ILOG today announced that Amadeus has selected ILOG JRules, a key offering in ILOG’s Business Rule Management System (BRMS) product line, to determine in real-time tour availability in Amadeus’ new search and compare solution, Amadeus Destino. ILOG JRules is used to create a simplified and unified interface for 1,300 travel agencies in Germany, providing them with real-time availability information from up to 65 Germany- and Austria-based tour operators. This shortens customer response times, moves inventory faster and improves customer retention.
Amadeus Destino provides travel agents with everything they need to sell a holiday package from a single platform. Travel agents can input the traveler’s requirements and search for all offers from all operators, check availability and give the traveler information about their destination. The booking details are then imported directly to the Amadeus booking system, saving time for the travel agent and their customer. Amadeus Destino optimises the sales process for tourism products and helps travel agents maximise their commission. Amadeus Destino delivers all the information and tools a travel agent needs to make a fast and profitable booking.
In the highly competitive travel market, the recommendation process is a strategic, but complex part of the sales process. Since many travel agencies are competing with online travel booking services, the process needs to be very fast, reliable and effective to ensure they can be competitive while offering the high level of customer service that differentiates them from on-line offerings. Prior to the JRules-based Amadeus Destino, tour availability checks were performed manually, significantly slowing response times. Travel agents had to not only learn the specific code displays corresponding to offerings from each tour operators’ catalogs, they also had keep up with them as they were frequently updated.
The ILOG JRules-based Amadeus Destino is marketed as an ASP (application service provider) solution. It allows all tour offerings, and the unique policies of each operator, to be consolidated, with the availability checks performed automatically by the system. Agents get accurate, real-time availability information, allowing them to respond quickly and freeing them to focus on customer service - the travel agency’s sustainable competitive advantage compared with online booking. In addition, the automation enabled by ILOG JRules reduces the number of mistakes inherent in the manual process, resulting in higher reliability for the customer and lower cost for the agency.
In addition to enabling travel agencies to be more competitive, ILOG JRules enables faster maintenance of the ASP-based Amadeus Destino offering. Amadeus can now deploy new policies in a week compared with three months. This is because rules are stored and modified only in the centralised rule repository versus in multiple locations required by the previous system. Furthermore, since business rules are now written in the intuitive language of the business user, both business and IT users understand what policies are in place and what modifications are necessary when introducing a new policy.
“We first considered the option of hard-coding the rules in the system but we realised this would create a very costly and hard to maintain solution”, said Wolfgang Klein, Director Business Unit Development, Amadeus Germany. “ILOG JRules provides greatest flexibility to our system, while significantly alleviating the maintenance costs and efforts of a system subject to frequent changes.”
Thorsten Krechel, office manager at Alltours Reisecenter Kossmann Reisen and a Amadeus Destino user said: “An especially efficient feature of Amadeus Destino is the search function for travel offers, which is structured by pre-defined criteria. It automatically checks for vacancies and has significantly reduced the time needed to select a suitable travel offer when serving a customer. The application has also reduced the number of errors in transferring booking codes or entering other information. What is more, the ability to simultaneously query multiple availabilities is an enormous timesaver in a travel agency.”
The new Amadeus Destino is the latest product in the Amadeus tours portfolio. It incorporates a browser based graphical user interface aimed at automating the search and availability check of tour packages across multiple tour operators. The new solution incorporates a powerful search capability that takes into consideration individual customer interests and then matches these with the most suitable tour offers directly available. The new solution facilitates the search across multiple tour operators and enables them to display detailed information about their offers incorporating multi-media material. This helps to reinforce the tour operator’s brand and differentiate their offer. tour operators are able to distribute across geographical borders into other markets all from the same connection to the Amadeus leisure travel platform. This saves considerable development time and distribution costs and gives tour operators the opportunity to expand their distribution.