Subject: Mission Critical Hosting and Networking Services
Industry Sector: Software Vendor - Travel
Organisation: 2e Systems
Solutions take flight with NTT Europe Online and 2e Systems Partnership
2e Systems is a dynamic and versatile company offering a suite of web-based solutions to the airline and travel industry. Its customers include Lufthansa and Air Berlin, two leading German airlines.
The 2e Systems applications are best suited to high volume transaction environments and have proven their worth as a stable platform for mission-critical systems such as flight bookings, check-in, frequent-flyer programmes and mobile notification (SMS) services. 2e Systems provides complete end to end services for its customers, from application development through to server setup, maintenance and support.
When customers started to request a single point of contact for their entire solution, including application hosting, 2e Systems began the process of selecting a suitable third party provider and evaluated several suppliers and a wide variety of solutions. They were most impressed with the approach of NTT Europe and its ICT solution portfolio.
“We were looking for a hosting partner who could match the levels of professionalism and responsive customer service our customers expect,” explains Alistair Forbes, Managing Director of 2e Systems. “We found such a match in NTT Europe. They listen to us and genuinely understand our priorities and imperatives. It is a very professional approach that helped us to develop a collaborative working relationship very quickly.”
“We have been actively seeking high quality partners as we build our capabilities in key vertical markets across Europe. Our relationship with 2e Systems promises further opportunities for cargo and passenger airline solutions, bringing us into contact with new customers and giving 2e Systems the scope to offer broader Internet-based solutions,” says Weynand Kuijpers, VP Marketing and Sales Strategy, NTT Europe.
“Apart from the flexibility and commitment to service demonstrated by the NTT Europe account team, the solutions are technically very strong and help to encourage customer confidence across the board,” as Forbes explains.
“NTT Europe’s technical expertise is without question and their flexible “sell with” approach means they work closely alongside us to convince customers of the wisdom of selecting NTT Europe's hosting solution.”
Following the success of the first partnership solution at dba, Germany’s second biggest airline for domestic flights, 2e Systems has several new projects relating to both cargo and passenger airlines. “I know we’ll be relying on NTT Europe to support us; their professionalism and expertise are of great value to us,” concludes Forbes.
“NTT Europe has demonstrated to us that they understand what our type of business is all about. They are not just trying to push their hosting service at us. They are not just trying to cut prices. They have taken a lot of trouble to show that their networks and installations can provide the best of everything. They think in the right way and give us a lot of confidence to work with them in the future.”
The German Airline dba was, until 2003, part of BA. It recently extended its fleet from 15 to 27 aircraft, taking over the routes and planes from Germania Express (Gexx). Prior to the growth, however, the company was looking for a cost-effective, stable and fast-to-deploy solution to support its growing online flight-booking business. After an intense and highly competitive tendering process, 2e Systems was chosen to deliver the solution.
“We liked the 2e approach very much,” points out Martin Gauss, Managing Director at dba. “They understood our business very well and were clearly willing to respond to our needs. By charging on a cost-per-booking basis they’ve helped to minimise the financial and operational risk and keep our cost of ownership low.”
Alistair Forbes, Managing Director of 2e Systems, explains the customer priorities: “dba operates in a very competitive market and needs dynamic solutions and partners that will help them be responsive. In effect, they need solutions on demand; hence the appeal of the 2e solution and our proven hosting platform.”
dba needed a single point of contact for its entire solution, including the hosting element of the total service package.
dba’s customers connect over the Internet; its web servers need to connect to back-office systems and in both cases the availability of that connectivity must be without question.
“The NTT Communications IP network is one of the best in the world,” states Forbes. “The resilience of the infrastructure, and the management methodology that it’s subjected to, give us and dba the confidence we need to rely on it for this mission-critical application.”
There were additional benefits, too. NTT Europe would be hosting the solution in its secure Frankfurt data centre, with direct high-speed connectivity to the network backbone. The proximity of the facility to 2e Systems’ own German operation would also make it easy to meet and exchange ideas as the project developed.
Deadlines for the deployment of dba’s application on their official website were very tight and necessitated that NTT Europe and 2e Systems got the project off to a fast start. “The rollout of the application went very smoothly, thanks to the dedication of NTT Europe’s engineers and our own developers,” says Forbes. “The deadlines were ambitious, and the only wrinkle in our plans appeared with the announced takeover of routes and aircraft from Germania Express, just two weeks before the launch date.”
Following the takeover, dba’s routes doubled from 17 to 34 and, consequently, it was able to offer more choice to customers visiting the web site. “It was a huge process to incorporate a change of this scale,” Forbes continues. “But we did it,” he smiles. “This reflects well on the strength of the partnership between us and NTT Europe. The close relationship makes it easy to get things done; we rely on their expertise and trust their advice.”
This view is endorsed by dba, as Gauss expresses: “We were impressed with the way NTT Europe and 2e worked together to understand our needs and meet them within the tight timescales. Their technical support and customer service has been excellent.”