Go Voyages sails in front of the competition

With smarter computing from IBM

Published on 22-Sep-2011

Validated on 02 Dec 2013

Customer:
Go Voyages

Industry:
Travel & Transportation

Deployment country:
France

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, Business Integration, Business Performance Transformation, Information Governance, Information Integration, BA - Performance Management, Small & Medium Business, Web Services, Smarter Computing, Information Infrastructure

Overview

Online travel company Go Voyages of Paris, France, originally specialized in airline tickets. The company has extended its offerings to include accommodation, train travel, insurance, cruises and short- and long-term vacation packages. Go Voyages has 450 employees supporting web sites in English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese, among others.

Business need:
Go Voyages, an online travel operator, needed the ability to manage annual web-based business growth of up to 30 percent with intensive behavioral analytics

Solution:
Go Voyages relies on a set of around 100 IBM® System x® servers to deliver front-office and consumer-facing web access to its holiday packages, linked to IBM Power® servers that deliver high-speed cache services and connections to all four worldwide travel reservation systems – an industry-beating combination.

Benefits:
Being able to connect its four global reservations systems means that Go Voyages is able to offer a far greater choice to its consumers, while the IBM Power servers provide super-quick cache services to more than 2 million daily unique web searches on the System x servers. Even with 700 query parameters, the new IBM solution is able to process customer requests twice as quickly. Behavioral analytics enable marketing teams to create campaigns that increase successfully completed sales.

Case Study

To read a French version of this case study, click here.

Online travel company Go Voyages of Paris, France, originally specialized in airline tickets. The company has extended its offerings to include accommodation, train travel, insurance, cruises and short- and long-term vacation packages. Go Voyages has 450 employees supporting web sites in English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese, among others.

Managing business growth
Against industry growth of around 5 percent a year, Go Voyages achieves growth of up to 30 percent annually, which places huge strains on its IT infrastructure. Part of the Go Voyages business model is to analyze customer behavior based on response to specific travel offers and discounts, and the volume of data threatened to overwhelm the existing systems. Go Voyages wanted to create a solution that would solve the immediate challenges and scale continuously to deal with future growth, and offer the widest possible choice by connecting – unusually in the industry – to all four global reservations systems (Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and WorldSpan).

Giving customers more choice
Go Voyages now offers its customers an improved search interface with over 700 parameters, connecting to all four major Global Distribution Systems (GDS) (Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and WorldSpan) for travel booking, which provides a great competitive differentiator.

As enquiries arrive from the web sites, the company replicates flight data and requests real-time from the GDS services, including hotels, car agents, holiday providers and many more, to help create complete customer holiday packages. The IBM solution makes it possible to interact with these huge databases and deliver super-fast customer response at the same time.

The IBM solution allows Go Voyages to compare prices internally from the GDS providers to propose the best price to online customers. For example, during the air travel disruptions caused by the Iceland volcanic ash, Go Voyages was able to find flights for stranded clients when many other travel agencies could not.

Responding to customer behavior
Go Voyages deployed a business intelligence solution, built on IBM hardware and software technologies, to create and support a comprehensive data storage environment for the company’s travel data and payment records, and enable system-wide customer data to be integrated and analyzed using the software’s predictive modeling capability.

For example, customers looking to purchase an airline ticket from Paris to New York may be discouraged by the high price. Using behavioral analytics based on the IBM solution, Go Voyages prompts alternative routes with a short layover with substantial savings. The analysis allows Go Voyages to tailor the response to flight enquiries and increase the probability of ticket sales.

Powerful, reliable IBM hardware
Customer-facing web, interactive and business intelligence services are supported by 120 IBM System x3550 M2 and IBM System x3650 M2 servers running the Microsoft Windows 2003 operating system.

The heavy-duty back-end “flights engine” management solution, as well as accounting, finance and payroll solutions, are run on six IBM Power 520 and IBM Power 570 platforms, running the IBM i operating system.

Three IBM System Storage DS4800 and two IBM System Storage DS5020 devices store the company’s data, controlled through two IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller clusters. For both application servers and the storage, advanced IBM virtualization technology insulates the users from the physical devices themselves, which are managed automatically by the IBM software.

The IBM System x servers offer the potential to deal with web transaction continuous growth, while heavy-duty database processing is handled by the ultra-scalable IBM Power Systems platform. The IBM SAN Volume Controller brings all the available storage capacity, including the IBM System Storage DS4800 and DS5020 devices, into a single, easily-managed storage pool controlled from a single interface.

The solution includes IBM Cognos TM1 software, which analyzes the performance of the company’s offerings and provides reporting capabilities for customer transactions along with financial and accounting processes. IBM InfoSphere Change Data Capture and IBM InfoSphere DataStage software solutions ensure data quality to enable efficient data exchanges and synchronization between customer-facing and back-end systems to provide real-time flight status information to the web.

Based on the data from IBM InfoSphere Information Server (Information Analyzer, DataStage and Change Data Capture), Go Voyages uses IBM Cognos software to analyze customer activity and behavior, tracking the enquiry and sales stages to discover why he or she stopped searching and did not purchase a ticket.

Real-time synchronization between the back-end flights engine and customer-facing web sites ensures that travel bookings are confirmed with valid data, and payments are transferred immediately to the company accounting systems.

InfoSphere Change Data Capture software provides real-time replication of flight data between systems, and eliminated the need for what had been forecast as a four-month data integration program.

Boosting performance and sales numbers
Even with growing enquiry volumes, 700 query parameters and connection to all four GDS providers, the new IBM solution is able to process customer requests twice as quickly, thus handling twice the number of travel enquiries from within the same IT landscape.

The insight generated from behavioral analysis is used by the Go Voyages marketing team to develop better marketing promotions. This helps to ensure that more customers complete their ticket bookings, generating increased sales, which are rising annually by 30 percent – 25 percent more than the industry average.

Designed for Data: Customer behavioral analysis with advanced IBM tools including IBM Cognos software and IBM InfoSphere Information Server, Information Analyzer, DataStage and Change Data Capture allows Go Voyages to interpret huge and growing quantities of web transaction data and convert enquiries to larger numbers of completed sales.

Tuned to the Task: Web services are assigned to IBM System x servers, while the flights engine and back-office business systems are handled by the IBM POWER platform.

Managed in the Cloud: Go Voyages has created a single, flexible and scalable pool of computing resources, and with IBM SAN Volume Controller providing shared storage capacity and simplified data management regardless of the underlying storage device.

Driving Innovation: The IBM technologies enable Go Voyages to sustain its 30 percent growth rates and win business ahead of the competition with integrated real-time flight data.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Power 520 Express, Power 570, Power Systems, Power Systems running i, Storage, Storage: DS4800, Storage: DS5020, System x, System x: System x running Windows, System x: System x3550 M2, System x: System x3650 M2

Software:
InfoSphere Information Server, InfoSphere DataStage, Cognos TM1, InfoSphere Information Analyzer, InfoSphere Change Data Capture, PowerVM, IBM i

Operating system:
IBM i, Win NT/2003

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM France, Centre Relations Clients, 110 boulevard de la Salle, F-45760 Boigny-sur-Bionne, France. Produced in France September 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos, InfoSphere, PowerVM, System Storage, System x and Power are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.