Founded in 1987, Beroni Informática develops software solutions exclusively for the tourism industry, with a specific focus on improving the day-to-day operations of travel agencies. With products that address nearly every aspect of agency operations, incluing point-of-sale and incentive management tools, Beroni software is used by over 1,500 travel agencies around the world.
Beroni Informática strives to provide its clients with solutions that not only simplify daily tasks, but also lend a competitive edge by enabling exceptional customer service. Their unique line of products ranges from online reservation sales tools to a mass SMS-sending application. However, one of the most popular products to date has been EarthData Web, an online database containing travel-related information for over 400 popular tourist destinations. Beroni clients can quickly access and print detailed reports for virtually any location in the world by simply logging in to the EarthData website and entering a customer’s travel details. Each report contains important travel information, such as climate and local customs, as well as full-color photos of each location. EarthData Web enables personalization of these reports using data entered by the travel agent, such as the customer’s name, destination, and itinerary, as well as branding elements such as the travel agency’s logo.
The original release of EarthData Web was designed to customize a basic Microsoft Word® template from the EarthData Web server and send the resulting file straight to the agency’s color printer. In June 2006, as email and Internet usage continued to propagate,
Beroni developers realized this process needed to be updated in tune with these innovative, easy-to-use technologies. “We saw the need to send the document directly to the traveler via email,” said David Acuña, System Analyst for Beroni Informática, “or to provide the option for a client to visit a web page and print the information, using their own printers at home”. Although the existing Word templates produced quality paper copies, there were inherent limitations in using this format for electronic distribution. Acuña’s team quickly deduced that the new solution required a format that could be viewed across a variety of platforms and printed on a wide range of devices, while maintaining pixel-perfect representation of the digital content. Deciding on PDF as the optimal format, due in part to the ubiquity of PDF viewers and the format’s high visual fidelity, the IT team began searching for a PDF product that could be integrated with EarthData Web.
The team evaluated a number of products before selecting ActivePDF Toolkit. Licensed per server with no per user/document fees or web restrictions, ActivePDF Toolkit enables virtually any PDF manipulation task, including PDF merging, encrypting, stitching, form creation, and template population. In addition to its extensive features list, Toolkit’s programmable COM object allows for simple integration in any COM-enabled environment, an appealing benefit for the Beroni team. In fact, Acuña cited Toolkit’s ease of implementation and its capability to create PDF templates as the key contributing factors in the decision to purchase. “Other products tested gave me some headaches” he recalled, “[Implementing Toolkit] was really easy to do. In fact, I only needed to read the sample, try the options and create the template”. Immediately upon purchasing Toolkit, the team set to work integrating it into EarthData Web.
First, the developers used Toolkit to create a PDF template for the EarthData Web destination report. Through a standard web browser, travel agents complete a simple form, supplying the customer’s name, destination, and travel dates. Upon submission, the database is queried for destination-specific details, and then Toolkit is used to populate the PDF template with the resulting content. Toolkit is then used to personalize the template using the data entered by the agent and the agency’s logo, returning the resultant PDF almost instantly. The agent then has the option to print the document, download and email the PDF to the traveler, or provide login credentials to the customer for direct access to the file on EarthData Web’s secure site.
By making electronic travel reports available to its clients, Beroni Informática has significantly enhanced travel agency operations around the world. The time and costs required to print a full-color report for each customer are virtually eliminated, a benefit truly appreciated by the 1,500 agencies Beroni currently supports. With the typical printed report often exceeding nine pages, the solution has also enabled agencies to have a positive impact on the environment by significantly reducing their day-to-day paper consumption.
The electronic distribution of EarthData Web documents has also brought immeasurable improvements to customer satisfaction as travelers can now conveniently access their personalized travel report from nearly anywhere in the world. Acuña is very pleased with the solution using Toolkit, “We found the appropriate tool for our needs to manipulate and generate PDF files”, he states, “giving travel agencies a compatible file format which can be managed and printed easily by the agents and their clients”.