Australia and New Zealand are among the most captivating travel destinations in the world. The unique landscapes and cities found in the two largest countries in the South Pacific draw huge numbers of European tourists. However, if they want to experience the true diversity and beauty of these locations, booking a package holiday at a beach resort won’t give them what they’re looking for. They are much better off opting for a carefully planned, customized holiday package that perfectly matches up with what they would like to see and experience.
One of the leading providers of this type of unique holiday package is TravelEssence, a company founded in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2006. The key to this specialist travel agency’s success lies in its experienced employees, who all either hail from “down under” or have lived in one of these two countries for an extended period of time. TravelEssence focuses on accommodation, routes, and activities that are off the beaten track, serving as a tonic to large-scale mass tourism. The company’s rapid growth goes to show that this formula works. Alongside the Dutch branch, TravelEssence now operates subsidiaries and sales offices in many German cities (as well as Switzerland) that cater to increasing numbers of adventurous tourists. Their resoundingly positive feedback is the best advertisement TravelEssence could ask for.
The Initial Situation
The reason why Andrew Morten founded TravelEssence is very touching: He met and fell in love with his now wife, a born-and-bred Dutch, on one of his trips. He very much appreciated the quality of life in the Netherlands, and the compactness of its market made it possible to tap into it with an idea he had been thinking up for years. He decided to take up residence there and make his dream a reality. And thus, TravelEssence was born.
As an enthusiastic Apple® user and Mac® fan, it was clear to him from the outset that he would set up the company’s entire IT backend on Apple computers. Not one single Windows computer can be found on the desks of the roughly 60 employees. Morten claims that macOS® was just too simple and foolproof, the hardware too robust and reliable, and the design of some 15 Mac mini® and 50 MacBook® computers too attractive for a PC to be able to measure up. Standard Apple applications also cover most software requirements needed by TravelEssence—Apple Mail for internal and external communication, iPhoto, Safari and Pages for sales, and Numbers for the back office. Add to this some individually programmed automation scripts for managing travel information and meetings, and voilà! TravelEssence’s operative business stands on solid foundations.
However, there have not been any Mac-compatible solutions for two central elements of planning and organizing long-distance trips. The Galileo booking portal, a global computer-reservation system for flights, requires Windows to operate. The same applies to Tourwriter, the world’s leading tour-planning software, which is also used by TravelEssence. As a result, Andrew was forced to use an operating system that he didn’t like.
A preinstalled utility called Boot Camp® can be found on every modern Mac. It allows Windows to be installed alongside macOS and the computer to have a dual boot system. If Windows has been installed, a hybrid mode of the firmware and partition table allows the user to switch between the two operating systems every time the computer is rebooted by pressing the option key.
While this may seem like an ideal solution to TravelEssence’s minor application problem, Andrew says that this is not practical in everyday work. “Having to reboot the system every time you want to book a flight could hardly be called user- or customer-friendly. Just imagine a customer meeting being interrupted by one of these reboots, and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Aside from that, Boot Camp’s overall lack of performance and stability makes it impossible to transfer content between operating systems using copy and paste. However, this is also a basic requirement, without which it is impossible to carry out our day-to-day work efficiently.” Andrew didn’t have any choice other than to search for an alternative to Boot Camp. As anyone in his position would do, he turned to the world’s leading search engine to carry out further research. The first result Google presented him with was Parallels Desktop® for Mac. Andrew downloaded a free trial version of the solution and began to evaluate this option.
“I think that a computer can only be considered a good computer if it doesn’t feel like a cryptic puzzle to an IT amateur like me. That’s why I’ve always loved Apple for its simplicity and user-friendliness. I expect the same thing from a piece of software. It should intuitively, quickly, and reliably do what I need it to do, so that I don’t have to download an operating system with which I’m not familiar onto my Mac for certain applications. Parallels Desktop is precisely this type of software.”
After a short time, it became clear that Andrew had found in Parallels Desktop a high-performance, sophisticated solution to his Galileo and Tourwriter problem. Alongside its simple installation and seamless, resource-saving integration in macOS, Coherence mode in Parallels Desktop really won Andrew over. With Coherence mode, the OS X® window (with Pages, iPhotos, and Numbers) and the Windows-based Galileo and Tourwriter screens can be displayed on the same desktop. Data can be transferred between both systems using copy and paste. This guaranteed the exact level of usability and practicality that Andrew had envisioned. As he himself testifies, “I think that a computer can only be considered a good computer if it doesn’t feel like a cryptic puzzle to an IT amateur like me. That’s why I’ve always loved Apple for its simplicity and user-friendliness. I expect the same thing from a piece of software. It should intuitively, quickly, and reliably do what I need it to do, so that I don’t have to download an operating system with which I’m not familiar onto my Mac for certain applications. Parallels Desktop is precisely this type of software.”