Travelyst Versions and Pricing Model

December 1st, 2016

Travelyst Versions and Pricing Model

Travelyst is offered as either a “CRM” version or “Premium” version which increases flexibility for the client for both budget and transitioning your business processes into the Travelyst environment.

Travelyst CRM comes standard with the main features for enquiry management, customer lifecycle management and quote version management.

Travelyst Premium adds Travelyst CRM all functionality required to build detailed itineraries, produce documentation and integrate with a financial accounting system.

Travelyst is a turn-key, cloud based solution which requires no additional hardware/infrastructure costs. With a user-friendly interface, it is simple for everyone to start using from day one. Customers need a secure connection to the internet.

The system is offered on a monthly subscription fee per user.

The support team at Travelyst is available from your first purchase to assist with the installation, setup and training for each station and is available thereafter for any support related queries.

Travelyst Product Matrix

Setup and Configuration    
Multiple Organisations, Users and Email account set-up X X
Agencies and Agency Contacts X X
Agency Commission Structures X
Sales Stages X X
Currencies and Exchange rate Predictions X
Service Type set-up X
Enquiry Leads and Customer Information Management    
Load new enquiries (email, manual) X X
Load new enquiries (web integration) X
Custom data fields per customer X
Distribute enquiries X
Track Stales Stages and Idle Enquiries X X
Manage Sales Stage Change checklists X X
Custom ToDo tasks and follow-up reminders X X
Interaction Management and Email Integration    
Personalised outgoing emails X X
Personal Inbox Integration X
Document / Attachment Storage X X
Email templates (standard responses) X X
Automated emails (Clients and Suppliers) X
Supplier and Price List Management    
Supplier, Service and Option Management X
Rate management X
Multi-currency X
Quote and Version Tracking X X
Profitability and Conversion Ratio Measurement X X
Itinerary Builder (including line pricing) X
Flights from PNR (Galileo) X
Service confirmation (supplier booking references) X
Standard rate based pricing X
Passenger Information Records X
Wetu* Integration X
Quotes (own brand) X
Quotes (Agency branded) X
Customer confirmation X
Agent commission statements X
Vouchers X
Payment tracking X
Invoicing (Clients) and Self-invoicing (Agents and Suppliers) X
Commission Calculations X
VAT Accounting X



ViaData has been working in the tour operator business since 2009 and we know the travel business very well.  Travelyst is currently in use at 3 major tour operators across 10 brands in South Africa.

ViaData continually adds new functionality and features to Travelyst to keep the system current and to enhance the user experience and productivity of our clients. They are delighted!

Remember, these are just the highlights, and Travelyst has considerably more functionality. To find out more, or to arrange a free demonstration, please contact us!

What is Travelyst™?

November 25th, 2016

What is Travelyst?

Travelyst is a cloud-based Travel and Tour Operator business-process software solution that is differentiated by having a very strong integrated travel-oriented Customer Relationship Management (CRM) component. The CRM module delivers functionality similar to stand-alone CRM applications with the added benefit of a deep Travel Agent/Operator focus.

Deeply Integrated Travel CRM

The CRM component of Travelyst is extremely efficient. Most travel agencies receive their enquiries into a common email box and then use a variety of office tools to distribute these enquiries to their consultants. Travelyst, however, provides a single interface from which consultants operate.

Travelyst is designed to manage the entire client interaction and consulting process, as a central hub for email, spreadsheets, all documentation, file systems and multiple travel applications from one central point.

In the world of travel and tour operators, it is nearly impossible to find a business application that fulfils all the functions essential to work effectively. Travelyst provides an end-to-end solution that fulfils all your operating requirements.

“Wow!! The flights add-on is absolutely magic, and it’s going to make a massive difference for us, really outstanding, thank you so very much!” – Shona Pittaway, Managing Director, Perfect Destinations


ViaData has been working in the tour operator business since 2009 and we know the travel business very well.  Travelyst is currently in use at 3 major tour operators across 10 brands in South Africa.

ViaData continually adds new functionality and features to Travelyst to keep the system current and to enhance the user experience and productivity of our clients, and they are delighted!

Remember, these are just the highlights, and Travelyst has considerably more functionality. To find out more, or to arrange a free demonstration, please contact us!


Travelyst™ has moved house!

November 24th, 2016


Travelyst, our end-to-end Travel and Tour Operator Business Solution, has moved to greener (and much faster) pastures.

For the last 2 ½ years, Travelyst has shared space with our other systems and business applications. It was getting crowded and as a mature application, Travelyst wanted to leave the nest, spread its wings, find its own home in the world, and soar.

Travelyst’s New Home

So, on Tuesday night, we migrated Travelyst to its new home with its own dedicated server, solely for Travelyst clients. The new server is easily scalable and we have already seen immediate tangible benefits:

  • Response times on Travelyst have been slashed by about 90%!
  • Throughput on all Travelyst websites is up by 50%!
  • Best of all, our client’s user satisfaction has absolutely soared!

