BlueSky and Thomas Cook - the aftermath, featuring IBM and othersNewsBy Kevin May | December 24, 2009Share This article was originally published on Thomas Cook is busily re-arranging its technology requirements following the BlueSky saga earlier this year, with IBM looking like the latest victim of a turbulent few months.Tnooz understands IBM's position as Prime Contract Holder for the Globe project to overhaul Thomas Cook's tour operating reservation systems has ended earlier than expected.IBM handled all the wider IT logistics for the Globe project and worked closely with BlueSky before the company controversially went into administration in September 2009.Questions were raised at the time as to the role of IBM amid problems with the roll-out of iTour (the system central to Globe) to Thomas Cook's different tour operating brands around Europe.Thomas Cook has refused to comment on the IBM contract, saying only: "As is the case in many instances our vendor and contractual arrangements regarding Globe remain confidential to Thomas Cook, so we're not able to give any further information."IBM also declined to comment, referring media enquiries back to Thomas Cook. A new Prime Contract Holder is expected to sign shortly.Thomas Cook stresses that the Globe project "continues to progress" under the supervision of the UK and PLC boards but will not comment on whether it is ahead or behind schedule.A group of ex-BlueSky employees were hired by Thomas Cook immediately after the collapse of the Manchester-based travel technology firm to continue working on the project.Despite having the former-developers still working in-house on the software development for Globe, confirmed by officials this week, Thomas Cook was recently reported to have outsourced some of its tour operating IT functions to Comtec.However, Thomas Cook says the travel technology company's role is only to provide an off-the-shelf and temporary solution and is not part of a wider role to come in at a software development level. "Comtec is not taking on any elements of the Thomas Cook software. Some Thomas Cook businesses are using the Travelink tour operator system (from Comtec), a number of these businesses will migrate to using GLOBE over time."Share this quote The focus in early-2010 at a board level will focus on how quickly the new Prime Contract Holder and the various developers working on the project can push the Globe project out to Thomas Cook's myriad of tour operating brands waiting for the system.The London Stock Exchange FTSE-listed PLC has continually refused to say how much has been spent on Globe so far, with many close to the project suggesting that costs increased steeply in the middle of 2009 ahead of BlueSky's collapse into administration.