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Selected Case Studies: @ work with Markwarner
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BlueSky implemented itour in October 2003 at Mark Warner’s three offices. The system went live in resorts by summer 2004 and was rolled out to customers and more than 500 travel agents by the end of the year.

Booking time down from 25 minutes to 5 minutes
Mark Warner’s 21 call centre staff and 12 after sales and flight operations personnel are already using itour’s core module, itour Reservations, for all bookings. Upon receiving a call from a customer or travel agent, staff enter their password to access a real-time view of all available holidays. The speed of search functionality within itour allows staff to search for holidays on a wide range of criteria including destination, departure date and price quickly and easily. A complete holiday package, including optional elements, can now be booked in less than five minutes, a process that used to take up to 25 minutes using the previous reservation system. itour’s sales channel management functionality lets Mark Warner define travel agents’ commission schemes and yield management support optimises booking allocations by giving up-to-date availability for each flight and hotel.

Responding to market opportunities in minutes
Mark Warner is also using itour’s Standard and Manager reporting options to support its day-to-day operations with improved business intelligence. Built on Oracle Reports and Oracle Discoverer respectively, each provide executives with the tools to report and interrogate bookings data, identify changes in booking patterns and react swiftly to capitalise on opportunities. New prices can be uploaded, posted on itour and made available to the market in minutes, a process which used to take several hours.

Adding additional functionality on demand
itour also includes optional modules for customer relationship management and financial management. Built on Oracle e-Business Suite applications, these modules can be purchased as business needs dictate and integrated seamlessly into the solution.

Return on investment within 2 Years
"itour delivered substantial benefits in just two months," said Powell. "It is a key tool in our strategy to grow our turnover from £40 to £100 million over the next five years. We anticipate achieving a full return on our investment in itour within two years."

Why Oracle?
"Oracle’s unrivalled reputation in the travel sector, its proven upgrade path and the ready availability of Oracle skills in the marketplace made an Oracle-based solution highly attractive for us," said Powell.

BlueSky Travel Systems chose Oracle for its scalability and clustered architecture that allows itour to meet the needs of tour operators of all sizes, up to the world’s large multinational organisations. itour went live on Oracle 10g in February 2004, bringing the benefits of grid computing and the cost advantages of virtualising computing resources to the travel industry. Oracle’s multi-platform technology enables BlueSky to make itour available to the increasing number of businesses looking to improve performance and cut costs by migrating to Linux.

"Using Oracle meant we could develop a comprehensive solution with technology from a single supplier," said John Waddell, sales director at BlueSky. "Oracle’s excellent Java development environment allows rapid deployment, while the distributed architecture maximises the sharing of applications across the enterprise. Open systems allow users to choose the operating platform that best suits their business."

Future Plans
Rolling out itour to all Mark Warner resorts will greatly improve efficiency by giving local tour reps real-time access to bookings information. Customers will be able to make their holiday arrangements online 24 hours a day via the company’s Website, by email or on digital TV from the end of 2004 which will further cut administration overheads and enhance customer service. Giving travel agents direct access to itour via an extranet will also reduce the workload for Mark Warner’s sales teams and allow reservations to be made much faster.

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