Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Travel Technology Systems - Are they really all the same?

As you can imagine being the eCommerce Director of Comtec (a leading travel technology company) that we keep an eye on the competition, and that is exactly what I do. But what is interesting if you look at the product of the key top travel technology providers, you will see that they on a quick glance they say they do the same thing.

All say they integrate into multiple external suppliers, hold inventory, multi-channel etc…. and have good diagrams on their websites to highlight this.

I know though that underneath the covers they don’t, all are slightly different with functionality moulded over the years by their customers.

There is one common trait through them all though, and that is that the architecture structure of every system looks the same (well similar).

The common parts of the architecture consist of the following 3 layers…..

  • Selling System Layer

  • Business Rules Layer

  • Aggregation Layer

All call their layers something different, but they all do the same thing as described above, so don’t get too confused when looking at the various products diagrams and say they haven’t got an “Business Rules Layer”

It is encouraging in some way that all the major providers are doing something similar and I would say technically logical.

Some examples….

Datalex OpenJawComtecAnite

The key thing though as I mentioned above, is that under the bonnet, deep in the engine functionality they definitely don’t all do the same thing, and so when looking for a technology product/partner you need to make sure you do lift the bonnet and do a full MOT.