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PARIS, France, 19th March 2010 - Ariane Systems VIKI project selected in Aug-2009 and partially financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) got started.

By removing all hardware associated with the check-in and check-out processes, VIKI will revolutionize the hospitality industry by enabling customers to check-in/check-out where and when they want using their desktop, their laptop, their smartphone and even their cell phone.

« Often a source of frustration for business guests, the check-in/check-out procedures have not changed in 15 years. Guests still need to go to the front desk, stand in line and wait for their turn" explains Laurent Cardot, Managing Director and co-founder of Ariane Systems.

« For 10 years, Ariane Systems has been deploying self-service check-in/check-out kiosks in the lobby areas. VIKI anticipates the needs of our clients who are at the cutting edge of technology and want to offer to their guests, for example, the ability to check-in online from their computer before arriving at their hotel, or perform their check-out from their cell phone, comfortably sitting in the taxi that is already driving them to the airport" continues Laurent Cardot.

The features that this software platform will be able to offer are countless as it will integrate online mobile payment solutions and will enable the user to modify their bill, address or even client profile.

For VIKI, Ariane Systems partnered with LIP6 (a research center specialized in the realm of telecommunications and information technology), Lemon Way (a company specializing in mobile applications and leader in mobile banking technologies), as well as Hotel Performance (a major hospitality group) that will contribute their hotel know-how.

« With our mobile platforms, the security layers brought by LIP6 and the unique feature application of Ariane Systems, we will offer early 2011 a solution which will be able to adapt to most of today's existing hotel technical environments" confirms Sebastien Burlet, founder of Lemon Way.

Frequent travelers' dream to go directly to their hotel room after receiving a SMS that features their room number and software room key card is not so far...

About Ariane Systems

Ariane Systems is the worldwide leading provider of self-check-in / check-out technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Founded in 1998 by Michel Lavandier and Laurent Cardot, Ariane has deployed over 1,500 kiosks installed at hotel properties in 15 countries. Currently, numerous hotel chains utilize Ariane's self-service solutions to streamline their check-in / out process, including Pullman, Radisson, Golden Tulip, Holiday Inn, Campanile, B&B, Ibis and Novotel, among others.

Based in Paris-France, Ariane Systems operates subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, Middle-East and now North America.

For more information, please visit www.ariane-systems.com.

CUPPS has been architected as the platform of the future, able to accommodate many things even beyond the agent-facing applications that it will initially address. The biggest benefit will be that one air carrier application will be able to run anywhere on any CUPPS providers platform.

While the technical trials are ongoing, the compliance trial parameters are being defined and the technical specification updated with lessons learned. Errors and omissions are being fixed so that the time required to execute the specification update segment can be minimized.

There are currently four active trials in progress - Las Vegas (ARINC), Orlando (SITA), Dublin (Ultra) and Brussels (RESA). "While the actual execution of the trials has changed over time due to the installation and site-specific needs, the overall progress is proceeding as planned," said Samuel Ingalls, Assistant Director of Aviation, Information Systems, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, who is also Chair of the CUPPS Leadership Team. He continued: "Our original goal was to have the technical trials completed by April 15, 2009, but we learned through the pilot process that the critical milestone in the schedule is the publication of the Technical Specification. Each of the four trials is progressing with different tasks, in different orders, based on the participants' views and needs, and therefore they are completing the trial milestones in different orders. This flexibility has allowed us to learn more in a quicker manner, as well as giving everyone the freedom to complete their tasks in a manner that is comfortable for them."

Once the technical trials are completed, the applications and platforms will be compliance tested and then certified to the specification. The specification will be updated then published by IATA.

The technical trials are scheduled to be complete on 15 July; the certification trials are scheduled to be complete on 8 July for platforms and 15 July for applications. The technical specification is scheduled for completion by 15 September.

There are currently four active trials in progress - Las Vegas (ARINC), Orlando (SITA), Dublin (Ultra) and Brussels (RESA). Once the technical trials are completed, the applications and platforms will be compliance tested and then certified to the specification. The specification will be updated then published by IATA.

There are currently four active trials in progress - Las Vegas (ARINC), Orlando (SITA), Dublin (Ultra) and Brussels (RESA). Once the technical trials are completed, the applications and platforms will be compliance tested and then certified to the specification. The specification will be updated then published by IATA.

Catherine Mayer, SITA's Vice-President for Airport Services, explained that the pilot is critical to ensure that the technical standard works as expected, especially the interoperability of CUPPS applications among the different platform vendors. "The intent is to have vendors test their platform with at least two airline applications and for these same airlines to test their new CUPPS application on at least two vendor's platforms," she said. "If there are technical issues or discrepancies, the Technical Committee can update the technical specification before its final release, again ensuring success and following a logical practice that is new for aviation industry Recommended Practices. This is the first time that the industry has ever ensured such testing and recommended practice development; it is a great showing of the benefits of industry collaboration."

SITA began testing at Orlando in January, with WestJet passengers checked-in and boarded using the CUPPS technology. When testing is fully completed, SITA's AirportConnect Open platform will be considered as CUPPS compliant prior to a general product launch later in the year.

Lufthansa is participating in the pilot trials with SITA at Orlando and RESA at Brussels. "We have been conducting thorough testing of our CUPPS application (CLIP - CUPPS LH Integration Platform) and the platform suppliers' platforms we are doing pilot trials with," said Thomas Jeske, senior manager - IT infrastructure, Lufthansa. "It is of no surprise that while for the first time these new platforms and the LH middleware get integrated an array of issues arise that even a very thorough Technical Specification could not foresee. So we have had several test runs (integration tests) in our labs both with SITA and RESA. We have reached a stage where we feel our code is stable enough to provide it to SITA and RESA to do their own testing/integration testing in their labs."

ARINC's CUPPS platform went live at Las Vegas McCarran in January. ARINC worked with the international IATA/ATA/ACI CUPPS team to develop the CUPPS Technical Specification published in 2008. The company fast-tracked its deployment of the vMUSE CUPPS platform installed for the CUPPS Pilot Project at Las Vegas McCarran. John Belcher, ARINC Chairman & CEO, said: "This is a true breakthrough for the aviation industry. CUPPS represents a major investment by ARINC that will give the industry tremendous savings. ARINC's vMUSE platform is now being enhanced to simultaneously run legacy CUTE applications, newer CUPPS applications, and airlines' native applications - a capability we launched in Singapore in November 2007."

SITA began testing at Orlando in January, with WestJet passengers checked-in and boarded using the CUPPS technology.

SITA began testing at Orlando in January, with WestJet passengers checked-in and boarded using the CUPPS technology.


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