RealTime IT News

Datalex, BookSmart Merger Shakes Up Travel Software Industry

Ireland-based travel industry software suppliers Datalex and U.S.-based Sight & Sound Software, the developer of booking engine BookSmart, Monday merged to form a potentially dominant force in the online air travel booking market.

The combined companies will be known as Datalex Ltd. with headquarters remaining in Dublin, Ireland, and offices in England, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia.

"One combined company will now provide the full range of integrated solutions for the online travel enterprise," said Neil Wilson, chief executive officer of Datalex.

As Wilson admitted, Datalex customers often said they would like to use Sight & Sound for certain applications and Datalex for others, and this would now be possible from a single source.

Rapid growth of the online travel industry has led to similar growth in the software firms that provide the means of making online reservations. Monday's announcement brings together two companies to form a single supplier that can provide all the components needed by the online travel enterprise.

Datalex has worked with Java-based booking systems, private fares engines, tour and cruise products and connectivity solutions. Sight & Sound brings to the deal its increasingly popular BookSmart online travel booking engine.

Krista Pappas, director of travel at consultancy Gomez Advisors, said the merger will significantly change the competitive landscape of the online travel industry.

"The new organization will address a broad range of requirements -- including booking engines, private-fares engines, host access servers and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions -- to satisfy the needs of the entire online enterprise," said Pappas.

Initially, the combined company will have two online booking engines, not only BookSmart but also Datalex's existing BookIt! product. It will continue to support both of them while developing new systems to leverage the best technology from both BookSmart and BookIt!

The financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.