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Travelport, one of the worlds leading global distribution system (GDS) providers, operating both the Galileo and Worldspan platforms, and IBM have signed a new software agreement designed to accelerate service for existing travel customers, open new markets and ultimately, expand travel options for consumers.

Under the multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement, IBM will provide Travelport with significant upgrades to the existing systems architecture and software infrastructure of its industry-leading technology platform. The new investment in IBM software is designed to allow Travelport to more than double the information it processes to customers in 160 countries, including thousands of travel agencies, hotels and the leading car rental companies, cruise and tour operators and major rail networks.

Travelport will utilize IBM technologies and work with IBM to upgrade its core system operating software to the IBM z/Transaction Processing Facility (zTPF). The agreement also includes elements of IBMs software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli and Information Management products while also leveraging the full range of IBM server and storage products.

This will create a modern service oriented architecture (SOA) platform for Travelport that allows developers to run applications on the underlying middleware that best supports it. For example, user interface functions run best on WebSphere Process Server while the parts of the applications that create, read, update or delete travel reservation records will run best on zTPF.

The changing needs of the travel industry for broader, deeper, faster content aggregation, search and integration mean that the GDSs have to continually upgrade not only their hardware infrastructure but also the key operating software and supporting systems architecture that facilitate the offer of informed choice for the ultimate consumer of travel products. said Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport GDS and Airline IT Solutions. In making this selection, Travelport is confident not only that we will have a software and systems architecture sitting behind the experience our users enjoy which is capable of scale and managing future diversity of travel content supply but also a partnership with IBM to work together in several innovative new services in the future for our customers designed to support our business growth.

One of the worlds largest processors of travel transactions, Travelport operates in 160 countries, servicing more than 60,000 travel agencies (representing online and traditional travel agencies), aggregating content from approximately 420 airlines, over 88,000 hotel properties, over 25 car rental companies and 13 major rail networks, as well as cruise and tour operators, in 29 languages. The company issued approximately 148 million tickets in 2009 and executes an average of 75 million searches with up to 1.6 billion messages processed every day.

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