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Global Online Travel and Leisure Retailer Appoints Nymad for Oracle Applications R12 Upgrade and Ongoing Support

Our client pioneered the online travel and leisure industry by offering people a 5* lifestyle for 3* prices, selling everything from flights, hotels, gifts, gig tickets, restaurants and theatre tickets all at the last minute. In April 2002 they implemented Oracle Financials for their core UK and IR business and rolled the template out to EU sites in Italy, Spain, and Germany the following year. In 2014 plans were made to divest our client from the Group and Nymad was invited to explore both cost effective and regulatory compliant solutions.

The Challenge

For regulatory reasons, the holdings group needed to retain our client’s financial data for a period of up to 10 years following the sale. The Group’s financial platform was SAP whilst our client used Oracle’s E-Business Suite as the default finance application platform – release 11.5.10 and based on a SPARC UNIX platform. An internal project was set up to evaluate the most cost effective, long-term financial data retention plan.

All Oracle Applications skills would be leaving the holding group business following the sale, leaving only two options to be considered:

  • Extract Oracle data into a bespoke data store
  • Migrate the application to Group data centres and outsource the on-going management of the Oracle system

Each option had its own challenges to be overcome. The bespoke data store approach would require too much effort to recreate an effective security and reporting layer, so the migration option was selected.

An upgrade to the latest version of the application was required prior to the move to Group data centres that supported 64 bit Linux applications.

Jateen Patel (formerly EBS Service and Support Manager at lastminute.com) approached Nymad (a leading Oracle partner with a reputation for delivering innovative and cost effective solutions) for a proposal.

Nymad’s flexible commercial model meant that the upgradewas a fraction of the cost of its competitors.Jateen Patel – Formerly - EBS Service and Support Manager lastminute.com

“What we needed was a technical upgrade to take us from Sun Solaris to Linux and not the full business process reengineering usually associated with an R12 upgrade. Nymad understood this and presented us with a cost effective proposal which made it a very easy decision for us to select them” said Jateen.

The Solution

Our client appointed Nymad as its upgrade and support partner in June 2014, based on Nymad’s deep Oracle technical expertise, flexible commercial approach and alignment of cultures between the two companies.

Nymad agreed to perform the upgrade on a fixed price, flexible timescale approach. This approach made use of a flexible resource model, which ensured that our client was not paying for resources to watch screens through periods of inactivity. This enabled an exceptionally cost effective model with the ability to flex through peak times in the upgrade. The environmental knowledge gained through the upgrade enabled on-going support costs to be kept attractive.
Nymad were appointed to provide services for three key tasks:

  • Application upgrade – Upgrade Oracle EBS from 11.5.10 to R12.2. Delivered via three iterations with out of hours working required through final cut over.
  • Infrastructure migration – Migrate the application from a physical UNIX server to a virtualised Linux server.
  • On-going support – Maintain availability of read only system to support transition activities following the sale and long term audit access requirements.

“What really stood out about Nymad is that they just get on with the job in hand. We had some challenges, however, I always had faith that Nymad would do what was needed to be done to get us over the line, without asking for more money each time.” Jateen Patel.

The Benefits

The upgrade was completed in time despite timescales being rapidly accelerated to support the sale. This benefited the finance teams who as a result were able to focus 100% of their efforts on transition activities.

Nymad are now supporting the upgraded application in Group data centres leaving the engineers to support the systems they are familiar with.

Following the successful delivery of the project our client are engaging Nymad on wider projects in the new group of companies.

“We have always been an entrepreneurial organisation and we expect our partners to share our values and energy. I’m delighted that we have found a kindred spirit in Nymad and look forward to a lasting relationship for many years to come” Jateen Patel.

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