e-commerce developer Unique World has won a lucrative contract to develop an online ticketing system for national automated film ticketing system Movieline.
Movieline, a joint venture between cinema companies Hoyts, Greater Union, Village Roadshow and Birch Carroll and Coyle, enables cinema audiences to book tickets over the phone. Unique World has now been commissioned to extend that same service to the Web.
The cinema group spent four months evaluating six potential contractors for the two-year Web development contract, worth approximately $500,000 in services dollars. Eddie Geller, group managing director of professional services for Unique World, said it was the most substantial win Unique World has enjoyed since its merger with e-commerce facilitator SmartBuy. Geller said some of the tenderers were multinational professional services companies, others design-centric Web developers trying to make their move into back-end integration. He believes Unique World won the deal due to its experience with high-end transactional sites.
Unique World has been given stringent deadlines for the project's completion, with the cinema group keen to have their new Web system up and running before the school holiday rush in December. Geller said the company will devote around five developers at a time to the project.
Other than creating a new Web site for the client, Unique World has been asked to create a system that can integrate the front-end of the www.movieline.com.au Web site with the diverse back-end infrastructures of all the participating cinemas.
Geller said the solution will be based on the Windows 2000 platform, and said this will be integrated into some proprietary back-end systems developed by a vendor named Icon Gateway. He acknowledged the popular opinion that Microsoft products are hard to integrate with other systems, but said it was more a reflection on the lack of skills in many services organisations.
"Integrating these back-end systems is a technical challenge we have managed to overcome," he said. "In the last three years, we have managed to integrate Microsoft with just about anything."