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To understand Internet Booking Engines and its working and steps involved in proposal preparation
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements For the award of the degree of
Master of Business Administration in Software Enterprise Management
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Noida
Affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Kashmere Gate, Delhi – 110006
This is to certify that Thesis/Report entitled ―To understand Internet Booking Engines and its working and steps involved in proposal preparation‖ which is submitted by me in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of degree MBA-(Software Enterprise Management), to GGSIP University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi comprises only my original work and due acknowledgement has been made in the text to all other material used.
: _____________________ Signature of the Student
An application, which enables booking services for Air, Hotels and Cars by providing a web based platform for integration with third party services to be integrated with it, according to vendor requirements, may be termed as an Internet Booking Engine (IBE). The framework of such an engine should allow the ability to change in dynamic environments at a short notice, focusing on quick customization and reconfiguration thus ensuring ability to build user interfaces using any commercially available application server. The framework of such an engine should allow the ability to change in dynamic environments at a short notice, focusing on quick customization and reconfiguration thus ensuring ability to build user interfaces using any commercially available application server. A Business Proposal is a sales document offered by a seller to a prospective buyer. It is a key step in sales process. It is a medium used by an organization to display its Financial strength, Technical capability and overall Management skills. A business proposal is divided in sections to bring clarity and a professional approach to the document. Each section is carefully planned and relevant details are added to it. 4
I would like to express my profound sense of gratitude to Mr Amit Kumar Gupta, my faculty guide, who has always given me motivational boost to go and perform. I would further like to thank him for his persistence to listen to my problems and to give solution to the problems encountered during the project work.
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Chapter – 1: Introduction
1.1 The Travel Industry 1.1.1 Travel Industry Forms of Travel 1.1.2 Facts about Tourism Industry 1.2 Online Travel Market
2 2 3 4
1.2.1 Major Components of Online Travel Market 1.2.2 Online Travel Industry Supply Chain 1.3 Purpose of Study 1.4 Objective 1.5 Scope of Work
5 6 7 7 7
Chapter – 2: Study Methodology
2.1 Data Collection 2.1.1 Study Outline
Chapter – 3 : Business Function
3.1 Internet Booking Engine 3.1.1 How it works 3.1.2 Architecture of an IBE 126.96.36.199 IBE Users 188.8.131.52 IBE GUI 184.108.40.206 IBE API 220.127.116.11 IBE Modules 18.104.22.168 Database 22.214.171.124 IBE ESB 126.96.36.199 External Interfaces
12 13 17 18 19 19 19 21 21 21
3.1.3 Benefits of an Internet Booking Engine 188.8.131.52 Benefits to an Organization 184.108.40.206 Benefits to customers 3.1.4 Measuring ROI for an IBE 220.127.116.11 Challenges of measuring ROI 18.104.22.168 Method to measure ROI 3.2 Proposal Preparation 3.2.1 Sections of a Business Proposal 3.2.2 Prerequisites of a Business Proposal 22.214.171.124 Summary of a Proposal 126.96.36.199 Questionnaire for an RFP 3.2.3 Proposal Structure 188.8.131.52 Summary of Proposal 184.108.40.206 Understanding of requirements 220.127.116.11 Scope of work 18.104.22.168 Technical Solution 22.214.171.124 Assumptions 126.96.36.199 Cost Description 23
22 22 22
23 24 28 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 31
Chapter 4: Analysis
32 – 35
4.1 Case Study 4.1.1 Customer Profile
4.1.2 Business Need 4.1.3 Functional Requirements 4.1.4 Solution Provided 4.1.5 Results Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
33 33 34 35 36 - 42
5.1 Summary for an IBE 5.2 Summary for a proposal 5.3 Conclusion for a proposal 5.4 Conclusion for an IBE Bibliography 1. Websites 42
37 38 39
43 - 45 44
APPENDIX A - (Questionnaire)
46 - 47
LIST OF FIGURES
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Components of Travel Industry Online Travel Industry Supply Chain IBE Input IBE Online Check IBE Results Display IBE flight Selection seat selection IBE Reservation Details IBE Architecture Challenges of Measuring ROI Method to Measure ROI 14
6 6 13 14
15 16 18 24 26
CHAPTER – 1 INTRODUCTION
1 Introduction 1.1 Travel Industry
The travel industry caters to recreational, leisure and business travelers. According to the World Tourism Organization, the travel industry generated revenues of US$856 billion in 2007.
The travel sector covers the following services: Transportation services (such as cruise ships, airlines and taxis) Hospitality services (including accommodation in hotels and resorts) Entertainment services (in casinos, amusement parks, shopping malls and the theatre)
1.1.1 Travel Industry: Forms of Travel
The major forms of travel include: Ship travel: Sea travel has largely been replaced by faster means of travel, such as automobiles and airplanes. However, it is still used for short trips (ferries) and leisure cruises. The largest cruise ships in the world include three ships of the ‗Freedom Class‘ owned by Royal Caribbean International. Popular destinations for sea travel are the Caribbean and North America. Air travel: It is the most popular form of international travel, due to its speed and coverage. Some of the busiest airports of the world are Los Angeles International Airport (the US), Heathrow Airport (the UK) and Frankfurt International Airport (Germany). Rail travel: The popular forms of rail travel include inter-city trains, rapid transit (metro rail) and high speed long distance trains. Rail travel is generally restricted to domestic
territory. However, it is permitted across some countries in Europe. Countries with the largest rail travel density are China, India, Japan and Russia. Road travel: It is the most popular form of travel and includes various modes such as personal automobiles, buses and taxis. The busiest road in the world is Highway 401 (Ontario, Canada).
1.1.2 Facts about tourism industry: Travel & Tourism activity was hit hard by the global slump, with Travel & Tourism Economy GDP contracting by 4.8% in 2009. Even so, the sector worldwide still provided over 235 million jobs last year. Travel & Tourism‘s recovery - like that of the world economy - is expected to be a gradual one. After growth of just 0.5% in 2010, Travel & Tourism Economy GDP is likely to grow by 3.2% in 2011, with momentum building from the second half of 2010 and into next year. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is expected to rise from 9.2% (US$5,751 bn) in 2010 to 9.6% (US$11,151 bn) by 2020. Growth: Real GDP growth for the Travel & Tourism Economy is expected to be 0.5% in 2010, up from -4.8% in 2009, but to average 4.4% per annum over the coming 10 years. Employment: The contribution of the Travel & Tourism Economy to total employment is expected to rise from 8.1%, 235,758,000 jobs or 1 in every 12.3 jobs in 2010, to 9.2% of total employment, 303,019,000 jobs, or 1 in every 10.9 jobs by 2020.
Investment: Travel & Tourism investment is estimated at US$1,241 bn, or 9.2% of total investment, in 2010. By 2020, this should reach US$2,757 bn or 9.4% of total investment.
1.2 Online Travel Market
The acquisition of information and the purchase of travel-related services from businesses selling on the Internet. The online travel market continues to evolve, creating both risks and opportunities for
shoppers. While a wide variety of airline ticket-booking sites remain, the market itself has become more concentrated. We see improvements in five key areas: The ability to get low fares, viable itineraries, ease of use, customer service and privacy and security policies. Yet we also see many problems remain to be solved. Some are merely growing pains of a relatively new business. Others reveal challenges created by the underlying characteristics of the travel industry itself.
The advent of online travel created new business models that altered the relationships among the key players. They became less interdependent and more competitive. Moreover, their two primary goals were now similar:
First, generate revenue and build customer loyalty by selling directly to consumers; second, improve profit margins by reducing transaction costs, primarily in marketing and distribution. Instead of sharing customers, now they began to compete for them. Providers such as airlines and hotel companies sought to reduce reliance on fees to travel agents and Computer Reservations System (CRS) operators by selling directly to consumers through
Web sites. The travel agents‘ response was to build online stores for leisure and business travelers. Credit card companies formed co-branded alliances with hotels and airlines to secure customer loyalty and supplier acceptance, and incorporated travel links into their online payment sites. As a result, today‘s online travel market is highly competitive, but also reveals remnants of favoritism among providers and distributors, making consumer education critical.
