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There are sea cruises, and then there are sea cruises. Travel Dynamics International (TDI) specializes in the latter. New York-based provider of luxury travel has been operating since 1969, booking small-ship expeditions to historical sites and combining opulence with education and cultural exposure. TDI's reputation is built on delighting members of an elite niche. Repeat charters are a must, so expert handling of customer relationships is key. The IIS team suggested that TDI might do better with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but TDI's manager of technology and special projects Nikos Papagapitos had done some initial research and was hesitant, especially after a disappointing first demo. That all changed after a second viewing, this time at the hands of Matt Bogan, a senior project manager at IIS.
SMOOTH SAILING we had one integrated database for everything,” Papagapitos says. “With Astro, we had no way of tracking loyalty Travel Dynamics International finds that adding a real CRM system and its revenue effect, whether with an can lead to unexpected destinations organization or a person. Now we can T here are sea cruises, and then Sage CRM system,” Papagapitos says. see who our biggest, best, or most- there are sea cruises. Travel “But [when] the partner realized we frequent travelers are.” Rapid access to Dynamics International (TDI) needed a large-scale solution they didn’t client data and fast input of new book- specializes in the latter. The have the resources for, Sage pointed me ings has become the new standard. New York–based provider of luxury to Infinity Info Systems.” Also based in The new system enabled better sales travel has been operating since 1969, New York, IIS casts a long shadow in the practices as well. “In the past, it was like booking small-ship expeditions to his- world of value-added resellers, and was the honor system: The sales team would torical sites and combining opulence the recipient of a 2007 Rising Star award try to pull in new alumni, organizations, with education and cultural exposure. from CRM magazine—not to mention a and travel agencies, but if [the prospect] To achieve that end, TDI went on a jour- slew of other accolades from its two pri- didn’t come in the attempt was forgot- ney of its own, starting with one CRM mary partners, Sage and Microsoft. ten about,” Papagapitos says. “Now, if a plan and ending up with another. “When we were first brought in, I re- person calls in, we can see their history The largest of TDI’s three vessels holds alized TDI doesn’t only work with or- with us, and can record what made them 114 guests, the smallest just ganizations for selling and choose us in the first place.” It also allows 34—but every booking is about “Instead of looking booking,” says Brian Heltzer, targeted marketing in a way TDI could comfort and a sense of commu- an IIS account executive. never manage before. nity. Private charters are avail- in four or five “There are individuals within Best of all, IIS gave TDI a gift that able, but the majority of TDI’s places, we had one those groups as well, and the will only increase in value as time and clients are academic societies and alumni associations with a was not always integrated database bookingthe same [people]. through technology advance: the ability to add new capabilities as needed. “We were particular interest in a given for everything.” TDI needed to be able to see exasperated with their old system,” topic. Cruises are built around the hybrid of both, but Sage IIS’s Bogan says. “You had to run every each topic, and the nature of the journey tends to be very organization-focused.” little change through multiple people typically aligns with that theme, often in- The IIS team suggested that TDI might over the course of time. Now, TDI is cluding expert lecturers. do better with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, largely self-sufficient and can mak
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