S&T develops a mobile ticketing system for TUI Hellas
Improved usability and greater flexibility with optimized costs
TUI Hellas, a key player in the Greek travel market, is based in Athens and caters for 26 resorts, located primarily on the Greek islands. In 2006 the company achieved sales of 79 million euros. TUI Hellas handles over 300,000 bookings every year and the sale of tickets for excursions and other local events by sales staff operating in the hotels is the most important and profitable area of business for the company. The previous IT solution was, however, based on proprietary hardware and software, had become outdated and was difficult to operate, which made it more difficult to integrate new members of staff. Furthermore, repairs, servicing and updates could not be carried out internally, which resulted in considerable costs for manufacturer support. “The previous system admittedly worked most of the time, but whenever there were problems the costs were huge. The manufacturer charged a high price for its monopolistic hardware and software knowledge. And the system was so complicated to operate that it took far too long to introduce new seasonal staff to the system every year,” comments Eleni Boutsi, IT Manager at TUI Hellas. In order to avoid the risk of growth slowing or the company losing competitiveness, TUI Hellas commissioned IMG, the consulting services of the S&T Group, to design and implement a modern, powerful and cost-effective solution.
Short implementation schedule
The assignment was to develop a solution that could be perfectly integrated into the existing TUI Hellas SAP environment and that could be implemented during the low season in the winter, in order to avoid losing any bookings during the high season. The new, mobile extension of the existing ERP solution was to consist, to the greatest extent possible, of standard software and hardware components in order to ensure a cost-effective upgrade, straightforward training for the staff and uncomplicated servicing of the system. The new software had to allow use on mobile devices and enable all sales staff in the hotels to be connected. TUI Hellas decided to utilize the SAP Mobile Infrastructure combined with a smartphone. A lightweight ancillary device was also included, with a connection enabled via Bluetooth, in order to allow credit card data to be scanned and tickets to be printed out. By virtue of an agreement with a mobile telecommunications operator the devices were even acquired free of charge. The servicing of the mobile solution remains under the control of TUI Hellas. All the devices have a cellular connection that makes it possible to reconcile bookings, reservations, rebooking and cancellations with the central company database. Following a successful rollout on two islands, the implementation was carried out throughout the whole company and TUI Hellas had fully switched to the new system within four months.
Christian Rosner, CEO S&T, remarks “The TUI Hellas project had some very special and challenging requirements and called for experts with experience of the realization of mobile projects as well as with extensive SAP skills.”
A future-proof and cost-effective system
As well as the optimized costs, the use of the new system offers considerably improved usability and flexibility. There are graphical user elements that can be used, and photographs, videos and other interactive elements can also be integrated. Remote servicing and maintenance, with a straightforward distribution of system updates and improvements, is also an integral part of the solution. Previously, it was the case that devices always had to be sent to the manufacturer for servicing and updates. Boutsi: “The profound knowledge of the consultants with regard to the risks and idiosyncrasies of mobile applications helped us to take the right approach right from the very start, and this led us in the quickest possible way to the smooth implementation of a future-proof and very user-friendly mobile solution.”
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