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EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), a leading provider of complex software engineering solutions and a leader in Central and Eastern European IT service delivery, developed a tourist portal www.tui.ru for TUI Russia & CIS in 2012. The portal was recognized as the largest website to be designed on the Kentico CMS platform. The website has more than one million visitors every week allowing the users to find holidays across the world and book them online. The project helped TUI Russia & CIS make their brand more recognizable, turn more visitors into customers and strengthen their loyalty.
TUI Russia & CIS emerged as a joint venture of two companies – TUI Travel PLC, a European leader in the travel industry, and S-Group Capital Management, a part of a holding company under the leadership of Alexey Mordashov, CEO and chief shareholder of Severstal Group. In addition, Mostravel and VKO Group, two well-known holiday companies, were acquired to create the new tour operator. Both businesses had worked with diverse customer segments and provided services for choosing and booking holidays through two different web portals. In connection with the integration process, it was necessary to create a new, consolidated website that would reflect the new TUI Russia & CIS trademark and would work efficiently despite the enormous workload and data size.
EPAM Systems was chosen as a partner of TUI Russia & CIS to implement the project. EPAM’s ever-growing Travel and Hospitality practice has a dedicated Competency Center that has gained a wealth of expertise from various projects for large airline companies, hotel networks, online booking service providers, etc.
The Kentico CMS platform with ASP.NET and MS SQL 2008 technologies were used to create the new website. The project featured an Agile development, which allowed the project team to quickly implement the requirements of the customer’s business units. The solution was integrated with the tour search and tour booking system as well as the Master Tour system used by TUI Russia & CIS to automate main business processes.
It took just six months to implement the project. The new website www.tui.ru replaced the two separate websites of Mostravel and VKO Group that were used previously, and made it possible to present all the tour operator’s services under a single TUI Russia and CIS trademark. After the development, users were presented with a considerably simplified process for booking a holiday. What used to take visitors five steps to find and book a holiday, now involved only two steps. The new website also significantly helped increase the conversion rate of the web portal visitors into customers.
TUI Russia & CIS is planning to further develop the site’s functionality to include trip planning and a wider range of tourist products to facilitate tour booking via the Internet.
“Customer service determines many things in the travel industry,” says Ivor Vukelik, Marketing and Sales Director, TUI Russia & CIS. “On all levels of our work with Russian tourists, we tend to provide the kind of service that corresponds to the highest European standards. It’s a part of a sales process to browse a company’s website where a tourist product is offered and described in detail. It was crucial, therefore, for us to promptly develop a usable and full-function solution that can operate enormous workload with no productivity or availability loss. For projects like that, we needed to find a partner with strong technology competencies including knowledge of purpose-built industry solutions, and practical experience. We found all of this at EPAM Systems.”
“One of the most demanded trends on the global IT market, particularly noticeable in Russia, is the development of tourist and ecommerce websites for airlines and hotel networks. EPAM’s Travel Competency Center, which works with world-known businesses like Hotels.com and Expedia, applied its expertise to create a functionally rich portal for TUI and, therefore, guarantee high quality, scalability, and efficiency. We’re planning to further collaborate with the TUI group within the process of industry development at EPAM in Russia,” says Artak Oganesyan, Director, Business Development, EPAM Systems.
About TUI Russia & CIS
TUI Russia & CIS is a joint venture created by TUI Travel PLC, a European leader in the tourist industry, and the financial company S-Group Capital Management, a part of the holding company under the leadership of Alexey Mordashov, CEO and chief shareholder of Severstal Group.
TUI Travel PLC is one of the most profitable tour operators in the world, with 40 years of experience in travel business. In 2011, its operating profit was £471 million. The company invests actively into new businesses, transfers knowledge and expertise to its units. The financial stability of TUI Russia & CIS is guaranteed by its shareholders’ financial stability and its employees’ high professionalism.
About EPAM Systems
Established in 1993, EPAM Systems, (NYSE:EPAM) provides complex software engineering solutions through its award-winning Central and Eastern European service delivery platform. Headquartered in the United States, EPAM employs approximately 8,500 IT professionals and serves clients worldwide from its locations in the United States, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Poland.
EPAM is recognized among the top companies in IAOP’s “The 2012 Global Outsourcing 100″, featuring EPAM in a variety of sub-lists, including “Leaders-Companies in Eastern Europe”. The company is also ranked among the best global service providers on “The 2012 Global Services 100″ by Global Services Magazine and Neogroup, which names EPAM in “Leaders-Global Product Development” category.