A legacy reservation system was making it nearly impossible to expand flight offerings and improve customer service.
ASC’s legacy reservation system, ATOP, made implementing the plan virtually impossible. Used by 50 percent of the industry’s travel agents, ATOP is an online reservation, administration, and accounting system that runs on Digital VAX computers. At ASC, ATOP is linked to the following back-end systems:
- ASC banking system.
- Canada 3000 reservation system.
- Galileo, a leading provider of electronic distribution services for the worldwide travel industry.
- FareSearch, an Anite product that holds contracts between ASC and the airline.
While ASC sales agents could connect directly to the Canada 3000 flights reservation system, the ATOP interface to the Galileo and FareSearch systems was complex and rigid – effectively shutting out other carriers. “Sales agents were taking 15 to 25 minutes to book flights, and customers can’t wait that long,” said Thibault Baradat, IT manager at ASC. “We knew we needed to reduce that time to less than a minute.”
In addition to being complex and inflexible, ATOP was not integrated with ASC’s website. Every day, ASC staff used a web-based application to update flight prices and availability on the site. Customers wanting the latest travel info had to call sales agents, who then accessed ATOP to retrieve and validate the required data.
This process forced customers to make their travel arrangements during business hours rather than at their convenience. Once a customer made a reservation online, the details were forwarded via PGP email to sales agents who manually entered them into the ATOP system. Not only was this time consuming, but customer information was often lost because ATOP did not provide a field for storing information such as email addresses and first names.