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Smart Move: JourneyMart leverages telecom for business development

July 31, 2012
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JourneyMart.com, an online travel services provider, offers a single platform for customers to choose from amongst multiple travel service providers via various interactive tools. Incorporated in 2001, the company has received accreditation from the International Air Transport Association. It has a marketing alliance with Yahoo! India and a tie-up with the Department of Tourism. It has also worked as a travel channel partner with MSN India, moneycontrol.com and Rediff.com.

As per data released by the India Brand Equity Foundation, the hospitality sector is likely to attract investments worth over $11 billion from 40 international hotel brands planning to set up shop in the country over the next few years.

Keeping in mind the emerging business opportunities, JourneyMart decided to replace its dated telecom infrastructure with one that could accommodate the growing demands of a high quality travel communication facility. The aim was to position itself as a preferred option for business and leisure travellers.

tele.net traces the development of the company’s telecom set-up...

Legacy system

JourneyMart had a fairly robust and flexible telecom set-up from the beginning. For ensuring optimal network performance, the company used a penta scanned network, which adhered to the specifications of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

For internet connectivity, the travel major used radio frequency-based technologies, wherein the bandwidth was divided on two platforms. “This ensured adequate network backup. Thus, when a failover occurred, one minimal connectivity medium remained functional,” explains Varun Chadha, chief operating officer.  Also, three network servers were used as domain controllers that stored the company’s files, and supported printers and IAS, IIS and SQL services.

However, as market and customer demands increased, the company realised that it needed to upgrade its telecom set-up.

Current set-up

According to Chadha, the company had a clear agenda in mind while upgrading its communications set-up. “The basic idea was to reduce network latency and enhance performance.”

Currently, JourneyMart uses high speed telecom infrastructure based on Cat-6 cables. The network speed ranges from 10 kbps to 100 Mbps and the connectivity mediums used conform to EIA and TIA specifications.

Moreover, the travel major uses ADSL 2-based systems with a dedicated bandwidth of 2 Mbps. Its load sharing and redundancy systems also have a dedicated bandwidth of 2 Mbps, provided by Bharti Airtel.

Further, securing its telecom set-up is a priority for the company. Security applications including hardware-based IP firewalls, internet content filtering and caching solutions, and a dedicated staging server with IP and MAC security have been deployed. This server ensures that the content uploaded on the site is first tested locally and is free of any malware. A McAfee-based network security enterprise solution has also been deployed.

Other network components include the MDaemon local mail exchanger, which stores all mails locally. This enables mail restoration during a crisis situation and also helps reduce traffic arising from local mail and file attachment exchange. In addition, it monitors the user’s mail account and provides multiple access via any medium.

Challenges and benefits

Chadha says that the company did not face any major challenges while implementing the new infrastructure. In terms of benefits, the IP firewall reduced network threats considerably. Also, the overall speed of the network increased significantly. “Enhancing network speeds  ensured optimal server performance and faster content delivery. Implementing a dedicated staging server further helped to overcome malware-related issues completely,” says Chadha.

Going forward, the company plans to take the lead in the online travel space by implementing a host of telecom tools such as the Innovative Holiday Search platform, which has been developed in-house. This integrates technology with data to recommend holidays based on user preferences.

Net, net, timely infrastructure upgrades have proved beneficial for JourneyMart. It has helped the company to not only streamline and enhance operations but also maintain an edge in the competitive market.

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