New cloud tool push

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Enterprising Queens­town businessmen have designed new software technology that could dramatically change the future of travel reservation systems. 

Junction6 – created by local Southern Lakes Business Incubator technology gurus Dan Roberts, Mat Weir and Patrick Sansom – is a novel booking tool that’s accessed over the internet and can be used from anywhere, instead of having traditional hardware based at the office. 

The trio launched it in August 2011. It’s already been picked up by big tourism companies Stray Travel New Zealand, Stray Travel Asia, Adventure Tours, Atomic Shuttles, large Australian agency Outback Travel Shop and, locally, jetboat operator K Jet for its web bookings. 

Hosted on the internet cloud instead of more expensive in-house servers like traditional booking systems allows for a seamless, cost-effective option that’s quick to set up for tourism and travel businesses, Roberts says. 

After years in the travel industry, Roberts recognised operators needed a smarter technology tool offering a customised front, mid and back office software solution. 

“Technology’s moved a lot in the past 10 years, but travel technology has failed to keep up,” he explains. 

“Traditionally a travel reservations system involves a large up-front cost and maintenance costs thereafter. You’d spend at least $30,000-$100,000. 

“The maintenance costs are further inflated by the hardware and other IT costs like staff, server software, backups and storage associated with hosting the reservations system on an in-house server. 

“In the Junction6 model, these costs are borne by us and you only pay for the system resources you consume through a per-user cost model,” Roberts says. 

“Depending on the size of the business, you’ll only spend between $1000 to $20,000 with Junction6.” 

By being served on the cloud, Junction6 – named after Spaghetti Junction motorway in Birmingham – operators can instantly react to seasonal demands while varying operating expenditure to match highs and lows of travel periods. “I 
think a lot of tourism providers will be interested,” he says.