Thomas Cook's Project Vector To Go Live

by Hinesh Jethwani    Mar 17, 2004

After spending two years in a major development program undertaken by TCS, Project Vector - a gargantuan task that involved extensive auditing in travel industry terms Â- is finally ready to revolutionize automation standards at Thomas Cook.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Anil Nadkarni, head of information technology, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “The first phase of Project Vector will go live on April 1st, culminating in a full fledged deployment by the end of 2004. The solution will effectively integrate multiple businesses at Thomas Cook, such as Forex accounting, ticketing, etc.”

Project Vector maximizes the use of web technologies to integrate multiple channels of the travel and tourism industry. The branch offices and call centers of Thomas Cook have already tested the solution internally, and the enterprise stands to gain significant benefits once it goes live, according to Nadkarni.

Labeling the new solution as a DIY (Do It Yourself) technology enabler, Nadkarni explained, “Project Vector was treated as a business project rather than an IT exercise. Migration of the technology into the Internet will require careful scrutiny, as security is a prime issue to content with.”

To avoid bottlenecks and integration issues, the company used the services of Deloitte Haskins & Sells (DHS) along with their own internal team, for an exhaustive auditing process. Since the solution integrates disparate processes, training internal staff to handle the new interface and content was an extensive process. Module1 training for Project Vector took 3 months, according to Nadkarni.

Thomas Cook, which typically spends Rs 2-3 Crore annually on IT, already has a V-SAT network in place by Comsat Max. Next on the cards, is a Disaster Network that will be realized in June, effectively reducing downtime and facilitating load sharing. The company is already talking to 2-3 vendors for acquiring the Disaster Network, including Bharti.

According to Nadkarni, the company is also looking at realizing a Disaster Recovery site, and IBM is the strongest contender from the list of vendors being considered.