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Car rental firm simplifies website management

Dollar Rent A Car will enable its marketing staff to make on-the-fly changes to the company's car rental website using content management software from Percussion Software. 

Percussion said it is selling its Rhythmyx 5 Enterprise Content Management software to Dollar, which books about half of its vehicle rentals online. 

Until now, IT staffers would make website changes, taking them away from other development work. Now, marketing staff members will be able to add special rental promotions and other information for vehicle rental customers to keep the site updated. 

Dollar vice president of marketing Charlie Coniglio said the website consists of about 2,000 pages, with content that changes almost daily, making easy-to-use software vital.

Major selling points for the Rhythmyx 5 application are that "non-technical people can use it to make changes". It costs about a third of rival products and it allows images to be reused easily from one web page to another.

When an image is changed on one web page, it is changed automatically on all other pages using it, saving time and effort on site construction. 

Dollar began deploying of the content management system early this month and the changeover will be complete next month. 

Although the application uses nonstandard development tools that are more object-oriented than other vendors' products - which slows down the initial creation of higher-level page templates - once those new templates are created, future changes can be made faster.

Dollar had 2002 revenue of $1.13bn. The company rents vehicles at about 400 locations in 50 countries, including 260 in the US 

Key Rhythmyx 5 features include content reuse and multichannel delivery of documents, websites, images and digital assets. Pricing begins at $250,000 for a typical enterprise content management project. The software runs under Windows Server, Sun Solaris or Linux.

Todd R Weiss writes for Computerworld


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