RealTime IT News

Thomson Holidays Makes 90-day E-Business Rush

[London, ENGLAND] Top U.K. package holiday company Thomson Holidays has turned itself into an e-business within 90 days, according to Monday's announcement by its technology providers.

The project was jointly undertaken by Texan e-business software supplier NEON Systems, integrator Inform Information Systems (IIS), and a team of Thomson's in-house systems developers. The result is a new site for JUST, a holiday brand launched last year with the Web in mind.

JUST, which offers holidays that are intended to appeal to what Thomson calls the "independently minded type of holidaymaker," now has an efficient online search and booking system to rival the dedicated dotcom travel agents.

"We selected NEON Systems Shadow Web Server technology because of the ease with which it rejuvenated our existing online booking systems," said Stephen Ringer, senior project manager at Thomson Holidays.

Powered by an IBM System/390 mainframe running NEON Systems' Shadow Web Server, the Thomson Holidays' e-commerce backbone runs various Windows NT resident applications to deliver its content channels. Shadow Web Server receives in-bound XML from the delivery channels, integrating closely with the holiday firm's traditional availability, reservation and booking systems.

However, Thomson Holidays still has some work to do in maintaining a suitable presence on the Web. A search for "Thomson Holidays" on AltaVista brings up, in the No.1 spot, The Completely Unofficial Thomson Realfeedback Site -- where disgruntled holidaymakers, disappointed by their vacation experiences, vent their displeasure.