We have great plans for Travelyst in 2017 and we are very excited about Travelyst’s value to our clients!


ViaData has been working in the tour operator business since 2009 and we know the travel business very well.  Travelyst is currently in use at 3 major tour operators across 10 brands in South Africa.

Just as we moved Travelyst to its own dedicated server, ViaData continually adds new functionality and features to Travelyst to keep the system current and to enhance the user experience and productivity of our clients, and they are delighted!

To call us, find out more, or to arrange a free demonstration, please contact us!


November 17th, 2016


Travelyst is ready for prime time! The excitement has been steadily building and now, after nearly 2½ years in development, Travelyst has been released to the market!

Travelyst is designed to manage the complete business process of a tour or travel operator, from initial client contact through to sales. With a tightly integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module especially created for the travel industry, Travelyst offers a unique product to the Travel and Tour Operator in both the wholesale and retail spaces.

Travelyst has been battle-tested in a live production environment throughout its development and testing phase and has won high praise from its users. Since its release, Travelyst is already live with our first two new clients and they are delighted!

Very user-friendly and self-explanatory. Travelyst has a wonderful way of reminding you concerning follow-ups” – Bronwyn Lambrecht, Perfect Destinations.

“It’s fast to load quotes and easy to invoice. You can see immediately if a client is loaded on the system.” – Natasha Coetzer, Travel Dreams

The market opportunity

Travelyst fills a large gap in the Travel management and Tour Operator market, as travel solutions in use in South Africa in general don’t focus on CRM functionality. Generic CRM solutions don’t have enough travel-specific functionality to support integration into itinerary building and the highly iterative quotations and consulting process that occurs when selling travel products.

We’re very excited about Travelyst, because this is where Travelyst shines! We’ve hired additional staff to specifically support the implementation and rollout of Travelyst and we are engaged with planning some significant implementations in the next 12 months.

 “Travelyst makes the process so quick and streamlined for us; the copy and paste of the PNR is the best invention EVER!” – Shona Pittaway, Managing Director, Perfect Destinations.


ViaData has been working in the tour operator business since 2009 and we know the travel business very well.  Travelyst is currently in use at 3 major tour operators across 10 brands in South Africa.

ViaData continually adds new functionality and features to Travelyst to keep the system current and to enhance the user experience and productivity of our clients. They are delighted!

Remember, these are just the highlights, and Travelyst has considerably more functionality. To find out more, or to arrange a free demonstration, please visit our contact page!


Travelyst goes mobile!

April 5th, 2016

ViaData has invited a group of Honours students in Information Systems from the University of Cape Town to invest in a project to “mobilise” Travelyst, ViaData’s Tour Operator Software. The idea is to improve communication and accessibility with Travelyst end clients (the Traveller) through the use of a Travelyst Mobile Application. They have undertaken this remit and are now in the process of creating a mobile app for Travelyst. Below are the bio’s of the project team and an outline of the remit they were given…

The Team

Keystroke Team


We are the Keystrokes, a team of 4 Honours students majoring in Information Systems. The team members include Shestine Haripershad, who is also the team leader, Anny Fang, Jeronisha Chetty and Natheer Davids. We will be developing a mobile application for ViaData, called Travelyst, for our Systems Development Project this year.

Shestine Haripershad

I am currently doing my Honours in Information at the University of Cape Town. I completed my undergrad at UCT and started off majoring in Computer Science and Information Systems. I realised that I wasn’t particularly interested in Computer Science as it was a bit too technical for me. I was more interested in how technology, more specifically systems, could improve the way a business runs. I was drawn to Information Systems as it focuses both on a business aspect as well as the developing of applications or systems. I enjoyed developing Web Applications and Mobile Applications in my final year of undergrad. It had made me discover that I am really passionate about front-end design. I find it very enjoyable and could spend hours trying to perfect a user interface. I am looking forward to my Honours year as well as working with ViaData on the Systems Development Project.

Natheer Davids

I am a 22-year-old BCom Honors IS student at UCT. I did my undergraduate degree at UWC where I initially majored in statistics and economics but ended up graduating with an IS major, funny how things work out. I have never really done a blog up until this year, where apparently doing one weekly becomes the norm, although I still struggle to conceptualise the correct things to say, especially about myself. Anyways, I am a Muslim, I am quite interested in topics related to ICT4D, I wrote a mini-thesis on Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system adoption in the Western Cape and am currently doing another mini-thesis on the accessibility of e-government websites for the visually disabled, other than that the progression of e-commerce is quite interesting, I tend to be quite business orientated I suppose that’s down to what I learned in my undergrad and the environments I’ve been exposed to.  I love football (the British version not the one American’s play where they use their hands), I am a little bit of a gamer and I occasionally surf (waves not the internet).

