UK-based web hosting company CatN has migrated Thomas Cook’s entire Western European e-commerce operations to its own environment, effectively stealing the business from Accenture.
Accenture has a long-standing IT services deal with Thomas Cook, but CatN began working with the company over a year ago and has gradually increased the scope of its operations, which led to the travel giant deciding to move its websites away from Accenture.
Computerworld UK spoke to CatN’s head of products, Joe Gardiner, who confirmed that the deal is worth more than £1 million.
Gardiner explained that CatN started working with Thomas Cook as a “skunkworks” operation and has ended up consolidating the company’s fragmented online systems that were scattered across seven data centres.
He said: “We completed the .com migration to us just before Christmas last year and we had been working with Thomas Cook for about a year at that point. A lot of the reason why they like us is because of our responsiveness, we handle their requests very rapidly.
“I think that they saw that when you work with a lot of these large SIs it becomes about relationship management. Whereas, we give them the mobile numbers of our senior engineers, that’s the approach we like to take.”
He added: “In fact that’s how we really won any work with them at all. It started with a very small development environment, which they needed to turn around in seven days. They then just kept growing it until we were hosting all of their development stuff, then we won some of their EU sites, which ultimately put us in the position to go for .com”.
Gardiner also hinted that some public sector work could be in the pipeline for the company, as he said that the deal with Thomas Cook had “given it credibility to work with central government”.
Lee Pritchard, Head of Infrastructure at Thomas Cook Online, said that the new agreement allowed the company to better manage its costs.
“The vendor neutral support and proactive technical innovation that CatN has provided is unlike anything else we have found in the marketplace. They have helped us to achieve our consolidation objectives very quickly, taking advantage of the best technologies available rather than being limited to solutions from large vendors,” said Pritchard.
“A major advantage of the CatN platform for us has been the extensive and proactive monitoring which has given us the confidence to easily scale and plan our server deployments to meet actual demand. We no longer need to over-spend on unnecessary and expensive hardware requirements because we now have the agility to scale quickly.”
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