Archive for October 23rd, 2007

SITA Plans To Develop New CRS

SITA announced the development of a new Reservation System. You can read the full story on ATW Online. I must admit I am not a SITA fan myself. After an almost failed project in 2003 and a completely failed project in 2006 with them and after seeing their “Horizon” project slowly sinking into the ocean. By the way in the airline industry it is fancy to give applications names related to aviation. But Horizon is not a smart name as the closer you try to get to it, the further it moves from you.
I was honestly surprised by this announcement. After failing the Horizon project together with Unisys, Lufthansa Systems bought that half ready, unusable product (I worked with it; there were completely insane features in it and very important functions missing). Not long ago LH Systems announced they stopped developing it – which I think was a very wise decision. This is the relationship between SITA and Lufthansa Systems that appear in the article.

When I take a look at this announcement, I have a guess about what is going on at SITA. Ian Ryder’s name appears in the article. I first met him during our first e-commerce project together with SITA. At that time he was the head of SITA’s newly bought, Godalming based e-commerce department. SITA bought that company in late 2002 or early 2003. They had a product called I-Travel Direct. It was first implemented for Air New Zealand on a different GDS and Malev was the next client on SITA Gabriel. Later Malev migrated to Amadeus and we developed our own e-commerce solution based on Amadeus. But it was clear that SITA’s solution was at least competitive, although for us it was not flexible enough. At that time they also developed a new pricing system there also mentioned in the article.

So my guess is that this e-commerce and e-pricing solution will be the basis for this new development. And if this is the case, I have to say it is a good idea and this way they are right; even low costs will be able to take advantage of it. Such a development is a mega project though with many departments involved and if I just take a look at that department responsible for SITA’s DCS, they will stumble into lack of knowledge and lack of professionals. They can only succeed with it if they will hire some good project managers (better than the ones I met before – except Kevin Bull) who can split up this huge project into well definable pieces and monitor developments closely. These project managers will also need support and attention from the highest level management.

I will write an email to SITA and ask for their comments.

By Szafi 

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