Using IBM i running on Power Systems, Kuoni now offers over 14 million searchable options to meet customers’ demand for late bookings.Kuoni Travel Ltd was founded by Alfred Kuoni in 1906 and has grown into one of the largest travel companies in the world employing over 7,500 staff in 300 ofﬁces around the world. Since 1966, Kuoni has led the UK long haul tour operation market and has consistently been the UK’s most successful specialist tour operator.
Despite the economic downturn, sales for holidays are still in high demand with Brits, trying to get away from the increasing doom and gloom in the UK. With more people shopping for competitive holiday deals on the internet, Kuoni extended and improved their service to customers by increasing the number of tailor made package holidays available on their website.
Fighting ﬁt for the economic downturn “The Kuoni website currently searches the market for ﬂights and accommodation which are then combined to form package holidays for Kuoni customers. This service used to be available for departure dates up to 50 days ahead. We made the decision to increase this period to 150 days, signiﬁcantly increasing the amount of holidays and improving the ﬂexibility for our customers. As a result of this project, we wanted to put in place a more powerful processing platform to search for, and compile, package holidays in order to satisfy the new strategy” says Patrick Beagles, IT Support Manager, Kuoni. Kuoni made the strategic decision to invest in Power i (previously iSeries and AS/400) to run their IT applications some time ago.
“Power i currently supports our mail users, website and core business applications. We are happy using the platform and didn’t want to move away from it. However, our existing Power i systems couldn't satisfy the growth we needed within the current models, so new systems were required” says Steve Dunning, Power i Consultant, Kuoni.
Right time right placeAPSU’s Power Technical Architect, Steve Buckley, already had an existing relationship with the Kuoni team and was tasked with putting together a conﬁguration for the new platform. “Through the meetings I’ve had with Kuoni, it gave me conﬁdence that we have gained a good understanding of the business and the technical criteria for this project”. “We appreciate the considerable investment that has been made in Kuoni’s current Power i estate, so our proposed solution was designed around optimising the current investments” continued Steve. “APSU gave us the right price, they have the technical knowledge and a clear understanding of the Kuoni business.” says Patrick.
The SolutionThe resulting solution made Kuoni the ﬁrst business in the UK and Europe upgrading to the new Power6 550. This will signiﬁcantly increase processing power for the new reservations project whilst making the most of their current IT investment by utilising IBM’s upgrade path. IBM’s ‘Upgrade Path’ provides a net priced upgrade from previous generations of servers to IBM’s latest offerings. This approach ensured that Kuoni’s previous investment in Power i was not wasted and provided access to the best solution for the minimum investment, thereby reduced their ongoing costs.
APSU was given a tough deadline of implementing the new Power systems in time for one of Kuoni’s busiest periods in January, to maximize on potential sales. “APSU delivered the solution on time and to schedule. They were always responsive if I had any questions and they ironed out any problems we had. We are very happy with the service we received from APSU” enthused Patrick.
Return on investment“We’ve already achieved our ROI at least 3 times over, going through our Power i system every day during our busy period in January 2009. These are amazing ﬁgures in the current economic climate and not many people can say that” concludes Patrick.
Matt Rooke, e-business director comments, “We have added these new facilities to our website in line with our new branding and service commitment using the results from usability studies carried out with a range of customers. Few other travel sites have these features and it should prove to be a key selling proposition for the site. In addition, by adding the new latest offers search and price calendar, we are helping our customers make informed decisions about their holiday choices and in no small measure, saving them a lot of time and money.
We are helping our customers make informed decisions about their holiday choices and in no small measure, saving them a lot of time and money. Matt Rooke, E-business Director
Kuoni has more storage and CPW on their machines and can process holidays quicker online. They use the new improved Power 6 system to search for low cost flights and holidays using additional processor power through the night. This has increased the search period available for ﬂights and a holiday from 50 to 150 days and the cost and ﬂexibility to the customer is signiﬁcantly improved, resulting in an additional increase in business.