Holidays Go Mobile

Feature Article | July 28, 2009 by Benjamin Blaume

TUI Hellas takes its booking system on the road with SAP NetWeaver Mobile (photo: SAP.info)

Ticket sales for day trips and local events are a major source of revenue for TUI Hellas, the Greek subsidiary of European travel group TUI. The only obstacle for the company – a costly and complex IT solution that was making life difficult for its employees.

Since 2001, TUI Hellas had been relying on a tailored mobile solution to book its day trips and make reservations. Unfortunately the solution had a number of serious issues – not least the fact that its hardware and software were outdated and difficult to use. This made annual training of the company’s numerous seasonal employees hugely time-consuming. Maintenance costs were also high, because the hardware could only be serviced by the solution provider. “We felt like we were dragging a dead weight around with us,” recalls Eleni Boutsi, IT manager at TUI Hellas. The time was ripe for a more modern, powerful, and cost-effective solution.

The new software not only had to offer TUI Hellas the right functionality – but also fit seamlessly into its existing SAP environment. The company found its answer in SAP NetWeaver Mobile, an integrated component of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. The solution was implemented by SAP partner IMG – the consulting services division of the S&T Group. A major advantage of the new solution is its independence from specific hardware – running on any smartphone using the Windows Mobile operating system.

Rapid Rollout

To keep business ticking over smoothly, TUI Hellas planned its transition to the new solution for the quieter winter months. The test phase, however, took place in July 2007 on two Greek islands. Seeing was believing for the company’s tour guides, who were instantly impressed by the user-friendliness of the new hardware. Implementation of SAP NetWeaver Mobile was equally trouble-free and TUI Hellas was able to supply around 500 employees with its new mobile devices by the spring of 2008. “There can only be one word to describe the transition so far – and that’s smooth,” says an appreciative Eleni Boutsi. “Since the first two rollouts, we haven’t had a single teething problem.”

The Solution at Work

With SAP NetWeaver Mobile, companies can extend their information systems beyond the core components of SAP ERP. As well as Windows Mobile devices such as pocket PCs and smartphones, the software is equally at home on laptops and desktop PCs. Free of the constraints of a particular hardware, these devices cost much less than their proprietary counterparts. Thanks to the integrated SAP system, TUI Hellas tour guides can now make bookings, change reservations, and process cancellations on their smartphones – all remotely and in synch with the company database.

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