International Sage ERP X3 solution from Datel supports expanding Skyscanner business

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Online travel company Skyscanner is set to move to a more powerful software platform with the implementation of a Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition solution, customised, implemented and supported by Datel, the company’s new Sage Business Partner. Sage ERP X3 will bring greater scalability and control as Skyscanner continues to expand internationally, while enabling users across the globe to operate in their local language and currency.

We certainly did our research in looking for a more powerful replacement system. One priority was to be able to produce reports without needing specialist IT skills, and we’re confident that Sage ERP X3 will achieve this for us.

In just ten years, Skyscanner has become the travel site of choice for independent travellers the world over. To its original Edinburgh base, Skyscanner has added offices in Glasgow, Singapore, Beijing and Miami. From just 4 employees in 2004, the on-line travel company now has a team of over 270 employees, representing 30 different nationalities.

Until now, the company has used Sage 200 as its finance management system but this is set to change with the recent purchase of Sage ERP X3. Anticipating further expansion and entry into new territories in the years ahead, Skyscanner needed a software platform that could support growth with scalability to accommodate its worldwide users and rising volumes of transactions. Skyscanner sought a truly international solution that could support users in countries where it already has a presence, with the flexibility to open more local offices in the future.

Out of the box
With its capacity to support multinational operations, a Sage ERP X3 solution from Sage Business Partner Datel was a front-runner. The solution can be rolled out across multiple sites, handles different currencies and supports additional languages.

In addition to Sage ERP X3, Sun Systems and Oracle Financials were also on shortlist. Colin McLellan, Group Financial Controller, says, “We certainly did our research in looking for a more powerful replacement system. One priority was to be able to produce reports without needing specialist IT skills, and we’re confident that Sage ERP X3 will achieve this for us.”

The Standard Edition Sage ERP X3 comprises preconfigured functionality based on industry best practice. Colin says, “We were also keen to avoid costly, complex bespoke work. The Standard Edition of Sage ERP X3 will give us the vast majority of what we need ‘out of the box’, without the bells and whistles that we don’t need. It’s a tried and tested system that can be customised to our requirements. With less to break and less time needed for customisation, why would we want to reinvent the wheel?”

Colin adds, “Although not the primary reason for deciding in favour of Sage ERP X3, choosing another solution in the Sage family was a bonus as we will gain efficiencies in streamlining the migration and shortening our learning curve.

A consultative approach
For Skyscanner, the choice of a technology partner to customise and implement the new software was equally important. Colin was impressed by how Datel approached the Skyscanner opportunity: “When we invited Datel to present, we didn’t get a sales pitch – Datel views that as putting the cart before the horse. Instead the focus was very much on reviewing our current systems and understanding our objectives in investing in a new software platform and where it could add value to our business. We valued this approach. It felt much more like consultancy than the hard sell.”

Work is now going forward to tailor the solution, with Datel leading workshops to define precise business requirements in detail.

Eliminating paper-based processes
Outlining the improvements that Sage ERP X3 will bring, Colin says, “Control and efficiency are two key areas for us. We’re looking forward to gaining greater control of our costs, with improved analysis of our financial data at a more granular level, and consolidated reporting from across our growing business.”

He continues, “We want to go as close to being paperless as possible. For example, the new solution will replace our time-consuming manual purchase-to-pay processes. Members of the worldwide team working at home or on the move will be able to enter and authorise purchase orders and invoices remotely, with built-in workflow to avoid any hold-ups.”

For Datel, sales and marketing director Jo Fulton, comments, “It is very rewarding that Skyscanner recognised the value of Datel’s consultative approach in choosing us to implement Sage ERP X3 as its new software platform. The company’s winning formula of a fast, flexible service for finding flights, hotels and car hire with no added fees and no fuss means the sky’s the limit. We are now working closely with the Skyscanner team to build a solution that has the flexibility and capacity to support the business as it grows further and enters new territories.”

About Skyscanner
Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site, providing instant online comparisons for millions of flights on over a thousand airlines. 25 million visitors every month use the Skyscanner website, which has won both industry and business awards.

The Skyscanner site was officially launched in 2001. The company quickly grew to become the number one flight search engine in Europe, and in 2011 a Singapore office was opened to help Skyscanner to expand into the Asia-Pacific market. Today, Skyscanner offers flight searches in more than 35 different languages including Thai, Japanese and Russian. In recent years, it has added car hire and hotels to its offering for travellers.

About Datel
Datel is the leading Sage Business Partner in the UK, providing Sage consultancy, implementation and support for Sage 200, Sage Line 500, Sage ERP 1000, Sage ERP X3, Sage SalesLogix, Sage CRM and Sage Tax. Datel also offers its own innovative FUSION range, a suite of products that enhances and extends core Sage functionality.

Headquartered in Warrington, Datel also has offices in Leeds and the Netherlands, employing a loyal team of over 150 highly skilled people who look after its growing base of more than 900 customers worldwide.

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