabad. cost-effective solutions. Thiruvananthapuram. Amadeus provides the capacity for common shared access to flight reservations and frequent flyer information to nearly 153 airlines on the Amadeus Altéa Reservation system. the company eliminates the complexity of technology and focuses on user-friendly products that easily integrate with a clients’ existing system. Current Amadeus Altéa Reservation customers includes seven of the eleven Oneworld airlines. the Retail Solution for the best-in-class bookings for airlines. Asian online travel agency Hutchison Priceline operates the unique Name Your Own Price™ reverse auction travel service that offers Amadeus The world’s first ticket to be issued in the 21st century was from an Amadeus CRS in India Every second air passenger in India is booked through an Amadeus Central System More than 155. product knowledge and training techniques. web. Kanpur. BroadVision. Lucknow. Chennai. Singapore and Taiwan. Varanasi. In this way Amadeus ensures that travel agents in India are fully enabled. Goa. Lotus and Fourth Dimension Software.

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