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Arion re-engineers travel portal to increase online sales

   
 

The client - A leading Indian corporate house with interests in the areas of Corporate Travel, Leisure Holidays, Foreign Exchange and Travel Related Insurance, among others.

The company’s award winning website is the most complete travel portal for the Indian traveler. Customers can access and purchase a complete range of products and services online - including domestic and international air tickets, holiday packages, hotels, rail holidays and cruises, with over 2000 tours and 60,000 hotel properties to choose from, worldwide.

The business need

The existing Travel Portal had the following issues that needed resolution

  • The website was running on an older version of Allaire JRun and due to improper application design had scalability issues operating on a Windows NT platform. Consequently, the site was facing a lot of downtime, leading to revenue losses for the client.
  • The website was very slow and performance used to deteriorate significantly with an increase in the number of users.
  • With a growing number of online transactions, server, network and application security needed to be strengthened.
  • The client was as planning tie-ups with popular consumer portals, which would increase traffic on the site exponentially.
  • Content updates, publishing of fresh content and maintenance of currency of content was difficult in the absence of a Content Management System.

Arion’s solution

  1. Arion evaluated the solution from the following standpoints
  2. Website stability was top priority – zero downtime was a key requirement
  3. The platform needed to be scalable to cater to increasingly higher traffic
  4. The solution needed to be completely secure
  5. A Content Management System was an immediate need

With these key goals, Arion chose an Open Source Framework to implement the solution.

Stable and Scalable Platform

From the various alternatives considered, the platform finally chosen was

  1. Operating System: Red Hat Linux
  2. Application Server: JBOSS
  3. Database: mySQL and SQL Server

Content Management System

OpenCMS was used as the content management system. Being a Java based Open Source Software, the CMS was totally integrated with other applications on the site.

Easy WYSIWYG editing and access control mechanisms were implemented. All pages on the website were driven through OpenCMS. The categorization and search engine were modified and made user-friendly.

Security

Industry standard documentation of the website was provided. Security measures were implemented on the Red Hat Linux server protecting the website against hacking to which it was vulnerable in the previous environment. Detailed audit logs were maintained to enable tracking of activities on the web site and automated back-up scripts were written to ensure that site data got backed up on a daily basis.

Results

  1. Zero downtime of the website
  2. Page views on the website increased dramatically
  3. Integration with consumer portals became feasible, bringing in greater revenue to the website.
  4. The content management system was easy enough for business users, encouraging them to publish more information on website, which lead to a larger number of enquiries and greater sales.
  5. The website was now compliant with more stringent security audit guidelines.

Arion continues to remain the technology partner for website initiatives and is now in the process of designing and developing participating the next-generation travel portal.