1.2.1 Major Components of Online Travel Industry Providers — Airlines, hotels and transportation companies; these entities invested in products (planes, properties, vehicles) and services for travelers. Distributors - Computer Reservations Systems5 (CRSs); technology companies that consolidated supplier information, inventory and pricing data, and provided a way to electronically search, book and issue tickets and documents. Travel Agents — Using CRSs, provided leisure and business travelers with one-stop shopping guidance and pricing and schedule advice to make reservations, issue tickets and provide ancillary services such as passport processing or currency conversion. They operated in a variety of market segments, such as wholesale, retail, business, leisure and specialty packages. Charge Card companies - Played a role by making purchasing more convenient and secure for consumers, and by providing corporate buyers consolidated transaction data about their company‘s activities, which helped them with purchasing decisions and policy tracking.
Travelers — The end-user or customer, who may be leisure and/or corporate traveler, or
a travel planner who books trips for an employee to take.
1.2.2 Online Travel Industry Supply Chain
1.3 Purpose of Study
The study is done to understand an Internet Booking Engine, and find if adoption of Internet Booking Engine is beneficial to an organization or not? As an application it can change the way an organization (Airlines, Travel Management companies, Hotel sites, car rental sites) make transactions online. Internet booking engine is an end-to-end solution for any organization. The application has the functionality to access data from multiple sources online and present it in the required format e.g. (GDS, CRS) . It can be seamlessly integrated with external applications to perform other activities e.g. online payment. Seamless integration and overall coverage of the application helps an organization to achieve higher profits and reduce costs.
To understand Internet Booking Engines and their working and steps involved in proposal preparation.
1.5 Scope of Work
Study Internet Booking Engine and Proposal. Study the working of Internet Booking Engine. Study of different parts of a proposal. Case studies on Internet Booking Engines.
CHAPTER – 2 STUDY METHODOLOGY
2 Study Methodology 2.1 Data Collection
The main source of information is secondary data. Detailed study of Internet Booking Engine and Proposal would be done using data available from the internet and books.
The methodology would include the study of following: What is an Internet Booking Engine? Architecture of an IBE. How an IBE work‘s? What is a proposal? Different parts of a proposal Structuring a Proposal Benefits of an IBE Case Studies on IBE The study is divided in four sections. The first section ‘Introduction’ covers the travel industry and it talks about current trends in the industry. The section also has information about the travel industry for e.g. what is the terminology used in travel industry and what do these terms mean. The second section ‘Business Function’ sheds light on the business process like Internet booking engine and Building a business proposal. This presents the working and architecture of an Internet booking engine and also shares information on building a successful proposal. The third section is ‘Analysis’, wherein a real world problem is chosen. Here the real world problem is a case study of Aero Mexico. The case study shows the current status of the
organization their business need and how this business need is fulfilled by providing an Internet Booking Engine to the organization. It shows the mapping of requirements from an IBE to organization needs. The final section is for the ‘Summary and Conclusion’. This section contains summarized information for an IBE and a Proposal Preparation. In the end we can conclude by listing the major facts for an IBE and discussing the best practices for making a business proposal.
CHAPTER – 3 BUSINESS FUNCTION
3 Business Function 3.1 Internet Booking Engine
Definition An application, which enables booking services for Air, Hotels and Cars by providing a web based platform for integration with third party services to be integrated with it, according to vendor requirements, is termed as an Internet Booking Engine (IBE). The framework of such an engine should allow the ability to change in dynamic environments at a short notice, focusing on quick customization and reconfiguration thus ensuring ability to build user interfaces using any commercially available application server. Internet Booking Engine allows a customer to specify their travel requirements such as city of departure, destination, departure date, return date and class of travel. Once this information is received, the IBE will offer a list of available air tickets, hotels and excursions which the customer can then book. The real value of an IBE is in the business rules and processes that package the content and provide the capability to shop and purchase. This includes packaging and pricing rules, customized displays for different customers and channels, business rules and check out and payment processes.
An example of an Internet booking engine. 3.1.1 How it works (GUI)
3.1.2 Architecture of an IBE IBE‘s are installed on the home page of an airline to enable easy access for customers. When shoppers enter their travel preferences the IBE contacts the GDS or Computer Reservations System to receive the relevant information which is then shown to the user in an appropriate interface. The flights and fares may differ according to type of customer accessing the IBE. For example corporate members or frequent flyers may have access to discounted fares or will enjoy privileges such as redemption of loyalty points against the airfare.
With the Super Passenger Name Record (Super PNR) function an IBE offers the capability of booking non-air elements such as hotels, cars, holidays and insurance.
