Friday, March 09, 2007

Travolution@ITBPhoCusWright--ITA faces round two of questioning

After surviving a barrage of intense questioning about the value of his product during yesterday’s panel, William Phillipson of Boston-based technology-provider ITA Software, took the stage this morning to face yet another tough audience.

“After listening to your presentation again it seems like your product is exactly the same as Amadeus’s, so what is the difference?” demanded fellow panel member Sigmundur Halldórsson of Icelandair, which is an Amadeus subscriber.

Phillipson, likely already expecting a repeat of yesterday’s performance, kept his cool, and responded by explaining that ITA is essentially better because it does not carry the legacy systems of the GDSs, and all that that implies, including added costs and difficulty in sharing data in a seamless manner.

Surely the GDSs, given the opportunity, would have something to say about that, but I digress.

Things started to get a bit more interesting when an audience member (ok, it was me) asked Phillipson why Air Canada—ITA’s launch airline client –was not using ITA’s software to handle the carrier’s website fulfilment.

“They will,” said Phillipson.

“So, let’s be clear,” I said. “Air Canada is going to switch its online reservations system from Amadeus to ITA?”

“That’s the plan,” said Phillipson.

But when Martin Ruschen of Lufthansa Systems jumped in and pressed Phillipson on exactly when Air Canada would do this, Phillipson backed off and said that was a question for Air Canada.

That response was obviously not enough to convince some delegates, who remain sceptical about whether Air Canada, or indeed any other airlines, will swap their present GDS platform for ITA’s software.

Guess we better ask the airlines.

Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer, Travolution

1 comment:

Amadeus spokesperson said...

For the record, Air Canada uses the following Amadeus e-commerce solutions:
- Amadeus e-Retail Engine: our internet booking engine,
- Amadeus Flex Pricer: our online low-fare search engine,
- Off-line Faring: similar to above but for offline queries (ie to the call centre or airport sales office)
- Presentation Layer Hosting: their website is hosted on our servers in Erding, Germany)
- Development Services: we providing Air Canada with a dedicated set of developers who produce new features and functions for aircanada.com.