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The world’s largest leisure car rental broker, Holiday Autos, is deploying an eCRM solution from Progress independent software vendor (ISV), Hera, in a move to market more effectively and surpass its award-winning customer service standards. The WebSpeed™-based solution will integrate with Holiday Autos’ core booking system to deliver highly personalised, web-based marketing and CRM programs.

“Ebusiness has gone through the roof,” says Alan Herbage, IT director at Holiday Autos. “We see Holiday Autos doing up to 55 per cent of its business over the web within three years and want to be able to tap into this opportunity to market individually to customers, improve service, cost effectiveness and simplify on-line booking.”

“We have been employing an external marketing agency to hold and maintain our marketing data,” explains Julie Taverner, Holiday Auto’s project manager. “But this is an expensive option which gives us little direct control. Hera eCRM integrates with our reservations database to give us total ownership of our marketing campaigns from start to finish. We are able to personalise future communications with customers according to the way they react to our initial contact. It’s a very powerful tool.”

Regarding solutions from companies like Siebel to be too large and cost-prohibitive, Holiday Autos looked at the Progress community for CRM developers. “Since Progress underpins all our core systems - on and off the web - it made sense to stay with a platform we knew and trusted and that would integrate seamlessly,” adds Taverner. “We felt Hera eCRM was the most innovative solution offering the best email-based customer contact management process. We were very ambitious wanting everything quickly and knew bespoke work would be required.

Having a direct line to Hera’s developers, who really understood the technology, was very important for us.”

The first phase of Hera’s marketing module went live in June 2002 and enables Holiday Autos to market,
conventionally or via email, according to customer response and track and analyse campaign effectiveness with speed and total accuracy.

All bookings made through Holiday Auto’s reservations system is transferred to Hera, which performs a name and address verification match against existing bookers. A record is created that profiles new bookers. Existing bookers accumulate a booking history including dates, location and type of car. Hera eCRM analyses this data to build highly targeted mailing lists. For example, all direct bookers who hired cars last summer on the Costa del Sol, but who have not booked this year. Hera also cross-matches booking data against the campaign target lists to provide detailed analysis of campaign effectiveness.

Last October, Hera’s Customer Relations module went live allowing Holiday Autos to follow its customers from initial contact through to purchase and after-sales support. This enables the company to resolve issues faster, respond quicker and improve customer service.

Holiday Autos will bed-down the system in the UK initially and anticipates on-line participation in Germany later in the year followed by a roll-out to its world-wide businesses next year. “We are only 60 percent there with a lot more to get from the solution in the future,” Tavener explains. “We have had to change some business processes to realise the benefits of eCRM and no doubt will have to evolve further. With ebusiness set to boom we will be well placed to maximise the opportunities for communicating with and serving our customers.”

About Holiday Autos

Since its launch in 1987 Holiday Autos has revolutionised the car rental industry through innovative ideas and harnessing technology. Today it is the world’s largest leisure car rental broker with access to a fleet of over 750,000 cars from over 4,000 locations. It boasts keen prices and an award-winning service and conducts over 30 per cent of its business over the web.

About the Progress Company

Progress Software is a global supplier of software and services that simplify the development, deployment, integration, and management of business applications. The Progress® OpenEdge™ platform, with the industry's leading embedded database, delivers lowest cost-of-ownership applications that are rapidly implemented and easily integrated with other enterprise, extended enterprise and Internet applications.

With the expertise of more than 2,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and application service providers (ASPs), Progress Software and its application partners supply more than $5 billion annually in Progress technology, applications and related services. Customers span 50,000 organisations in more than 120 countries including 70 percent of the Fortune 100. Progress Software Corporation (Nasdaq: PRGS), is headquartered in Bedford, Mass. Sonic Software designs and develops the Sonic range of products in the USA. In Europe, they are distributed by Progress Software. In the UK Progress Software can be reached at 01753 216300 or on the Web at

About Hera

Hera Systems is one of the leading providers of true web-centric CRM solutions supporting all the sales,
marketing and service functions typical of a mid-tier enterprise. Hera’s product HeraCRM is a highly
functional 100% browser based application, comprising of three integrated modules, Sales, Marketing and Service. Each module is designed to take full advantage of the latest IT and Internet developments. To facilitate this, Hera Systems have developed their own web templates, which allow Hera to rapidly deliver powerful, highly-configurable and easily maintainable business applications for its customers. Hera supplies solutions to both the B2C and B2B markets.

Progress is a registered trademark of Progress Software Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
OpenEdgeand WebSpeed are trademarks of Progress Software Corporation in the U.S. Any other trademarks and/or service marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


Press enquiries to:

Salli Roskilly,
Saffron Communications,
T: 44 (0)1763 208708,
F: 44 (0)1763 208813

For additional information on Hera Systems please contact

T: +44 (0) 161 246 6050


Linda Trim,
Saffron Communications,
T: +44 (0)1763 208708,
F: + (0)1763 208813,

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Saffron Communications (Hertfordshire) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit