IDGNS 02-13-95 02:56:27 PM

INTERVIEW: Europcar's CEO Dellis Reflects on IT Project

By Pierre Berger

Le Monde Informatique (France)

PARIS (01-18-95) - Now that the nightmare of implementation,

interruption and re-implementation is over, EuropeCar International S.A.

CEO Freddy Dellis can proudly state that his company's 4,000-user system

is the best in the world.

Hard lessons, however, were learned on the road to installing one of

the largest Unix systems to date. Le Monde Informatique's Pierre Berger

talked with Dellis to find out what new insight was born out of this

laborious process.

LMI: Coming out of a difficult year, what lessons will you take with

you for the future?

DELLIS: We were too ambitious at the beginning in setting a time

limit of two years. Yet few people have made such a transformation in as

little time as we have. Before, we had little information management at

our disposal and our machines were out of breath. Today, we have the best

system in the world and a unified service throughout Europe.

Europcar and its outsourcing company Perot Systems have both

suffered. In such a process, the first development stage needs imaginative

people. But the second stage puts an accent on management, on hard work

and on discipline. It can require different men then those who launched

the project.

LMI: Are you going to continue to invest in the project?

DELLIS: The project is 80 percent complete. We have put in place to

some extent an assembly line of services, and now we want to optimize it.

The more it can handle business, the more our costs will go down.

When it comes to investments in technology, the sky is the limit. We

will above all progress in relationships with our franchises and in

partnering. Amadeus [a European travel reservation network], for example,

has signed an agreement with us to develop new services.

But we are cautious of large projects that aspire to do everything

and that could end in financial catastrophe.

Technology is nothing but a means to an end. It is the men and women

of the enterprise who validate our offering. The clients need a smile as

much as they need a sophisticated system.

SIDEBAR: Europcar's Greenway Project Sets Many Records

By Pierre Berger

(Le Monde Informatique)

PARIS (Jan. 18) - Car rental agency Europar International S.A.'s

recent deployment of a 4,000-user, pan-European system named Greenway

claims a number of firsts in IT implementation.

In addition to being one of the first projects of its size to be

based on Unix, Greenway holds the following world records:

--Speed of development: 13 months (from June 1992 to July 1993) to

finish a complete suite of reservation applications and operation

management programs for renting cars. This software development required

165 man-years, plus 50 man-years to convert the data to the new system, 55

man-years to manage it -- using Oracle Corp.'s Financials -- and 72 man-

years for the technical support functions.

--Speed of large-system deployment: 30 months (from June of 1992

until December of 1994) to put the transaction system in place.

--Level of transaction power on a Unix system and for a mission-

critical application: 2,600 named users and more than 1,800 potential

simultaneous users.

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