06 May 2008

EDS and Microsoft in bed together?

Here is an interesting item that deserves some attention. Air Transport World reports via its ATW Online site a 4 part agreement between EDS and MS.

Citing Jim Dullum the veteran head of the EDS Travel and Transportation unit, ATW reported four key components in the new agreement. The first is that EDS will have access to MS resources dedicated ..."to the building and design and completion of our flight ops systems." The second is that Microsoft will set up a 24/7 help desk to support EDS. The third is "a go-to-market component" under which Microsoft actively will market and sell EDS reservations and flight operations products. Finally, the companies have adopted a commercial arrangement "that gets away from standard software licensing fees. . ."so as our business improves, so does what we pay Microsoft," the EDS spokesman was cited as saying.

This signals a second run at the market. Previously MS was involved in the design and build of Navitaire's "New Skies" Reservation System. For reference from MS go here: http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/c/6/4c600ca6-a041-4aab-9ad4-e74f3089ffec/GEMS14686/Navitaire_Solution_Brief.doc

As the players involved in the Airline IT market struggle to come to terms with a shifting environment and a now very powerful Amadeus, I believe we shall see more similar announcements such as this.

In the mean time - this will perhaps breathe life into the EDS Travel unit which previously has signaled its intention to sunset the old Swissair system ATRAXIS. EDS is also looking to retain Sabre as a customer who is being notably quiet on the subject of what it will do for a next gen Res system. Will EDS try and bring all 3 of its supported systems (SHARES, ATRAXIS and SABRE) into one common set? That would be interesting.



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