In 1839 Samuel Cunard created The British and North American Steam Packet Company, known as the Cunard Line, to provide Royal Mail to Canada and the U.S. (Cunard, n.d.). Originally composed of 4 paddle steamer ships, it would not be before late 1940’s though that the Cunard name would be etched synonymously with superior quality transatlantic passenger cruises. By the 1950’s, Cunard had a complete of 12 cruise liners in service accounting for a complete of one third of all transatlantic crossings (Cunard, n.d.).
Using its greater speed and cheaper, air transit was quickly emerging as the most well-liked method of transatlantic travel during the 1960’s (Wikipedia, n.d.). The Cunard cruise liners that clearly dominated the cruise industry ten years earlier were quickly becoming outmoded remnants of a bygone era. With the increased costs associated in operating the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and confronted with stiff competition from rivals like French Line’s newly built SS France, Cunard was reluctant to capitulate entirely on the cruise industry (Wikipedia, n.d.).IT-Service Düsseldorf
Cunard found a success within an $80 million gamble (Wikipedia, n.d.) through an alternative to the Queen Elizabeth called the Queen Elizabeth 2. On May 2, 1969, the Queen Elizabeth 2 made her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City and instantly became the flagship for Cunard. Not only renowned as one of many fastest seagoing vessels for her size, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was cheaper and smaller to operate than her pre-war predecessors (Wikipedia, n.d.). Cunard managed to dynamically capitalize upon its lengthy historical brand recognition alongside the lowered costs connected with operating the Queen Elizabeth 2. The Queen Elizabeth 2 ultimately won a dire competitive advantage and reigned as the standard of transatlantic passenger crossings until 2004.
In spite of the notoriety of the Queen Elizabeth 2, Cunard gradually weakened in each successive decade and became a business with a fleet of old disparate liners by the 1990’s. Carnival Cruises acquired the outstanding 32% curiosity about Cunard in 1999 (Cunard, n.d.). The acquisition represented a marriage between refined British sophistication and the American wanderlust spirit. The prosperous Carnival Cruise Corporation revived the ailing legacy of Cunard by selling off older liners and conducting needed overhauls on others.
Underneath the new leadership of Carnival Cruises, Cunard also began construction on a liner that has been of unprecedented proportion. Dubbed the Queen Mary 2, at a price of over $800 million and a disgusting weight of over 150,000 tons, she was probably the most expensive and heaviest vessel ever. Receiving much fanfare on her behalf maiden voyage from Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 12, 2004, the Queen Mary 2 was celebrated as simply the grandest ocean liner on the planet (Wikipedia, n.d.).
The Queen Mary 2 was designed to be an all-inclusive fully functioning entity unto itself, having the ability to function such as for instance a self-contained city (Datz, 2004). Providing every possible comfort on land and without forfeiting modern technology, The Queen Mary 2 evokes the opulence of a prior era for the 21st century. Needless to say, the incorporation of the information technology infrastructure of the Queen Mary 2 is simply second to none.
From the moment that guests first arrive because of their departure, they have the ability to have their photograph taken at the port’s hotel, the terminal or the purser’s office aboard the ship. In addition, their credit cards and passports are also scanned in to the ship’s property management system. Their cards then subsequently could be automatically used as their room key, a method of payment aboard the ship, and identification for landing and boarding instead of carrying passports (Datz, 2004). All fall underneath the broad category of information technology as Transaction Processing Systems or TPS (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). According to Jeff Richman, director of business solutions and applications development at Cunard, the Queen Mary 2 is the first cruise liner to provide those capabilities in a smart card (Datz, 2004).
In every stateroom the Queen Mary 2 also contains an energetic television system running Linux on set-top boxes from German multimedia company, IDF. These televisions enable passengers to send or receive email at $1.50 per transaction, order on-demand videos and pick from a complete of 11 functional aspects of interests such as classes, restaurants and shore excursions. The stateroom television point of sale (POS) system enables passengers of the Queen Mary 2 to not only book reservations, but additionally to shop online and keep a working total of the amount of investment property onboard (Datz, 2004). The capacity to shop via an interactive television integrates the TPS system to the Queen Mary 2’s finance and accounting information system to track cash flow (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). This system ultimately benefits Cunard because it takes less people to keep than would a conventional system of crew handling individual transactions and reservations. Also, the system creates the opportunity to generate additional revenue for the ship (Datz, 2004).
The Queen Mary 2 has its operations center divided among three discrete sites that back each other up within the ship. Individual systems of the ship are connected to the primary organization operations center housing many servers, a PBX communications system and a public address system that serves since the ship’s principal safety system (Datz, 2004). The core of the Queen Mary 2’s information technology system may be the property management system which relates to both crew and passenger information. The property management system controls the ship’s credit based invoice system as well as the boarding and disembarking manifests. Each individual onboard information technology system ultimately links to the property management system (Datz, 2004). The property management system lets the ship forward crew and passenger rolls to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which involves airliners and cruise liners to submit that data just before leaving and following arrival (Datz, 2004). This enterprise system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system enables a lone data structure serving business wide incorporation and synchronization of important business procedures (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).
Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Cunard also provides a system called AVO for Avoid Verbal Orders. The ship’s crew is able to record matters aboard the ship and never having to get a phone or physically track someone down. Using individual personal computers, crewmembers can report faulty machinery aboard the ship straight to maintenance. Passengers also have the ability to inform maintenance of any troubles they might be encounter via their stateroom televisions. From either, it’s directly assigned to a maintenance worker where he or she can examine a schedule of repairs that really must be done for that day. Repairs are completed in the order by which they’re received, and afterward customer support personnel can directly contact passengers to see if problems were solved for their satisfaction (Datz, 2004). Yet again this aspect is a typical example of a TPS onboard the Queen Mary 2, as a result of inputting of events into the system and the coordination of operational level actions (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). The AVO system aboard the Queen Mary 2 can be linked to the ship’s planned maintenance and purchasing system. Supervisors can determine from the info which repairs must take precedence over others (Datz, 2004). This aspect of the AVO system therefore serves as a Decision Support System or DSS due to its utility in allowing managers to produce critical decisions (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).