TUI Travel links 25,000 global staff with Microsoft Office Communicator

TUI Travel is implementing Microsoft Office Communicator across seven countries as part of a deal to unify communications and connect its staff and customers.

TUI Travel is implementing Microsoft Office Communicator across seven countries as part of a deal to unify communications and connect its staff and customers.

The deal, signed in the UK with T-Systems, is worth about £100m. It is one of the biggest global roll outs of Microsoft Office Communicator. It covers seven countries, hundreds of locations and links 25,000 employees. The TUI brands covered by the deal include Thomson and First Choice in the UK, TUI in Germany and Marmara in France.

It also enables customers to more easily communicate with the company regardless of where they are.

Jim Mann, CIO at TUI Travel, said the company needed to improve how its staff communicated with each other and customers. "Travel is a very transient industry because people buy in one place and benefit from it in another," he said.

"In the past we could only communicate with customers on the telephone and staff were moving information between where the holiday was bought and the destination on paper or system-to-system."

Employees can now share information without the need to send it anywhere. Shops, offices and representatives in all locations can connect on the network through the Microsoft software.

IT departments in different countries and locations will work alongside local T-Systems staff.

The project also sees T-Systems, which is part of Deutsche Telekom, unify TUI's mobile, voice and data networks.

Mann said TUI has an existing relationship with Deutsche Telekom, which build its wide area network.

The company is also rolling out teleconferencing software to reduce the need for "excessive air travel", said Mann.

TUI Travel had a turnover of £13.9bn in its last financial year.

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