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 September 17, 2012
New Report Urges Travel Industry To Support The Move To Open Systems To Unlock Innovation

 A new report, entitled 'Open for business', makes the case for the travel industry to embrace open source software in order to benefit from greater innovation, respond faster to industry and consumer change and reduce costs. The report outlines how open systems could free the industry from its reliance on proprietary software and provide travel companies with greater competitive advantage.

Authored by Professor Jim Norton, a renowned technology expert, and sponsored by Amadeus IT Group, the report explores the role of open systems in demanding real-time processing environments. Identifying both the advantages and challenges of moving from closed to open systems the report charts the progress this fundamental technology has made and considers the merits and drawbacks of any further evolution to open architecture for critical transaction processors.

The paper outlines how open systems have developed and why today they are not just fit for purpose but have the potential to deliver industry-wide benefits.

The report also acts as a guide to those companies and sectors considering the shift to open systems by providing an overview of the challenges and what must be done to mitigate risk including the need to maintain common development teams across proprietary and open systems, focusing on data integrity and the need to recognise it as a business, not just a technical, change.

The report's author, Professor Jim Norton, said: "Open systems have been around for nearly two decades; they are now making significant inroads into enterprise and critical computing systems. The road from proprietary to open systems is long and often challenging but represents nothing less than a revolution in the IT industry. Almost every major business will need to make at least some elements of this transition over the medium term, so understanding how open source software can bring benefits, but also realistically evaluating the challenges of transition, is critical."

Hervé Couturier, executive vice president of development at Amadeus, said: "At Amadeus, we are committed to transitioning our business to open systems architecture and mitigating any transition risks. The long-term benefits in terms of innovation, implementing new developments more quickly, attracting the right talent and driving cost savings are extremely compelling both for us and our customers." He continued: "By pioneering open systems we have been able to bring powerful new innovations to market including our core Altéa Customer Management System and Extreme Search portfolios."

David Brett, President Amadeus Asia Pacific, said: "While often seen as the preserve of technologists, the impact of open systems on the travel industry and the end traveller is significant. Amadeus has always been at the forefront of pioneering new technologies to benefit the travel community in Asia Pacific, and with this report we see the importance for the industry in this region to embrace open source software, in order to benefit from greater innovation, faster response time to industry and consumer change. Finally, enabling delivery of new products and services to market with reduced costs."

Amadeus has pioneered the use of open systems within its business:

• At the operating system level, Amadeus is successfully transitioning from proprietary systems to Linux to run its leading Altéa suite for airlines.

• Leading innovations online, including Amadeus e-Retail, Amadeus Dynamic Website Manager and Amadeus Extreme Search have been built with extensive use of open source components in way that would not be possible using legacy components.

• Amadeus ARIA(tm) Templates -- the framework upon which Amadeus IT Group's web solutions are based -- has recently been made open source, allowing third party developers to use it without charge.

Amadeus IT Group invests heavily in research and development, totaling over €340 million in 2011, and has been recognised by the European Commission for doing so. The 2011 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an annual report published by the EC, examines the largest 1,000 European companies investing in R&D during 2010 and ranks them according to the total amount invested. Amadeus was ranked first place in Europe by total R&D investment both in the computer services category and in the area of travel and tourism.