Second Permanent Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Sir Ian Andrews today
launched “Defence Travel”, a new
online service which enables British forces in the UK and overseas to book business
travel quickly, easily, securely and cost-effectively. The service has been designed,
implemented and tested in less than 10 months in collaboration between the Ministry
of Defence (MOD) and market-leading suppliers led by IT specialists Capgemini UK plc and international corporate travel services company, Hogg Robinson Group, the two companies which will also be running the service on behalf of the MOD.
Defence Travel will be available for use worldwide by some 300,000 Royal Navy, Army, Royal
Air Force and MOD personnel of all ranks, both individuals and groups, who need
to book business travel whether air, rail, road or hotels. The service replaces
a diverse range of systems used by different units, including paper-based processes
involving form-filling and the production of printed warrants. Today’s launch
follows rigorous trials involving some 6,000 personnel of different ranks in a
number of countries and units.
Sir Ian Andrews said: “The new service is a tremendous initiative by our Defence Travel Modernisation
team. We are confident that it will provide a better service to users and save
significant sums of money, helping to ensure that as much as possible of every
pound we spend is directed to the front line where it can really make an impact
on achieving our objectives.”
Defence Travel will for the first time make it easy for MOD personnel to compare
budget airlines with scheduled carriers or rail for any given journey, and to
quickly choose the best deal from the options available. It will also generate
management information that will help the MOD in its negotiations to get better
deals with travel providers, and it is expected to significantly cut paperwork
and reduce administrative costs. The MOD estimates that as a result of these three
factors, the new Defence Travel service will from 2009 onwards, generate savings
of some £35 million per annum on the MOD’s £300 million annual business travel
Users will also benefit from having a single, easy-to-use service and single
point of contact for all business travel and they will have instant access to
in-depth supporting information. The service aims to give the MOD greater visibility
and control of its travel expenditure and help ensure that its staff travels efficiently
and in line with its policies, including environmental and budgetary policies.
Group Captain Andy Towler, Defence Travel Modernisation Team Leader, said: “Defence Travel is providing the Department with the tools to manage travel better. Individuals can compare different modes and types of travel and make decisions
over the most efficient means of travel. The management information Defence Travel is delivering is already enabling
the Department to wield its purchasing power with carriers and starting to provide
the detail the Department needs to manage travel effectively at the strategic
The launch today at the MOD in Whitehall included a live demonstration of the
new service to senior officers of all three services and to senior civil servants
of other Government Departments. Adoption of a common facility for travel across the whole of UK government on
a shared services basis is seen as an area which could generate additional very
substantial cost savings.
Dr. Cliff Evans, Vice President, Defence Sector at Capgemini, said: “The successful launch of Defence Travel marks the dawn of a new travel era for
Britain’s Armed Forces. The project is a tremendous example of effective collaboration
between the public and private sectors, and it shows how public sector services
can be made faster, simpler and more user-friendly while at the same time becoming
much more cost-effective. The MOD was the first Government Department to appreciate
the shape of things to come in public sector travel, and I am confident that where
they have led, others will soon follow.”
David Radcliffe, Chief Executive of Hogg Robinson Group, said: “We are proud to have been involved with the team at the MOD and their partners
on this ground-breaking initiative to help them streamline, enhance and optimise
their travel practices, the result of which is Defence Travel. For the first time the MOD will have full visibility of how, when and where
its personnel travel which will enable it to influence demand and procure the
best value-for-money travel services.”
Vendors supporting Capgemini UK plc as subcontractors in the Defence Travel project
include Carlson Wagonlit Travel which provides the Internet portal and helpdesk, Cognos, an IBM Company, which provides the business intelligence and management information
software, and KDS which provides the online travel management solution, KDS Corporate.
HRG was awarded the contract for the travel services provider component of Defence
Travel to replace the current hotel, rail, overseas car hire and air services. HRG will support the electronic booking tool process on all ticketing as well
as assisting travellers with more complex itineraries or those with special requirements
such as family bookings.
The core IT systems supporting the Defence Travel service run on the Defence
Electronic Commerce Service (DECS) multi-purpose platform provided to the MOD by Capgemini UK plc under
long-term contract and managed from a Capgemini UK plc secure data centre in the
UK using employees with special security clearance.
Capgemini UK plc
Tel.:+44 (0)870 238 2491
Hogg Robinson Group
Tel: +44 (0) 1256 312624
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and
outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies.
Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their
freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working – the Collaborative
Business Experience – and through a global delivery model called Rightshore®,
which aims to offer the right resources in the right location at competitive cost.
Present in 36 countries, Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion
and employs over 83,000 people worldwide.
More information is available at www.uk.capgemini.com.
Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) is the award-winning international corporate travel services company.
Founded in 1845 by a wine merchant and an insurance broker, HRG has over 60 years
specific corporate travel expertise. Its corporate services interests include
owned or controlled corporate travel operations in 25 of the key driver and growth
markets throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Supported by contracted
partners, the HRG worldwide network extends to over 100 countries.
Totally committed to a value offering for clients, HRG offers a comprehensive
range of corporate travel services including Corporate Travel Management, Consulting,
Events & Meetings Management and Sports as well as Expense Management through
its Spendvision operation.