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Rumor: CO computer system to survive post-merger

Rumor: CO computer system to survive post-merger

 
Old Dec 21, 10, 11:46 pm
  #1  
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Rumor: CO computer system to survive post-merger

I have heard some unconfirmed reports that the decision has been made to retain the legacy CO platform (SHARES) as the computer system for the merged UA. I can't say I am well-versed in the area, so I'm not sure what sort of repercussions that move will have on the customer-facing IT platform, such as for the website or kiosks. The decision clearly bodes well for CO agents who won't have to learn another lan"GG"uage after Customer Day 1.

Any thoughts?
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Old Dec 22, 10, 12:10 am
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Thumbs down RIP Apollo

Rest in peace Apollo. We will miss you.

Heck, I already missed United... something bitter about the Continental COol Aid.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 1:20 am
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Not a rumor. It was a rumor for the last few months, but was confirmed yesterday.

They confirmed most of the tech systems across all the divisions from bag processing, reservations, gate processing, sales, revenue management, HR, crew scheduling...


A hodgepodge of systems from both. Truly a "merger of equals".

I would HATE to work on the IT integration team the next year or so...looks like some MAJOR headaches for some techies.

"GG" has been dead since fastair came out like 13ish years ago, unless you worked in some backend support offices. UA has used a GUI based system that automates all the "GG" and other cs/res functions since then (1st was fastres for reservations, then was fastair for airport CS.)
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Old Dec 22, 10, 1:35 am
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I wouldnt get too excited on this one if true SHARES is sticking around..and i'll belive it when it happens. It is the most outdated system out there, even more then UA's.

And this IT intergration will not be a year..it will be yearS.

Much of the bad IROP service on CO vs the realvietly good on UA goes direclty back to SHARES.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Much of the bad IROP service on CO vs the realvietly good on UA goes direclty back to SHARES.
+1

You cannot underestimate the behavioral impact of these things. If it takes an agent 10 minutes to do a ticket reissue, they're going to be less inclined to rebook someone on something requiring a ticket reissue.

That said, I'm not surprised by this. While Apollo was clearly the superior system, it came with license fees, which I believe CO does not have with SHARES.

Honestly, this is looking more and more like the US-HP merger. US kept HP's SHARES system, HP's CEO, and US's name.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
+1

You cannot underestimate the behavioral impact of these things. If it takes an agent 10 minutes to do a ticket reissue, they're going to be less inclined to rebook someone on something requiring a ticket reissue.

That said, I'm not surprised by this. While Apollo was clearly the superior system, it came with license fees, which I believe CO does not have with SHARES.

Honestly, this is looking more and more like the US-HP merger. US kept HP's SHARES system, HP's CEO, and US's name.
I think you hit the nail on the head. They didn't give reasons as to why which system(s) won out over the others, but without question, Apollo, while archaic, is massively more developed, with much greater processing power and redundant systems. But of course, SHARES is the cheaper one.

While cash is king, so too is the inverse, cost, the anti-king. Just look at AA with Orbitz and the ruling yesterday that allowed AA to pull out of Orbitz listings. It didn't take them even a day once given permission to be off. AA isn't pulling a WN by refusing to be sold by other sites than aa.com, they are just eliminating one channel that charges them fees.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
+1

Honestly, this is looking more and more like the US-HP merger. US kept HP's SHARES system, HP's CEO, and US's name.
I totally agree on this point. Good or bad what essentially happend is CO is taking over UA and they had to pitch it as a "merger" for all intnese and purposes. It is very quickly evolving into UA run by CO. You just have to look at the tail of the plains to know that.

I was never a big UA supporter but given the direction CO has been going in under the latest managment, i'm not so sure how this will turn out in the end.

DL nailed their merger for the most part but i'm already starting to see UA/CO are not following a similar path unless things change.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 3:55 am
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this must be another one of those "Changes we think you'll like" situations.

Last edited by c1ue1ess88; Dec 22, 10 at 4:02 am
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Old Dec 22, 10, 4:04 am
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Had I been running the helm, I would have gone with UA's system and CO's website as the surviving platforms for the merged carrier.

But again, what do I know
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Old Dec 22, 10, 7:02 am
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It is indicative of the short-term focus of the Smisek team that they chose to go with SHARES because it is less expensive to operate than Apollo despite clear evidence that Apollo is the more efficient system.

In my opinion, a more long-term oriented team would have chosen the more robust system to provide employees a better platform and customers a better experience.

But as we all know by now, SMisek and his team are not as concerned about employees and customers in the short-term as they are about shareholder value.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 7:34 am
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SHARES is vastly inferior to UA's airport-side IT infrastructure.

Rebooking and reissuing a ticket is super-easy in UA's system, CO's is a nightmare. As channa said, ease-of-use affects the willingness of agents to re-issue tickets in IRROPS. It takes a CO agent 10 minutes to do what takes a UA agent 20 seconds. If they can port the UA interface to CO's backend I suppose it would work fine.

Also, doing VDBs is a piece of cake in UA's system, CO takes a lot longer. I guess in that situation they gotta do it either way but in a situation where they need to get the flight out and there is a rebookable flight leaving soon it can make a difference.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 8:02 am
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So I've heard that development time on SHARES is an order of magnitude quicker than on Apollo. I wonder if (1) they've chosen SHARES so that they can get the combined system on much earlier; and (2) are planning to migrate to the StarNet system once the next release is available
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Old Dec 22, 10, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by AAExPlat View Post
But as we all know by now, SMisek and his team are not as concerned about employees and customers in the short-term as they are about shareholder value.
Isn't that what they're ultimately supposed to be concerned about?
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Old Dec 22, 10, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by AAExPlat View Post
my opinion, a more long-term oriented team would have chosen the more robust system to provide employees a better platform and customers a better experience.
That's a nice thought, but speaking as someone who does IT integrations, that's ALWAYS (and rightfully so) a secondary consideration in major mission-critical integrations. A competent IT team can always port-over or cook up new interfaces to make employees' & customers' tasks easier when there is a smoothly functioning back-end in place. But you never want to create a more complicated or task-disruptive integration project than you have to, especially to preserve a user-level feature, because it's like building your beautiful house on a foundation of sand...

This is, of course, assuming that the CO/UA integration team IS competent. And that may not be a fair assumption... For reference, see the DL/NW Deltamatic/PARS integration. That not only failed to keep the best of either world during the transition itself, but actively made it impossible for customers OR employees to do their jobs in the short-term... They've still not recovered certain widely-popular features more than a year after primary integration.

The one thing I can say, from a user-level, about CO's IT team is that they've generally been very good about cranking out tools on the website and in other systems to help ease processes. And they're not overly-afraid to release highly-useful tools, even if they have some known bugs that have to be refined over time. The best we can probably hope for is that things won't get WORSE in the short-term. And after primary integration, they'll bring those past skills to bear restoring some of the better UA user-level features on top of the merged ops-level base.
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Old Dec 22, 10, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by BizJet View Post
Isn't that what they're ultimately supposed to be concerned about?
Not if it causes long-term share value declines, right?
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