Two years ago, Brett Cumberland
wife went to Africa.
...Cumberland, who recently marked continent number seven off his list with a trip to Antarctica, is the chief information officer for the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies.
platform of choice for the mission-critical reservation system-the heart of A&K's business-is an HP NonStop system.
"We'd used a legacy reservation system for about 12 years, but our business in the States got to the point where we really needed an upgrade," recalled Cumberland
"To say that the NonStop system helps us solve an important business problem would be an understatement," said Cumberland
."It's really an end-to-end travel solution for us."
"Part of that commitment involved the reservation system and supporting hardware," said Cumberland
."We're not a full 24 x 7 shop yet, but looking ahead, we expect to integrate the reservation system with our website to enable online booking.The NonStop system will support those endeavors."
The company took a close look at the cost of the NonStop platform and was pleasantly surprised."From a total cost of ownership perspective, we felt the system was quite reasonable," stated Cumberland
"We didn't really know how large the customized business was going to get," noted Cumberland
."We felt we'd be better off with a proven platform, rather than undersizing initially and having to upgrade later."
The open architecture of the NonStop platform was another big point in its favor."As we look ahead at integrating with our website, the availability of industry-standard APIs in the NonStop system environment will be beneficial to us," continued Cumberland
."We already display tour availability on our website.The next step will be to provide a more direct link from the site into the inventory itself."
For now, the NonStop platform runs A&K's U.S. operations only."It takes time to get consultants familiar with a new reservation system," noted Cumberland
."We wanted to get it out and get it stable.Then we'll look at expanding the NonStop system-based solution to our other call centers in London and Melbourne."
The NonStop system running CONTOUR software helps Abercrombie & Kent stay at the top of its game."The biggest benefit of the NonStop platform is the minimal support required, and where the system will allow us to go from a service provider perspective," concluded Cumberland
... -Brett Cumberland, chief information officer, Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies