The Dubai-based company, which has made no secret of its plans to become the leading travel technology provider in Asia, has secured its first client in Vietnam -Saigon-headquartered Destination Management Company (DMC) Focus Asia - in a move that further reinforces the supremacy of its solutions in this fiercely competitive marketplace.
Under deal terms, Focus Asia will adopt cutting-edge ‘Illusions OnDemand’ (IOD) technology, enabling the rapidly-expanding operator to automate and integrate its offices and operations spanning six countries in Asia, creating one central database.
This will benefit the B2B travel specialist’s tour operator customers, which are primarily based in Russia, Germany, Switzerland and Spain and allow Focus Asia to attract clients in new markets such as the US and Italy.
Focus Asia’s managing director, Thomas Weigelt, who has chosento adopt the latest Version 13 of IOD’sEnterprise solution, said this off-the-shelf product was far superior to any other system on offer in the Asian market and would replace the outdated one-dimensional solution it currently had in place.
“The current system we use now is like an old car; it has served us well, but it’s time to upgrade and drive a car that is newer and better and so we chose Illusions,” he said.
The reasons for adopting IOD were numerous and compelling, Weigelt continued: “Primarily, the Illusions solution is web-based and the others on offer to us are not. Our business is a multi-company environment with offices in several countries and so it is essential that all operations are integrated online. The current system is no good to us now because it is based on single company software.
“Other key reasons why we opted for Illusions were to automate all of our accounting and booking procedures. In addition, some of our major tour operator clients in Europe already use Illusions technology so this will enhance our relationship with these customers.”
Weigelt added: “Another major advantage is that it will integrate our CRM database, booking history and all the information from our web pages. I will be able to see who changed what and at what time and all the contracts will be located on one system.”
He explained that the current systems used at Focus Asia carried out each of these functions separately and were therefore cumbersome and inefficient.
IOD’s Enterprise solutionwill automate, integrate and centralisealmost every aspect of Focus Asia’s operationsand will include product management, hotel/services contracting, client profiles and tariff rules, a booking engine, client and supplier documentation, accounts receivables and accounts payables, logistics and planning modules, as well as Internet booking engines for clients to purchase the entire accommodation product range online.
Also included is the XML capability to allow Focus Asia’s client systems to connect to the Illusions system for product pricing, availability and making bookings.
Illusions Online CEO Faisal Memon stressed that all these functions were integrated into one centralised online system offering a fast and efficient web-based product that could not befound anywhere else on the market.
“The solution we are offering Focus Asia is quite simply, a cut above the rest,” he said.
“What’s more, unlike our competitorswho can take years to implement their technology,we can go live with any of the IOD solutions in a relatively short timeframe, which is another of ourunique selling points.
“We have worked with tour operators and DMCs globallyfor more than 15 years and have now developed a core product that is pretty much ‘out of the box’ and meets the needs of most travel firms. Of course, we offer different options and can customise solutions according to individual requirements, but we are talking about going live with Focus Asia’s systemby the end of the year, so it will help rather than hinder the company’s current growth trajectory.”
Memon said Focus Asia would also benefit from Illusions Online’s unique concept known as World Travel eXchange (iWTX) system.
This allows all Illusions customers – tour operators, DMCs and travel agents - to access and sell one another’s content.
“We have set up a distribution agreement with Illusions clients so they can share content and contacts and we are the conduit,” explained Memon.
“So our clients all over the world will be able to access and sell Focus Asia’s products and pricing in real time.”
Weigelt said iWTX was a “great idea” that Focus Asia would harness to strengthen current tour operator relationships and forge new ones.
“This will allow us to explore opportunities in new markets for us,” he said.
Illusions’ deal with Focus Asia further elevates its status in the Asian market where in the past 12 months, it has secured several big names as it sets out quickly conquer this continent.
The company, which at the end of last year hired a General Manager in Malaysia, with satellite operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, already boasts several of the region’s travel firm heavyweights on its client list.
They include three of the Asia’s leading DMCs – sister companies Go Vacation Thailand, Go Vacation Indonesia and Go Vacation Sri Lanka; Singapore’s leading DMC, RMG; as well as established Penang-based tour operator, Tong Yan Travel & Tours.
“The reason we have bagged so many high-profile accounts is that there are very few reputable technology companies offering the Asian travel market the level of automation it requires and Illusions really does stand out from the crowd in this respect,” said Memon.
“We are currently in discussion with several more tour operators and DMCs and expect to become the number one player in Asia in a very short time frame.”