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  • Tallink celebrates Ten Years with Seaware

    Versonix's Seaware successfully supported the growth of Tallink-Silja’s dynamic business over the last ten years.

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  • Virgin Voyages selects Versonix Seaware

    Leading up to the much-anticipated launch of Virgin Voyages, Virgin has selected Versonix Seaware as it’s premier reservation platform.

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Ferry systems around the globe use Seaware reservation software to achieve inventory optimization for passengers, cars and cargo. Major features of the Seaware Ferry booking system is to boost efficiency through automated check-in, comprehensive and seamless reservation-to-port/ship integration, and revenue enhancements through additional product offerings before and during voyage.

Versonix Seaware Ferry Reservation System Main Functions

Reservation

  • customizable UI for different groups of users
  • accommodation of a large party with different itineraries in one booking
  • support for shared cabins (male, female)
  • mix and match various products in one booking or make a separate booking for each component (on board dining, transfers, hotels, land programs, etc.)
  • flexible group booking functionality (build-up and build-down process)
  • various payment options: multiple deposits, payments
  • multiple currencies support
  • send confirmations and other documents in any language via e-mail, SMS or fax
  • best ferry booking software in its class

Product Management

  • no limitation on the number and types of products supported in Seaware
  • support for simple or complex voyages (from few hours trip to multi-day trips)
  • ability to sell tailor-made trips
  • on board dining, conference room, workshop, spa treatment with detailed schedule and capacity control
  • hotels as room allotments or on-request basis
  • transportation support (transfers, bus connections, etc.)
  • add-ons (miscellaneous items and services) with capacity control
  • car deck functionality support for passenger vehicles and cargo allocations
  • dynamic packaging capability (optional or mandatory components)

Pricing Management

  • flexible business rules-based pricing (based on product, market, guest profile, seasons, etc.)
  • ability to price per cabin, person, day, hour, number of stops, etc
  • easy way to create promotions with eligibility and capacity control
  • support for promotions combinability (can be at reservation or guest level)
  • support for percent discount or flat amount (can be applied to specific price component)
  • support for dynamic pricing model based on ship utilization, days before departure, etc.

Inventory Management

  • day/time cabin inventory to accommodate custom segments and overlapping packages.
  • “Nested” categories setup (combine categories for availability requests)
  • ability to create messages for specific markets to promote market-applicable products and services
  • flexible rules-based inventory management with yield maximization, which utilizes probabilities and projections
  • ability to monitor inventory yield and attrition using probability
  • allotment support for cabins and car deck
  • easy way to switch cabins between categories on recurrent basis
  • ability to block cabins for special user definable needs
  • waitlist support

Schedule/Itinerary Change Management

  • easy way to change schedule/itinerary without stopping operations  
  • automatic notification (by e-mail or SMS) of affected passengers
  • ability to mass move passengers from one voyage to another in case of ship substitution or itinerary changes

Ship Public Facilities Management

  • extensive conference room support
  • restaurant configuration and reservation capabilities
  • scheduling and reservation capabilities for sauna, spa, etc…
  • conference room (various configurations, reservation, packaging additional products)
  • ability to sell specific time slots, layouts, additional services/items
  • flexible pricing capabilities (i.e. per party, time unit, person)

Financials

  • All required information including Agent & Client information is on the reservation. Accounting transactions are also linked/stored with the reservation.  Accounting transactions represent daily “cash balance” (such as incoming payments or outgoing refunds to agency/client) as well as commissions.  For EVERY daily transaction Seaware can generate General Ledger transactions. Seaware has a number of queues that allows to maintain & control pending refunds (such as Cancellation, Overpayment & Commission) as well as refund checks.
  • A mechanism for invoicing credit agencies (such as Thomas Cook) on a scheduled basis.  Invoicing terms are defined in a set of business rules and can be adapted to various business scenarios. There is an ability to set a credit limit for a specific account/agency.
  • Revenue Recognition (Revenue, commissions and other expenses) is performed by Voyage (Period) Termination and generates GL transactions as well. All (daily & Revenue Recognition) GL transactions are then included in a file that can be imported to an External Accounting System/software.
  • Support multiple ownership of the reservation component and can distribute revenue between different owners based on rules.

Check-In

  • easy and quick passenger and car check-in process
  • support for check-in supervisor functionality: monitoring overall progress, statistics
  • no-show management
  • support for user-definable documents (vouchers, key card, ticket, etc.)
  • ability to do partial check-in of guests/cars
  • quick reservation for show and go passengers/cars
  • cash register functionality for check-in agent
  • gate control management via Web Services
  • Non-stop Harbor Solution for continuous operations without connection to the Central system

Guest Management

  • detailed profile
  • support for loyalty programs (levels, points earned/used)
  • complete sailing/booking history
  • on-board spending history
  • customer contact history
  • duplicate control/merge

Agency Management

  • detailed profile
  • rule-based commission management (% can vary by product, agency performance, etc.)
  • agencies hierarchy support (ownership, consortium)
  • performance monitoring/history
  • ability to associate specific commissions, payment schedule, insurance and cancellation policy with a specific promotion
  • support for loyalty programs (levels, points earned/used)
  • support for individual travel agent recognition
  • duplicate control/merge

CRM

  • comprehensive customer and agency CRM functionality
  • extensive agency and guest profile with user-definable classifications
  • travel agency/agent performance tracking, component-based commission support
  • extensive customer profiling (user-definable programs, classifications)
  • loyalty program functionality (various levels, membership, points earned/used)
  • ability to suggest products and services based on client profile and history
  • marketing campaign management
  • gift certificates and coupons functionality
  • support for marketing messages for specific products and services
  • sales force support (sales people, sales regions)
  • contact management functionality