After the passengers have finished selecting their preferred flights they have to choose a payment method. There are several options to choose from; credit card payment often referred to as online payment, offline payment by transfers or cash, loyalty program such as FFP (Frequent Flyer Program) which allows the customer to redeem points for the airfare and discount vouchers. If a customer chooses an online payment an E-ticket will be issued. The E-ticket contains a PNR where the important information will be saved regarding the travel. If the customers wish to do the payment offline they will have to visit an airline office and purchase the ticket.
As the IBE is an online booking system the interface is often in HTML. With the growth of broadband, technologies such as Ajax or Flash are now used to support the change of the user‘s interactivity. IBE has real time connectivity to a credit card clearance agency as most payments are made through credit card. Some IBEs offer multi-lingual and multi-currency support for customer convenience.
188.8.131.52 IBE Users Airline admin – These are airlines administrators who can make structural changes to the IBE. These changes can include time table changes, adding flights, deleting flights etc.
Web user – This is the end user who can access the site online and make bookings, create itineraries. Travel Agency Super user – These are travel agency administrators who can assign access rights and other rights to the travel agents. Travel Agent – These are the end users at the travel agency who make bookings for the customers.
184.108.40.206 IBE GUI This layer is what actually the end user sees and uses, for a web user it can be a html page that can used to make bookings and for a travel agent it can be a desktop which from where the agent can make reservations for the customer.
220.127.116.11 IBE API An IBE API enables the GUI to communicate with the IBE and other external interfaces.
18.104.22.168 IBE Modules IBE consists of different modules to perform various functions. Each module is defined on a business function and performs a specified task. Different modules of an IBE are: Air Availability o Air Schedules o Air Availability by fare o Air Availability by class Search Results
o Search Result Matrix o Sorting by Airline Department Traveler Information o Traveler details o Billing Details o Contact Details Payment Gateways o Multiple mode of secured payment gateways Booking o Special Services o Food Selection o Special Services o Frequent Flyer o Promotional Codes o Online integrated Trip insurance Reporting o Itemized Reporting o Track you booking Pre-flight components o Booking Changes o Flight Status o Web Check-in o Optional Services
o Frequent Flyer Award Shopping Multilingual
22.214.171.124 Database The database contains the details of the passengers, data downloaded from the GDS and saved to the database.
126.96.36.199 IBE ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) An ESB is a data layer between an internet booking engine and external data sources. This layer enables an IBE to communicate with different data sources, e.g. connection with multiple GDS‘s like Galileo, Amadeus, saber, worldspan and other interfaces like payment gateways etc.
188.8.131.52 External Interfaces Payment Gateways – A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider service that authorizes payments for e-businesses, online retailers. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Payment gateway protects credit cards details encrypting sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to ensure that information pass securely between the customer and the merchant and also between merchant and payment processor. Global Distribution Systems – A computer reservations system CRS is a computerized system used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to air travel. Originally designed and operated by airlines, CRS‘s were later extended for the use of travel agencies; major CRS operations that book and sell tickets for multiple
airlines are known as global distribution systems (GDS). Airlines have divested most of their direct holdings to dedicated GDS companies, who make their systems accessible to consumers through Internet gateways. Modern GDS‘s typically allow users to book hotel rooms and rental cars as well as airline tickets. They also provide access to railway reservations in some markets although these are not always integrated with the main system. Other Systems – This includes programs like Frequent flyer program, free miles programs etc. 3.1.3 Benefits of an Internet Booking Engine 184.108.40.206 Benefits to organization It helps consumers to book flights, hotels, holiday packages, insurance and other services online. Internet booking engine is entirely web-based. Additional modules for standard packages, dynamic packages. Integration with GDS and other third party tools to provide increased functionality. An IBE can gather data from multiple places and present best results. Real-time reports to measure online marketing initiatives. Advanced merchandising tools at the point of reservation. Bookings can be done 24X7X365. Great marketing tool. 220.127.116.11 Benefits to customers Possibility for seat and meal reservation. No restriction through opening hours.
Great service. No waiting on the phone or at the counter. Booking and payment in simple steps. Easy to use. Customers have 24X 7 X 365 access to booking engine; they can compare focus and book immediately.
