SLOUGH — 8th November 2001 — Holiday Autos, the world’s largest leisure car rental broker, has abandoned the
external development of its client-server Oracle Voyager centralised reservation system and switched to the
Progress OpenEdge™ e-Business Platform to carry on development with a browser-based, thin client architecture.
The first phase of the Voyager II project builds upon the highly successful Holiday Autos website, developed
with Progress, which generates multi-million pound sales each year.
The Oracle project which was being handled by a German software house hit serious delays and was running 10
months late, so Holiday Autos took the decision to change its development direction.
Holiday Autos offers car rental in 4000 locations in over 60 countries selling through sales offices in 40
source markets. The business driver for Voyager was to consolidate Holiday Autos’ disparate telesales
reservation systems in each source market into a standard centralised system, which could provide on-line
access to reservation information and centralised accounting and management information. The centralised
approach would remove considerable cost from the business while introducing standards and conformity.
With the tragic events in New York and the inevitable effect on car rental bookings, the pressures are even
greater for the new system to be up and running quickly.
Alan Herbage, group IT director at Holiday Autos comments: “The lateness of the Oracle project was in stark
contrast to the speed of development we experienced when using Progress for the internet bookings system in late 1999.
“Starting from scratch, Progress delivered the system in nine weeks, meeting the goal of going live before
Christmas that year. Since then we have built up Progress skills in-house and extended the site to enable key
partners like Go, the low cost airline, to embed the Holiday Autos site within their own, using XML standards
and Progress SonicMQ e-business messaging. The site and back-office database have proved highly resilient -
our uptime is, I’m sure, better than the industry average and the system scales easily to meet the demands of
high volumes of web bookings. The cost of ownership of the Progress application is less too: the Oracle
systems required two fulltime database administrators and constant tuning – the Progress database requires
none and is self-tuning.”
This level of performance gave Holiday Autos the confidence to examine whether the e-commerce bookings system
could be extended with the extra back office functionality and links to suppliers, planned for Voyager. There
was a 60 per cent match between the two developments and the decision to abandon the Oracle project was made
in view of the problems in Germany.
Clive Jacobs, chairman of Holiday Autos and the major force behind Holiday Autos’ e-commerce dedication and
success, who came under criticism from incumbent suppliers, said: “If Oracle had its way they would be the
only company selling database software. None of us want to live in a dictatorship. There are parallels between
Holiday Autos and Progress in that we are not the leading brands but have surmounted hurdles to achieve
success and deliver good products.
“The replacement of the disparate systems will allow us to remove a large tranche of cost from the business.
The sooner we go live with the Progress Voyager system the more cost we can save through efficiencies, which
is our top priority during these unpredictable times.”
Development is being handled by a team of eight, already proficient in using Progress 4GL and WebSpeed which
form part of the OpenEdge e-Business development and deployment platform.
Progress Professional Services is contracted to build the third party integration functionality with suppliers
such as Alamo and Europcar. The first phase of the project is on schedule to go live before Christmas.
Alan Herbage comments: “The new system continues the emphasis on e-business enabling us to work from anywhere
with good disaster recovery. We can also examine new ways of working, such as from home. The potential for
savings on the communications virtual private network is huge and the browser method of working will also
dramatically reduce support costs and enable us to take advantage of network computers, for example.”
About Holiday Autos
Holiday Autos is the world’s largest leisure car rental broker with access to a fleet of over 750,000 cars
sourced from a range of reputable car rental companies in over 4000 locations world-wide.
About Progress OpenEdge™ E-business Platform
The OpenEdge™ e-Business Platform, from Progress Software is a comprehensive suite of Progress® products,
enabling technologies as well as a ‘how to’ prescription for speeding up the development, deployment and time
to market of e-business applications. It is aimed at any organisation wanting to take advantage of the
internet to, for example, serve customers better, integrate data from disparate sources, provide wider access
to applications and explore new avenues of doing business.
The Progress Company
The Progress Company is a global supplier of software technology and services for developing, deploying,
integrating and managing e-business solutions. The company provides a comprehensive suite of products that
includes application development tools, application servers, the leading e-business messaging server SonicMQ,
and the industry's most widely used, lowest-cost-of-ownership embedded database.
The Progress Company's partners include more than 2000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and application
service providers (ASPs) who supply annually over billion in Progress®-based applications and related
services. Over 40,000 organisations across more than 100 countries - including 70% of the Fortune 100 - rely
on Progress-based applications. The Progress Company, an operating company of Progress Software Corporation
(NASDAQ: PRGS), is headquartered in Bedford, Mass., and can be reached in the UK at 01753 216300 or on the web at http://www.progress.com
Progress and WebSpeed are registered trademarks of Progress Software Corporation in the United States and
other countries. OpenEdge is a trademark of Progress Software Corporation in the United States and other
countries. SonicMQ is a trademark of Sonic Software Corporation in the United States and other countries. Any
other trademarks and/or servicemarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
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