Travelport buys G2 SwitchWorks technology for new agent desktop

Travelport GDS has acquired certain software assets and intellectual property from G2 SwitchWorks to be used in the development of a new desktop solution for travel agents who use Worldspan and Galileo.

The agreement includes G2 SwitchWorks' Kestrel point-of-sale application, the G2 Web services core and a number of associated software development tools. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Kestrel point-of-sale tool is currently in development.

In developing its technology strategy since acquiring Worldspan last year, Travelport has avoided forcing technology migration upon Galileo or Worldspan users, said Sue Powers, Travelport GDS's chief information officer. G2 was building Kestrel to be compatible with multiple GDSs. In fact, it will be "backwardly compatible" with Galileo and Worldspan, said Powers, meaning that agents' programmed keys and commands will work with the new desktop, and agents will be able to retain features of their current desktops that they like.

"Acquiring G2 software helps us accelerate some of the needs that we have," Powers said.

Some G2 employees have reached agreements to join Travelport.

"Keeping continuity in the development team is going to be really important," Powers said.

Travelport's new, unified desktop solution is expected to be released in early 2009.  The new Travelport solution will incorporate, build upon and ultimately replace the company's current agent point-of-sale products: FocalPoint/ViewPoint from Galileo and Go from Worldspan.

Kestrel will provide a point-and-click solution that enables agents to search for and book travel content across multiple sources, including the traditional GDSs. It also includes the ability for agents to manage data-rich traveler profiles outside the GDSs, enabling precise targeting of customer-specific offers, upgrades and incentives, said Travelport.

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