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 wouldn’t be before the late 1940’s though that the Cunard name could be etched synonymously with fine quality transatlantic passenger cruises. By the 1950’s, Cunard had a complete of 12 cruise liners in service accounting for a complete of 1 third of most transatlantic crossings (Cunard, n.d.).
Having its greater speed and lower cost, air transit was quickly emerging as the preferred way 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 up against 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 winner 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 merely renowned as among the fastest seagoing vessels for her size, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was cheaper and smaller to work than her pre-war predecessors (Wikipedia, n.d.). Cunard was able to dynamically capitalize upon its lengthy historical brand recognition alongside the lowered costs related to operating the Queen Elizabeth 2. The Queen Elizabeth 2 ultimately won a dire competitive advantage and reigned as the conventional of transatlantic passenger crossings until 2004.
Notwithstanding the notoriety of the Queen Elizabeth 2, Cunard gradually weakened in each successive decade and became an organization with a fleet of old disparate liners by the 1990’s. Carnival Cruises acquired the outstanding 32% fascination with Cunard in 1999 (Cunard, n.d.). The acquisition represented a relationship 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 was of unprecedented proportion. Dubbed the Queen Mary 2, at a cost of over $800 million and a major 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 earth (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 a self-contained city (Datz, 2004). Providing every possible comfort on land and without forfeiting today’s technology, The Queen Mary 2 evokes the opulence of a prior era for the 21st century. Needless to say, the incorporation of the data technology infrastructure of the Queen Mary 2 is just second to none.
As soon as that guests first arrive because of their departure, they have the capability to have their photograph taken at the port’s hotel, the terminal or the purser’s office aboard the ship. Furthermore, their credit cards and passports will also be scanned in to the ship’s property management system. Their cards then consequently can be automatically used as their room key, a way of payment aboard the ship, and identification for landing and boarding in place of carrying passports (Datz, 2004). All fall under the broad sounding 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 very first cruise liner to provide those capabilities in a good card (Datz, 2004).
In most stateroom the Queen Mary 2 also incorporates a powerful 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 choose from a complete of 11 functional areas of interests such as for instance classes, restaurants and shore excursions. The stateroom television point of sale (POS) system enables passengers of the Queen Mary 2 not to only book reservations, but also to shop online and keep a working total of the quantity of investment property onboard (Datz, 2004). The ability 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 up than would a normal system of crew handling individual transactions and reservations. Also, the system creates the ability to generate additional revenue for the ship (Datz, 2004).
The Queen Mary 2 has its operations center divided among three discrete sites that back one another up within the ship. Individual systems of the ship are attached to the principal organization operations center housing many servers, a PBX communications system and a public address system that serves as the ship’s principal safety system (Datz, 2004). The core of the Queen Mary 2’s information technology system is the property management system which deals with both crew and passenger information. The property management system controls the ship’s credit based invoice system along with the boarding and disembarking manifests. Every person 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 supplies a system called AVO for Avoid Verbal Orders. The ship’s crew can record matters aboard the ship and never having to grab a telephone or physically track someone down. Using individual personal computers, crewmembers can report faulty machinery aboard the ship directly to maintenance. Passengers also have the capability to inform maintenance of any troubles they could 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 prepared for that day. Repairs are completed in the order in which they’re received, and afterward customer care personnel can directly contact passengers to see if problems were solved with their satisfaction (Datz, 2004). Once 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 also be connected with the ship’s planned maintenance and purchasing system. Supervisors can determine from the data which repairs must take precedence over others (Datz, 2004). This part of the AVO system therefore serves as a Decision Support System or DSS because utility in allowing managers to create critical decisions (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).