3.1.4 Measuring ROI for an Internet Booking Engine One of the most successful and challenging things about marketing on the internet is that the impact of your marketing efforts is measurable. While critical to your initiative, the measurement of true return on investment (ROI) for the air industry is a complex exercise since the results manifest themselves across multiple channels.
18.104.22.168 The Challenge of Measuring ROI It is very challenging to measure the true ROI generated from your SEM efforts. In many cases, visitors leave your website and go to a branded booking engine or stand-alone booking engine to complete the purchase rather than booking directly on the airline site. Most of the time, the purchasing cycle is closed on a different server and not on the server where your airline website is hosted. While you can find out the total revenue booked through your site, it‘s quite difficult to do sophisticated tracking, such as key word conversions, organic and paid conversions, unless you embed tracking codes in the back-end on booking engine pages. The typical marketing and booking scenarios for the air industry.
22.214.171.124 Method to measure ROI Internet booking engines are a direct channel for your online marketing efforts, and are one of the easiest channels to measure the return on investment and sources. The internet booking engine may or may not be hosted on the same server as the website which is being marketed. In either case, most booking engine reports will be able to show the actual bookings received via the website that is being marketed. Make sure that you assign a special code in your booking engine for all reservations coming from your website and for any online marketing campaigns that you may conduct such as banner ads, email marketing, etc We have segmented the key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking online marketing efforts into different categories depending on the goals and the level of sophistication of the user. 1) Simple Conversion Tracking The KPIs for the simplest form of tracking can give an overall snapshot of whether your SEM efforts are working or not. This tracking is ideal for senior management and non-technical frontline/management staff. Simple conversion tracking provides an overall idea about the return on
investment from the marketing activity without going into a lot of detail about the search engines or keywords used to find the flights. Indicators for Simple Conversion Tracking: Visitors: Is my search marketing working? Is my site traffic continuing to increase taking into account seasonality. Look at a year-on-year comparison. Page Views: Is my site attracting the right kind of visitors? Is the site sticky? Click-Through to Booking Engine: How many people went into my booking page to check rates? Several marketing sources, both internal at the flight and external agencies will regard this as the true measure of the success of their campaigns. Once you have gotten the consumer to check out your rates, the marketing campaign has been successful. At this point, the responsibility for conversion shifts from Marketing into Revenue Management and has a strong bearing on whether the hotel has rooms, if the rates are competitive with the market, and if the booking engine is easy to use. Actual Revenue Generated – the bottom line. This may be available from your website analytics software if the pixels from the tracking software are embedded in your booking engine. Or, the same report should be available from the booking engine reports and can be tracked for most brands and booking engines in the market.
2) Advanced Conversion Tracking The next level of detail in analyzing the website analytics report involves understanding the source of visitors coming to your website. This will enable you to determine the effectiveness of different search engines and referral directories as well as the keywords that are being targeted. The main KPIs to review are: Search Terms – What people type in the search engines to get to your website Referring Search Engines and Directories – Which search engines and directories are most effective in driving visitors to your site Feeder Market – What are your feeder markets where visitors are coming from Visitors by Campaigns: SEO, PPC, Banners, Emails – Which campaigns are most effective in driving visitors to your website
Advanced tracking should be done at two levels on your website – one for the total visitor traffic to your website and then for the visits that result in confirmed reservations. If the tracking software pixels are not embedded in the booking engine, the next best thing to analyzing confirmed reservations is to understand these KPIs for the visitors going into your booking engine. Analyzing visitors going into your booking engine, although not as ideal as tracking actual confirmed reservations behavior, gives you a very good measure of the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns.
3) Sophisticated Conversion Tracking The next level of sophistication in analyzing your website analytics report comes from understanding the click-through path of the visitors to your site and gaining a better understanding of which pages on your website are most effective and which pages result in consumers getting turned off. The main goal of tracking these metrics is to understand how to improve the content and navigation flow on your website to maximize conversion. Some main KPIs to monitor include: Click through path for confirmed reservations or click-through to booking engine. Exit pages of your website. Entrance pages of the website
Definition A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process--i.e., whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase. It is a selling document to convince the customer that we are the best one to solve the problem. 3.2.1 A Business Proposal consists of following sections. Management Section - This section contains the details of the methodology used to complete the project. It also shows the client the financial strength of the organization and its capability to undertake the project. Technical Section – This section contains the detailed understanding of the technical requirements of the project and talks about the solution provided. Cost Section – This section contains the details about the costs related to the project.
