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Technology / AI and automation


Nokia Data Ltd’s Travel Systems Division has launched an updated version of its TOPS tour operator system, which is aimed at small to medium sized travel agents. The system runs on the old Ericsson System 2500 range of minicomputers – which would appear to ensure the mini’s survival following the takeover by Nokia last month – and prices start at just under UKP30,000. Nokia claims that TOPS II is the industry’s first complete, fully integrated computer system aimed specifically at small and medium-sized operators. The original TOPS was developed by Ericsson Information Systems’ previous incarnation, Datasaab AB, and saw its first installation in 1979. The updated 1988 version includes Viewdata reservation, which links tour operators to more than 6,500 high street travel agents, a Travicom interface which allows direct booking of scheduled flights via the British Airways system, and an approved method of value-added tax accounting under the new 1988 regulations. The Viewdata reservation feature uses the standard industry interface giving the user a choice of networks. Nokia will also provide a range of communications products, end-user application development tools and system implementation support. Other functions include rooming lists, flight manifests, ticketing, cash flow management, integrated cost and purchasing facilities, and the automatic transmission of manifests via international telex networks.

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