Yield and Revenue Management

  • fully-integrated yield and revenue management functionality
  • automated  price control:
    • ability to open/close promotions based on ship utilization level (milestone functionality)
    • ability to target and limit promotions (Selling Limits)
    • ability to create tiered promotions
    • support for dynamic pricing model based on ship utilization, days before departure, etc
  • inventory control:
    • oversell management (patented “reservation probability feature”)
    • user-definable pooled category inventories (Nesting)
    • target and set limits for inventory (Selling Limits)
    • open/close categories based on ship utilization level (Selling Limits)
    • rule-based optimized cabin assignment (Rule based)
  • demand forecasting based on voyage patterns and dynamics
  • rule-based cabin assignment
  • optimization  algorithm of inventory gaps 

Cargo Management (SeaFreght)

  • on-line booking capabilities
    • cargo trailer
    • driver and family
    • add-ons (meals, sauna, etc.)
  • car deck space optimization
    • integrated Cargo and Passenger cars space utilization
    • rail car support
    • shelf configuration support
  • check-in
    • drivers and family
    • document production
  • cargo customer management capabilities
    • agreements
    • annual discounts
    • allotments
    • invoicing

Lane Management

  • lane setup  (location, vehicle type, content types, length)
  • departure management (status, assign/un-assign lanes, monitor statistics)
  • real time lane utilization monitoring
  • unattended cargo management (work in progress)

Interfaces

  • travel insurance provider interface
  • accounting interface (daily GL file and closing voyage/period file)
  • on board system interface
  • ability to create custom interfaces using XML API

Reports

  • integration with Crystal Report Server
  • standard management and operational reports

Distribution/Service Channels

  • Complete Reservation XML API via Web Services
  • Support for Handheld and Self-Serve Kiosk
  • Internet (B2B, B2C)
  • White labeling with partner sites capabilities

Seaware Concepts

The system makes use of several concepts to automate and facilitate many processes that normally require manual entry or user intervention. The concepts at the core of the system are the following:

Daily/Time Inventory

Seaware’s concept of ship inventory is always based on daily/time, rather than voyage inventory. In essence, the system views the vessel as a hotel, making all of its cabins available for each day/time in the sailing calendar. A sailing or voyage is simply a label placed on a specified date/time range. This system enables users to create an unlimited number of voyages with common sailing days without the need to allocate specific cabins for each voyage. When Seaware receives a request for inventory, it simply searches the days/time associated with the voyage to see if the request can be satisfied, thus making the best use of available inventory. Selling limits can also be placed on any voyage.

Probability

Proper inventory management often requires cruise/ferry lines to “oversell” their inventory in order to compensate for expected cancellations in both groups and individual reservations. The amount of oversell is calculated by Seaware using several milestones or criteria in each booking to determine the probability of the booking maturing to revenue. The criteria used can be as simple or complex as required.

Versonix obtained a patent for this  technology (Patent number 7,487,103 issued on February 3, 2009).

Business Rules

Business Rules in Seaware is a mechanism that provides users with flexibility in establishing rules for calculating pricing, taxes, cancellation penalty, payment schedule, commission, insurance, etc. Instead of having static tables with a limited number of parameters, users can create hierarchical structures representing business policies and rules. Business policy changes can be implemented without changes to the source code by appropriate business departments.

Summary of Rule System Benefits:
Flexibility (practically unlimited capability in using any system variables and derived values in defining business rules)
Intuitive User Presentation (ability to view business policy in a tree-like structure vs. table)
Built in Date Effectiveness (Automatic date effectiveness of the rule, ability to define business policy retroactively, ability to view business policy as of certain date)
Efficiency (make changes only to the portion of the policy that changed)

Seaware Architecture

  • 1st tier – Oracle Database.
  • 2nd tier – Ship Inventory, Car Deck, Dining, Conference Room/Facility, Hotel Inventory, Air Inventory/Limits, Selling Limits and Broker.
  • 3rd tier – Business Logic that deals with all aspects of creating and updating reservations.
  • 4th tier – Interface that includes but is not limited to Custom GUI, WEB client, GDS interface, Wholesalers and other distribution channels.

Registration and Notification

Seaware Broker serves as a central point for registration and notification events. Whenever an inventory component starts it registers with Broker by identifying itself as a unit, which holds specific type of inventory (example: ship, hotel, etc.) Seaware Bizlogic components also register with Broker when they start. When any Seaware component updates non inventory data that is being cached, it notifies Broker, which in turn notifies all other registered components.

Inventory Components

Inventory tier is comprised of Ship Inventory, Car Deck, Dining, Conference Room/Facility, Hotel Inventory, Air Inventory/Limits and Selling Limits.  When an inventory component starts it begins caching inventory it is responsible for. Since inventories are cached, availability requests are processed by inventory components without accessing database, which significantly improves response time

Business Logic Component

Bizlogic component deals with all aspects of creating and updating reservations. A significant and a very important part of Bizlogic component is Seaware business rules engine component. All business policies related to money and inventories are controlled using Seaware business rules engine. To guarantee fast response time, Seaware business rules engine is cached.

Non-Stop Harbor Solution

Non-Stop Harbor Solution supports harbor operation and can function without connectivity to “Seaware Central”. It supports sales, check-in, self-check-in, document production, gate operation management, lane management.

Non-Stop Harbor Solution supports harbor operation and can
function without connectivity to “Seaware Central”. It supports
sales, check-in, self-check-in, document production, gate operation
management, lane management.