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RealTime IT News

New Technology Boosts Lastminute.com

[London, ENGLAND] Last minute solutions retailer lastminute.com announced Monday a new technology platform for its Web sites -- and immediately saw its share price jump over 10 percent.

Part of the reason for the market's enthusiasm is that one of lastminute.com's aims in moving to a new platform is to increase the conversion rate of visitors to customers. The new system will allow the company to target customers more accurately while introducing greater personalization.

Thirty in-house developers have worked to create the new platform in conjunction with several external companies. The result is a 3-tier Java/XML architecture built around the open-standards-based ATG Dynamo application server.

Lastminute.com says it has taken full control of its code base using ATG Dynamo, Informix, Sun Solaris and Apache systems.

Apart from greater product visibility, cross-selling and better targeting, lastminute.com says the new technology enables it to integrate its offerings with its suppliers' databases and customer relationship management tools. Its new open architecture makes this integration possible, thereby extending its reach and adding value for the consumer.

Brent Hoberman, chief executive of lastminute.com, said a great deal of time and effort had been put into understanding customers and their last minute needs.

"The introduction of the new architecture means we now have advanced technology systems, skills and processes in place. This is a launch pad from which we can grow the business further, particularly through greater personalization and highly targeted offers which will enhance the customer experience," said Hoberman.

Hoberman went on to say that the new technology puts in place "another significant barrier to entry" -- and gives lastminute.com a real competitive advantage.

Observers will now try to decide whether the new platform will be the much awaited turning-point for lastminute.com, shares in which have declined by nearly 80 percent since June.

With localized versions of its Web site in France, Germany and Sweden -- and another in Australia -- lastminute.com has 2.1 million registered subscribers, many of whom will appreciate the multi-lingual, multi-currency, multi-channel facility made possible by the new platform.