Emirates IT Arm Sets IBS On $4-M Cargohandling Deal

Thiruvananthpuram, September 26: | Updated: Sep 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
Mercator, the IT subsidiary of Emirates Airlines Group, has designated IBS Software to develop a new generation cargo handling system at $4 million.

The new system, brandnamed `Chameleon', will be deployed for the use of Emirates Group companies (Emirates Airlines, DNATA and others) at the Dubai international airport and other overseas locations. Hugh Pride, Director, IT Emirates Group, told a press conference here on Thursday, that the product will also be marketed for the use of a third party airline and aircargo handling companies worldwide. Specifically, Chameleon will cover functional areas such as Import Management, Export Management, Warehouse Management, Cargo Tracking, Pricing, Billing and Back Office Accounting. It will also provide powerful management information and decision support capabilities and will interface with all related systems of the air cargo community such as customs systems, airline cargo reservations systems and freight forwarder systems. Chameleon will enable direct information exchange among carriers, government authorities like customs and municipality, shippers, consignees, cargo agents and freight forwarders all over the world. "Chameleon is a very large project, and a strategically important initiative for DNATA/Emirates to enhance its commercial competitiveness and Dubai to retain its leadership as the cargo business hub of the Middle East", said Mr Pride.

The new solution will take up 100 person-years of intense development effort, said V K Mathews, managing director of IBS. The product will be delivered in different phases and will be completed by the end of 2003 for implementation by the first quarter of 2004. According to Mr Mathews, product development would involve a peak team size of 70 IBS staff, which would include business analysts, technical architects, software engineers, and project managers. IBS is an Indian software development and support services company with sales and business development offices in Atlanta (USA), Zurich (Europe), Dubai (Middle East) and Singapore (Asia-Pacific).

Operating out of Technopark, Trivandrum, IBS is the largest exporter of software from Kerala, and is a leading supplier of IT services to the Travel, Transportation and Logistics industries worldwide. "Chameleon is the first major component in our plans to build an integrated logistics management solution for the air transportation industry," said Steve Iliohan, Mercator's General Manager, Business Solutions.