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Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the world’s largest business travel agency, has awarded two outsourcing contracts worth a total of £6.1 million (€10 million) to midrange and desktop specialist, Digica. Under a five-year contract, Digica will manage CWT’s AS/400 systems and a second, two-year contract covers CWT’s UNIX and NT platforms across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

CWT decided to outsource to help them increase their levels of system services and introduce a methodology to implement European standards whilst keeping control of costs. They chose Digica as their outsourcing supplier for their midrange systems expertise as well as their unique Standby/400 solution that will provide CWT with a high level of system resilience at the most economical cost.

Nine AS/400 machines will be transferred from their current location in Paris to Digica’s new purpose-built datacentre in Leeds from where Digica will provide 24x7 operations and technical support. Under the Standby/400 service, the AS/400s will be housed in Digica’s datacentre with mirrored disks installed in their High Availability Centre, a separate building on the same campus. The disks will continuously replicate so, should one disk fail, the system will automatically switch to the mirrored disk without causing downtime. Digica will also provide a standby AS/400 machine. In the unlikely event of one of CWT’s AS/400s failing, Digica will boot up the standby machine from the external disk and put it back on-line in approximately three hours – a vast improvement on the usual 3 days offered by traditional disaster recovery contracts and much less costly than implementing a full High Availability solution.

The AS/400s run CWT’s line of business system, known as ‘Wings’: a system owned by CWT but also used extensively by other companies within the travel industry.

CWT’s 10 internal UNIX systems, which manage the hotel and reservation contracts and contact data throughout EMEA, will also be transferred into Digica’s datacentre along with a range of e-business, web portal and presentation servers.

In addition, Digica will remotely monitor and support CWT’s entire EMEA Microsoft Exchange environment comprising 24 NT servers.

With over 3000 locations worldwide in 140 countries, CWT is a joint venture between the French-owned Accor Group and US-based Carlson Group. The Groups’ interests in travel include the hotel chains Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis, Formula 1, Radisson Resorts, Hotels Worldwide and Regent Hotels. In addition, CWT’s turnover is almost 50% of Europe’s total annual business travel budget!

“This contract is extremely important to my business: in essence we will be trusting our core systems to Digica”, said Hans Boskemper, CWT’s senior director IT EMEA. “In deciding who we would trust with these systems, we went through a very thorough process to identify which supplier was cheaper, faster, better! We could not be happier with our selection of Digica as an outsourcing services partner.”

To help them choose the best supplier, CWT turned to Clearview Management Consultants of Dallas,Texas. “Digica’s solution matched very well with CWT’s requirements and we expect a solid, beneficial relationship to ensue throughout the life of the contract”, said Ray Frenzel, partner at Clearview.

“This is one of Digica’s largest outsourcing deals”, said a delighted Richard Last, Digica’s CEO. “Once again, our commitment to customer satisfaction together with our investment in developing resiliency options has won the day for us. CWT has invested a lot of time and effort in finding the right supplier to manage their infrastructure and they’re looking to continue to work with us as a business partner for longer than the duration of these first contracts. Our aim is to prove that their decision is the right one both in the long and short term.”

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Notes for editors:

Carlson Wagonlit Travel is one of the leading travel and expense management companies in the world, serving both corporate and leisure clients. CWT created the first truly multi-national presence for corporate travel management. Their global strength was enhanced when US-based Carlson Travel Group and French-based Wagon-Lits merged to form Carlson Wagonlit Travel. With 20,000 employees working across 3000 branches in 140 countries, CWT’s revenues exceed US$12 billion. CWT continues to develop in key markets, including Asia Pacific and Latin America. CWT offers their clients a comprehensive, resourceful and, above all, forward-thinking approach to travel and expense management – all with an eye toward balancing corporate objectives with cost savings, personalised service and quality.

Clearview Management Consultants, LLC Clearview is a consulting services leader with offices in Dallas, Texas; Toronto, Ontario; and Frankfurt, Germany. Clearview helps clients create effective relationships when buying or selling internal and external services.
Clearview enhances its customers' business performance and profitability by providing an objective third-party perspective to service requirements. Clearview consultants have an average of over fifteen years’ experience in outsourcing, negotiations, applications and service management.

Digica is a leading specialist in midrange and desktop outsourcing, providing a range of services tailored to meet its customers’ demands. These services include Midrange Operations, Desktop Management, Applications Management, Web Hosting and System Sales. Digica also offers ASP Hosting services to software vendors who want to provide their own applications and services to their own customers on a price per user or other subscription basis.

Digica employs more than 175 people at locations in the UK and USA, and its customers include Bradford & Bingley Group, Capespan, Carat, CeDo, Cray Valley, Crazy George’s, Dairy Crest, DTS Logistics, Express Dairies, Fisher Foods, Freshbake Foods, Hodgson Chemicals, h-TE Controls, International Supply Chain (ISC), The Jacobs Bakery, Logtek, Northern Foods, Rhodia ChiRex Inc, Sanden International, Tibbett & Britten, Tinsley Wire, Tradeteam Exel Logistics, Universal Manufacturing & Logistics, Wesupply, Whitworths and Yorkshire Electricity Group.

For further information contact:

Niki Torrance, Marketing Manager, Digica, Phoenix House, Colliers Way, Nottingham NG8 6AT, UK
Telephone: 0115 977 1177
Mobile: 07967 455583

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