Travel Cloud bids to revolutionise sector’s IT infrastructure

With cloud computing poised to revolutionise how firms manage their IT requirements, technology specialist Travel Systems Associates has launched a new brand to migrate firms away from their existing infrastructure.

Travel Cloud is believed to be the first of its kind, specifically targeting travel and promising firms huge savings on their IT expenditure.

TSA says it can offer travel firms of all sizes access to the kind of efficiencies leading UK travel giant Thomas Cook is looking for from its recently announced cloud tech deal with Accenture.

Richard Bristow, TSA director, said: “The most exciting thing for me about this is it’s real. It’s not just a marketing exercise, we can really improve the way companies manage and operate their IT.”

The new offering sees TSA partner with technology infrastructure provider Commensus, which houses servers in four locations in Europe.

Bristow said moving to the cloud eradicates the capital costs of buying hardware, estimated at between £50,000 and £75,000 over a three to five year period, as well as the costs of in-house technical support.

He also said argued that renting server capacity allows firms to upscale or downscale to suit the seasonal buying pattern of travel. It also means savings on software licences and upgrades, such as migration to Windows 8. Monthly rental of servers is also tax deductable.

Travel Cloud is offering two forms of cloud hosting: ‘Professional’, for small firms with under 20 users; and ‘Enterprise’, for larger firms with more than 20 users who have their own IT infrastructure. It also offers a VOIP phone system.

“Companies can rent servers per month, which is a huge improvement in terms of flexibility. There is no capital expenditure and a huge quantum leap in terms of security as everything is backed up and there is nothing held on the same server,” said Bristow.

For firms that are nervous about a perceived relinquishing of control, Travel Cloud is offering partial migrations as a ‘taster’.

Bristow said cloud infrastructure allows firms to better manage access and permissions, and means homeworkers and employees in overseas offices can log in securely. In addition, Travel Cloud gives them the ability to create and set permissions for libraries of content and data, such as pictures, video, and ticketing and documentation files, through integration with Microsoft Sharepoint.

“We believe we are the first technology company to offer cloud computing specifically aimed at the travel industry,” said Bristow. “You can now rent your computer system out of your cash flow – after all you wouldn’t buy company cars. You buy what you want, add more if you need and reduce your resource requirements when you don’t.”

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