3.2.2 Prerequisites of a proposal Before a proposal is prepared there must be certain steps which need to be followed. These step are listed below.
126.96.36.199 Summary of a proposal – A summary of the RFP document should be created before preparing a proposal. This summary should cover the whole RFP and should contain following. Summary of requirements. Functional and Non- Functional requirements. If client is already a customer or not.
Any previous experience on the project. Our expertise in technology and manpower for the current project. Risk and assumptions of the project.
188.8.131.52 Questionnaire for an RFP – A high level questionnaire should be prepared a input document for a proposal. This questionnaire should cover all the parts of a RFP. It should include questions from functional, non-functional requirements, technical and cost sections from an RFP. Anything which is unclear must be asked in this questionnaire and response from the client must be updated and used as an input in proposal preparation.
3.2.3 Proposal Structure 184.108.40.206 Summary of Proposal The first step of preparing a proposal is to understand and create a summary of the proposal. This summary should include major highlights of the proposal. It should contain details about the requirements of the client. What the business need is and what kind of solution the organization is looking for. Further details of functional, non-functional and any other details should be mentioned in this summary. Details about the time line mentioned by the client if any, if the client is already an existing client to the organization, and do we have the technical knowhow to complete the project and the risks involved with it.
220.127.116.11 Understanding of Requirements Once clarification has been made on the requirements of the proposal an effort should be made to understand the problems in detail. This will include a high level solution to the problem.
Discussing an approach to follow or technology to be used in the project. The requirements should further be broken down in sub tasks and analyzed. The analysis can be based on time, technology, knowhow, past experience, cost, manpower needed for the project.
18.104.22.168 Scope of work The scope of work includes the boundary to be defined. The boundary helps to define the deliverables of the project. The scope of work will distinguish the requirements that are to be addressed and the ones that are not to be addressed. This will help to set user expectations and define the objective to be achieved. 22.214.171.124 Technical Solution This section will include the detailed information about the technical solution to be implemented. This will include the technology to be used, any requirements of software or hardware, high level diagram of the application, detailed description of technical architecture. This section includes Project execution approach and a high level project plan it also includes the key deliverables of the project.
126.96.36.199 Assumptions These are assumptions related to the project and the information provided by the organization in the RFP. The Vendor has to consider these assumptions before they can actually come with a proposal. Assumptions can be related to functional or non-functional requirements or any other information that is provided in the RFP. This information can be based on the cost or any functionality related to the application.
188.8.131.52 Cost Description This section includes the description of the costs related to the project. The estimates and the breakup of the cost related to the project. Costs can be broken down into parts this can be given by the vendor.
CHAPTER – 4 ANALYSIS
4.1 Case Study ( AeroMexico)
4.1.1 Customer Profile The client is AeroMexico, member of IATA (International Air Transport Association) which provides its passengers a developed network of flights to all major destinations in Russia and CIS. The organization is an appointed carrier to 20 countries of the world. 4.1.2 Business Need The organization has wide scope of work and a huge client base to service. This demands a stable and complex application which can provide more functionality than the current application. This would also lead to satisfied customers and thereby increasing the overall business and profitability of the organization. 4.1.3 Functional requirements 1) Improved user interface, is easy to navigate and consistent. 2) A stable and robust application which can perform under different situations like heavy traffic, 24 X 7 without fault. 3) The application should provide an interface to the travel agents for booking. 4) It should be capable to make online payments. 5) Validations on search and booking, so that it can provide valid results. 6) Addition of merchandising feature. 7) Providing intuitive booking flow (e.g. while putting the name of the place some options should be displayed) and provides multilingual support.
