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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Gregor Petri, Georgiana Comsa, Elizabeth White

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Dell Software Solution Helps Travel Agency’s Online Performance Soar

Dell Software today announced that the Thomas Cook online travel agency (OTA) has achieved real and tangible results through a massive increase in IT effectiveness with the addition of Foglight®, the performance monitoring solution from Dell acquisition Quest Software. With Foglight’s proactive monitoring capability, Thomas Cook IT Operations has effectively optimized the performance of the OTA and has slashed MTTR (Mean-Time-To-Resolution) by up to 97 percent, resulting in an estimated 30 percent increase in bookings.

“Peak website performance means users have a positive online experience that is critical to driving revenue,” said Steve Rosenberg, general manager, Performance Monitoring, Dell Quest Software. "Increased conversion rates and transactional value of online purchases spell increased revenue for the enterprise, no matter what the industry. Thomas Cook’s choice of Foglight to provide holistic, proactive performance monitoring of its IT infrastructure ensures that website performance issues will be detected and resolved before they can affect customers.”

With an average of approximately 1 million hits per day, and approximately 3 million during the peak period, the OTA’s UK website frustrated customers with lengthy page load times and other performance-related issues. The company’s existing monitoring system not only was unable to help identify and resolve performance issues, but also provided limited visibility into the user’s actual experience, making it difficult to gauge the impact of problems and understand why users abandoned the site.

“Previously, we would have learned of an issue at the end of the day, and it would have taken hours to identify the problem,” said Andy Dean, service delivery manager, UK and France, Thomas Cook Online. “Foglight provides immediate alerts that enable us to fix problems before they affect the customers. The time to find and resolve a problem has dropped by up to 97 percent, from 48 hours to between one and two hours.”

News Facts:

  • With Foglight’s proactive performance monitoring capabilities, Thomas Cook reaped a number of benefits that enabled the online travel agency to retain existing customers and recapture lost business:
    • Peak website performance, resulting in increased conversion rates
      With Foglight, Thomas Cook now is alerted to emerging issues in real time, so problems are resolved quickly, and users’ consistently positive experience with the website means the completion of more travel bookings.
    • Facilitate increased number of hits and average transactional value, along with an estimated 30 percent increase in the number of bookings
      Improved website performance translates to increased revenue for the OTA, which now can take up to 180 bookings per hour, equating to a total of $426,000 based on the average selling price of a booking.
    • Reduce problem resolution time by up to 97 percent, from 48 hours to 1-2 hours
      Thomas Cook relies on Foglight’s real-time monitoring dashboard and alerts to help keep its websites at peak performance and fix problems before they affect customers. When a customer does experience a problem, Foglight’s record-and-replay capability enables the OTA to replicate the customer’s website experience on a local machine to determine exactly what went wrong.
    • Significantly decrease the number of customer services calls from online customers
      Thomas Cook’s online customers previously accounted for approximately 35 percent of customer service calls, but improved website performance with Foglight has reduced that number to approximately 15 percent.
    • Enable the recapturing of an estimated $190,000 of lost business in three months
      The OTA has customized Foglight to recapture lost business by monitoring customers who drop off the website. Foglight automatically emails the Thomas Cook retention teams with details about non-bookers, so they can follow up and offer points of contact to facilitate bookings. The “Abandoned Bookers Programme” generated approximately $190,000 in its first three months.
  • Foglight combines performance monitoring of business-critical applications, databases and infrastructure into one adaptive, modular, monitoring platform. Via a single version of the truth, IT Operations is able to increase their effectiveness at managing service delivery across the entire application architecture. Foglight offers the end-to-end transactional and service views IT operations needs to manage performance from the perspective of both the business and end users.
  • With an OTA comprising nearly a dozen websites that serve clients worldwide, Thomas Cook is a global travel giant. The company’s popular UK website, thomascook.com, is the largest of the sites, accounting for more than 40 percent of the online travel agency’s UK business. With competitive alternatives just a click away, its performance monitoring system must expedite the identification and resolution of website performance issues to prevent potential customers from departing the site without completing their travel arrangements.

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About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com and www.quest.com.

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Quest Software

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

Quest, Quest Software, Foglight, and the Quest logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Quest Software in the United States and certain other countries. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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