Wish You Were There?

First shown at the Convergence Summit at Sandown Park this week, Tiscali has announced details of a partnership with T-systems providing an innovative new technology service to TUI Travel.

Customers of TUI Travel can now experience the sights and sounds of a potential holiday destination thanks to the combined expertise and innovative approach of T-Systems and Tiscali Business Services. The new application which makes this experience possible is called WiSH, a web in shops service, which enables video streaming to the desktop.

TUI Travel decided that it would offer customers an in-store travel experience like no other, enabling them to view holiday destinations before choosing to proceed with their booking. However, the project depended on whether or not necessary bandwidth could be supplied. TUI Travel turned to T-Systems, the company’s long-standing communications provider, to explore possibilities.

The specific requirement was the ability to deliver adequate bandwidth to shops to support high quality multiple streams in each store. T-Systems took on business broadband experts Tiscali Business Services for their advice, expertise and support.

Dominic Taylor, Service Manager for T-Systems in the UK says: “This really was a key strategic implementation for TUI Travel and the success of the project would define whether WiSH should or could be considered for roll out to other European countries. Tiscali was involved from an early stage, once it became clear that BT wasn’t flexible enough to provide a solution to meet the requirements of the WiSH project.”

“It was evident that the minimum bandwidth requirements for WiSH in any store would require a guaranteed downstream bandwidth – not just any IPStream based DSL connection,” says Lance Spencer, Product and Marketing Director for Tiscali Business Services. “Tiscali Premium Voice Ready Broadband supports this requirement and so we were very happy to get involved.”

The initial rollout to over 600 Thomson / Lunn Poly stores was completed in just four months and the roll out to 360 First Choice stores took less than three months.

The new solution for TUI has enabled the company to extend the WiSH application to all of its stores. “This is a very important product for the future strategy of TUI,” says Taylor. “As well as having WiSH, TUI stores now have a much faster network in place which will enable them to introduce other new and innovative applications.”

“T-Systems and Tiscali have demonstrated the collaborative approach that TUI UK promotes with all its suppliers, supporting a service-led experience that allows us to support current business strategies delivering increased value to our customers and shareholders,” says Keith Newman, TUI Chief Information Officer. ”In the last 18 months T-Systems has provided leadership, flexibility and a highly collaborative approach in supporting TUI Travel plc. The network solution implemented has enabled TUI UK to deliver an unrivalled and innovative media experience to our customers. T-Systems were highly responsive and supportive of the recent merger activity between the tourism division of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays PLC and quickly deployed the standard solution across the combined retail estate, demonstrating the value of a strong local account team relationship.”