4.1.4 Solution Provided To address the identified needs, as well as a host of content issues the organization is in need of an end-to-end IBE which resolve these issues. Name of the product – Consumer travel booking engine The product would be integrated with the website of the organization. The current website would also be revamped so that it can provide improved and consistent navigation. This would address the above mentioned issues and bring the following benefits. 1) Better user interface and improved site navigation as the site would be updated. Easier for the user to navigate the site, choose and select options they like. 2) The system will provide online access for 24X7 which would be beneficial for the consumer as they can make bookings at point of time. 3) The application will provide a user interface for the travel agents so that they can make bookings for the customers. 4) Integration with different payment gateways would allow this capability. The application would be able to access different payment gateways of different banks and would be able to make transactions based on credit and debit card. 5) Checking the downloaded data from the database using validations would ensure that the search and booking results are correct. Validations can be made on the data while downloading from the database and at the time of actual booking. 6) The system will provide an interface so that it can be integrated with any merchandising tool. 7) The functionality within the newly designed website would provide for multilingual functionality and intuitive booking flow.
4.1.5 Results The new booking engine would ensure 365X24X7 accessibility of the site. Better navigation and user interface would reduce site abandonment. Booking options with travel agents would provide more consumer reach and increased availability of reservation options. The design of Internet booking engine would allow it to be easily integrated with different external applications and easy future expansion to other external tools. Validations on data would mean that the bookings are correct thereby increasing efficiency and reducing customer complaints. This will finally lead to satisfied customers and increase the customer base.
CHAPTER – 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary for an IBE
An application, which enables booking services for Air, Hotels and Cars by providing a web based platform for integration with third party services to be integrated with it according to vendor requirements, is termed as an Internet Booking Engine (IBE). An IBE has following modules: Air Availability Search Results Traveler Information Payment Gateways Booking Reporting Pre-flight components Multilingual
An IBE can be customized according to the needs of an organization. It can be integrated with the existing web-site providing it the functionality to do various tasks. An IBE has many advantages to both an organization and a customer. The business should first define their need and understand it themselves and then proceed to implement an IBE.
The benefits of an IBE to an organization are: 24 X 7 open ticketing which increases the business of an organization. Multilingual capability which increases the reach of the business. Great marketing tool.
Connectivity to different GDS‘s means access to live information. Reporting tool for an organization. An organization can generate reports based on different criteria which can help them take decisions.
Benefits to customers are: Availability of online ticketing at any point of time. The customers are benefited in this case as they have multiple options to select from. Secured payment gateways in easy steps. Option to select a preferred seat and meal options.
Summary for a Proposal
A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process.
A business Proposal has following sections.
Management Section Technical Section Cost Section
The Structure of a Proposal should be: Summary of Proposal Preparing a Questionnaire Understanding of Requirements Scope of work Technical Solution Assumptions
Conclusion for a Proposal
Best Practices for a Proposal Preparation 1) Clarity Before you begin to write the proposal, summarize the concept in 2-3 sentences, and then show it to a lay person and check for understanding. If they don't grasp the basic idea, rewrite until they do. Until you can do this, you are not ready to start writing the proposal. How many times have you received a document that you had to read over and over before you comprehended the meaning? When this happens, it may be because your comprehension skills are underdeveloped, but it's more likely that the writer substituted clarity of thought and good document structure with sloppy thinking, wordy, rambling explanations, vague descriptions and heavy reliance on buzzwords and jargon. It's worth saying once again: If you can't summarize it in 2-3 sentences, you are not ready to start writing.
2) Strive to communicate, not to impress If you have a good idea and you communicate that idea clearly and effectively, the recipients will be impressed. If you try to baffle them with your brilliance, you'll lose ground.
3) Error Free Your proposal will be competing with proposals prepared by professional writers, graphic designers and desktop publishers. You may not have those resources at your disposal, but you can be fastidious about checking for typing, spelling and grammatical errors. Spell checkers can
only go so far; the rest is up to you. Ask someone else to check your document for errors before you submit it, or wait a few days before rereading it. If you have worked on a document intensely, you will "learn" to interpret errors as being correct. It takes a fresh eye to spot the typos
4) Print and Bind Print your document on good quality, heavy- bond paper, using either a laser printer or a goodquality bubble jet. Take it to an office service for backing and binding. For less than $10, you can produce a nicely done, professionally presented package.
5) Visual Elements Include visual elements sporadically throughout your document. Logos, clip art, graphs, charts, tables and other elements greatly enhance the visual appeal of your document and make it easier for many people to read and comprehend. Pages of pure text are tiring to the eye and a challenge to the attention span. Additionally, many people are visually oriented, meaning the preferred method of learning is through imagery and not text.
