What is believed to be the first dedicated Cloud Computing platform for the travel industry has been launched by Travel Systems Associates (TSA) in conjunction with infrastructure provider Commensus Plc.

Using The Travel Cloud means that travel companies can do away with expensive up-front hardware costs and simply pay for the level of computing power they need at any given time.

The company's director Richard Bristow said: "We believe we are the first technology company to offer Cloud Computing specifically aimed at the travel industry. Moving to The Cloud means that, from the outset, companies can do away with the capital cost of buying their own hardware, typically between £50,000 - £75,000 over three to five years, plus all the associated costs of in-house technical support.

"Travel Cloud users can, for example, specify low functionality for departments such as reservations, whilst management can have full access to additional services such as the latest version of Microsoft SharePoint for brochure, data and documentation management.

A further advantage of Cloud Computing for travel companies is that offices anywhere in the world can login through the Internet, as can homeworkers. Security is also guaranteed with geographical replication of the Private Cloud within Commensus‟s UK data centres.

"In a nutshell Cloud Computing means travel companies can concentrate on what they do best – being a travel supplier and not a computer company. You can now rent your computer system out of your cash flow – after all you wouldn‟t buy company cars. It‟s also tax efficient because monthly fees are deductible, you buy what you want, add more if you need and reduce your resource requirements when you don't."

TSA is making two versions of The Travel Cloud available: VCloud Enterprise, VCloud Professional and a VOIP phone system.

The V-Cloud Enterprise solution is designed for companies with 10-500 users who have an existing IT department, while the V-Cloud Professional is designed for smaller companies with 1-20 users with prices starting at £9.49 per month for a 25GB Exchange 2010 email account and £56 per month for a Windows 7 Citrix Virtual Desktop, accessed from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

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