Galileo International have announced the availability of its leading Web services technology on a global basis. Having successfully implemented a multitude of travel agency and developer Beta customers, deployed Web services to some of its own travel brands Galileo is now making the services available globally in the North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions to existing and future customers.
Web Services enables travel agencies, technology development partners and suppliers of air, hotel, car, rail and cruise services to seamlessly integrate Galileo data and functions into their applications via the Internet, thereby reducing development time, effort, maintenance and operating costs.
According to Henry Harteveldt, principal analyst with Forrester Research
, Web services` ability to link disparate operating platforms and applications quickly and at a relatively low cost makes them critical technologies for travel. Forrester views Cendant Corp. as travel`s most comprehensive Web services provider. Cendant uses Web services to link various business units like Cheap Tickets to content and functionality within the Galileo GDS and beyond.
Galileo has developed its Web services using simple XML standard industry protocols and infrastructure easily accessible via the World Wide Web, eliminating the traditional technology barriers of disparate operating systems and the need for costly user hardware, such as servers, and dedicated telecommunications lines. The product also reduces support and development costs by ending the need for developer knowledge of Galileo-specific GDS commands in order to bring the client`s applications online.
To further ease integration, and reduce time to market, Galileo Web Services provides a suite of pre-developed services that address the most commonly used processes, such as booking and modifying reservations.
Galileo Web Services have undergone extensive Beta testing with key customers in the United States and EMEA, resulting in a number of successful global pilots over the past year. Galileo continues to enroll new customers, and is now making the offering more broadly available to travel agencies, travel suppliers, and software partners around the world.
Galileo customers in Europe are already exploring the opportunities that Web services functionality can bring and the new services that they will be able to offer their own customers as a result. Leigh Brazier, development manager, Virgin Travelstore, said: “This is a long-awaited, major step forward for the travel industry. We`re looking for innovations that will allow us to reduce development time and cost for building applications that will help travellers better manage their travel plans, no matter where they are. Galileo Web Services will enable us to do this quickly and easily in a way that we believe will provide us with a competitive advantage.”
Jonathan Siddons, vice president, Product Marketing and Development, for Galileo`s EMEA region, said: “Until now, customers who wanted to develop travel applications would have had to invest a great deal of time, money and programming expertise. With Galileo Web Services, our data is open and accessible to our customers through an interface that will not only increase functionality but reduce project development times by as much as 50-80 percent.”
In addition to providing services to third parties, Cendant has applied Galileo Web Services to many of its own travel brands. For example, Galileo Web Services currently benefits Cheap Tickets and facilitates hotel availability requests for Lodging.com, both owned by Galileo`s parent company Cendant.
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