6) Title Page Begin with a Title Page that includes images (graphics, pictures, etc.), the name of the proposal recipient, the name of the project, your company name and address, the date, and your copyright symbol.
7) Be Politically Correct Whether you support political correctness or whether you don't, the issue here is to avoid offending the people who will receive your proposal document. Avoid any language that can be construed as offensive to any group of people - including women, men, persons with disabilities, persons belonging to visible minorities, senior citizens, and so on. If you're not certain of correct terminology, consult with someone knowledgeable before submitting your proposal.
8) Jargon Free Every industry has its own particular "language" - words, terms and expressions that are common to that industry but foreign to people from other industries. Avoid the use of jargon, or if you must use it, explain it. For example, expressions like "branding," "turnkey solution," "Ecommerce" are not necessarily understood by everyone who is doing business. Also remember that your proposal may go to a committee that is comprised of people from various walks of life. Make sure they understand what you are talking about.
9) Technology What was just said about jargon goes double for technology. If your proposed project involves the use of technologies, be very careful with your explanation. The persons reading the document may have little or no technological background. Therefore, in the body of the proposal, it's usually recommended that you explain your technology in terms of what it will do - i.e. "A data base that members can use to search for information about your products." There is a place for detailed information about the technology that you are proposing - and that spot is the appendix.
In many cases, a non-technically oriented business will engage a technology consultant to review your proposed technology. This person can use the detailed explanations that you include in the appendix while other readers will be able understand the proposal itself
Conclusion for an IBE
An IBE is a bundled with functionalities. It is not always necessary that an organization utilizes all of them. An organization should first lay down its requirements and then decide if it wants to go for an IBE or not. Also the modules or functionalities can be reduced or cut down in an IBE according to customer‘s requirements. The main aim of any investment is returns and an organization should make sure they have put in place the measures that will measure these returns. Once an organization adopts an IBE then it should also set up the scales that can measure the performance of the IBE. It can be measured by: Simple Conversion Tracking Advanced Conversion Tracking Sophisticated Conversion Tracking
http://www.economywatch.com/world-industries/travel-industry.html assessed on Wednesday 3rd
March, 2010 6.30 p.m.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism assessed on Wednesday 4rd March, 2010 13.00 p.m.
Wednesday 4rd March, 2010 14.30 p.m.
http://www.sabretravelnetwork.com/images/uploads/releases/Forrester_GetThereSabre_TEI_Release_FINAL_92109.pdf assessed on Wednesday 5rd March, 2010 18.45 p.m.
http://www.epam-cms.com/downloads/nonregister/CS_S7.pdf assessed on Wednesday 8rd March,
2010 19.30 p.m.
on Wednesday 20rd March, 2010 11.00 a.m.
http://www.vizergy.com/pdf/Vizergy_CaseStudy_PMG.pdf assessed on Wednesday 25rd March,
2010 09.00 p.m.
assessed on Wednesday 5th April, 2010 21.30 p.m. 56
http://www.economywatch.com/world-industries/tourism/trends.html assessed on Wednesday
13rd April, 2010 16.15 p.m.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposal_(business) assessed on Wednesday 15th April, 2010 18.00
http://www.purdue.edu/SPS/proposals/what.html assessed on Wednesday 21st March, 2010 17.00
Development of Next Generation Flight Portal
Aero Mexico (www.aeromexico.com) is the leading air carrier of Latin America. It operates over 300 daily flights to 30 cities in Mexico, 15 destinations in the United States, two in Europe and three in South America from its main hub at Mexico City‘s International Airport. Aero Mexico is also a member of the Sky Team marketing alliance with Delta, Air France, and Korean Air Lines.
AeroMexico realized the need for an effective high-performance online sales channel. Its legacy website, operated by another outsourcing provider, had a number of challenges which created an environment that made it difficult for consumers to access and purchase flights and other highvalue products.
Problems included: • Poor User Interface (UI) which confused consumers and led to unusually high abandonment rates • Poor overall performance which created a barrier for consumers in particular in Mexico (AeroMexico‘s largest customer base) • High search and booking error rates which undermined the credibility of the site and negatively impacted Aero- Mexico as a brand
• Lack of merchandising features • Non-intuitive booking flow • Confusing plethora of loyalty programs which needed to be manually updated and maintained
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