Jeronisha Chetty

I am currently completing my Honours in Information Systems (IS) at the University of Cape Town. I believe that Honours in IS is particularly valuable because it allows students to engage with people in the industry throughout the year. The IS Department has ensured that IS students understand the industry, current market trends, how businesses operate and how Systems Development projects are carried out. I enjoy coding mobile applications and researching current affairs. I am currently researching cyber security awareness amongst the average person in South Africa which I think is relevant given the adoption of technology into everything we do.

Anny Fang

My name is Anny Fang and I am currently an Information Systems (IS) Honours student at the University of Cape Town (UCT). I started my undergrad at UCT majoring in Computer Science and Chemistry in the Science Faculty because I had enjoyed Information Technology and Chemistry in high school. I failed Chemistry in the first semester of my second year and decided to take IS as my second major later in the year. I enjoyed IS and gained experience working with clients in our final year project, where we had to analyse an organization’s current processes/operations and find ways to improve them. One of my hobbies is playing badminton.

About the Mobile Application

The students will be developing a mobile application for ViaData’s Tour Operator Software, called Travelyst, which will automate some of the processes currently implemented by ViaData. The mobile app for Travelyst will be a travel app that retrieves custom made itineraries for a specific user, and saves it to their local storage (cellphone). This will decrease the amount of documents that a traveller would need to carry around. The app will also make sure their itinerary is up to date if any changes are made. The app will incorporate a messaging function between the traveller and the consultant so when issues or changes arise during their travels, they can easily communicate with the consultant. There will also be the ability to rate a service such as a car hire or a hotel. This will allow ViaData to capture user feedback. We are also going to let the mobile app link to Google Maps and TripAdvisor. Google Maps will allow travellers to find their way in a foreign country and TripAdvisor will allow them to see any exciting events happening in the area they are in.

The Future

As ViaData, we will be following the Keystroke Team as they develop a mobile application for ViaData’s Travelyst Tour Operator Software. All the ups and downs, frustrations and breakthroughs will be blogged as they travel the road to success over the coming months! We wish them all the very best and good coding!

Travelyst Mobile Update

March 31st, 2016

007493cf6eb92a84-64x64There are currently no platforms available in which travellers and travel consultants communicate directly with each other to manage a traveller’s documentation, itinerary and other information.
Therefore, ViaData came up with the idea of making a mobile application for the front end of their Travelyst Tour Operator Software to achieve this goal.  With this in mind, ViaData approached the University of Cape Town as they have supported software related student projects for many years.

The project was born so that ViaData and the students could learn while exploring the possibility of a mobile application for Travelyst.   A bi-product of this exercise may be a very usable mobile application that ViaData can ‘productionise‘ or have a good proof-of-concept that can be used as a prototype for a final mobile product in the future.

Project Background

The Travelyst mobile application will allow for the traveller to receive all their travelling documentation electronically and any changes made to their itinerary will be shown immediately via the Travelyst mobile app. It will also enable direct communication between a traveller and a travel consultant. This will be done on a single platform and will be instantaneous. The traveller will no longer have to communicate via email or multiple platforms to achieve a task.

The Keystroke Team

Some of the hurdles the team will have to overcome will include time management. They are involved in tutoring at UCT, community service as well as other courses. Therefore, they will be pressed for time which can be overcome with good planning. The team want to develop the mobile application using Phonegap software which could be a potential hurdle. None of the team has worked with this technology before and there is not much assistance available, other than the internet. They are very motivated however and determined to learn so that they feel confident using Phonegap. One of the last hurdles is integration. The team need to integrate the app with the current ViaData Travelyst backend system as well as integrating it into social media.

What the Team is Currently Working on

The UCT Keystroke Team are currently working on the Web Service call. The Web Service call is necessary in order to connect to ViaData’s Travelyst database. ViaData has started doing the initial work on the Web Service call and the team are starting to configure the architecture from their side so they can retrieve data from the Travelyst database. The database is hosted in the cloud by Internet Solutions and has a guaranteed uptime to ensure that travellers will always have instant access to the information they require.

As part of ViaData’s “Improving Every Day” ethic, we’ll be updating you as the students progress in developing the mobile front end to ViaData’s Travelyst Tour Operator Software. We hope you’ll enjoy the ride!

Travelyst “Extreme Makeover”

March 7th, 2016

At ViaData, we have been continually improving Travelyst, our Tour Operator Software Product based on the Catalyst (BSE), over the last year and a half and it is now at a stage where we can bring it to market.

We felt, though, that although the underlying technology was in place and complete, the user interface (UI) could do with a makeover. First impressions count, as we all know! To this end, we designed a new logo and colour scheme, added some fresh and modern images to the Home Page and introduced the use of Google Material Icons to set-the-tone for releasing to Mobile devices and applications.

Here’s the logo and Home Page:








Home page


It’s been amazing for our developers, seeing our “little one” come out on prom night vibrant and beautiful. We knew she was good – but to see her “in the flesh” was spectacular!

Our users have been captivated by the new look as well! Their comments have been wonderfully gratifying. They’ve been using Travelyst in its old guise and now, with her new “clothes” on, she’s being treated as a new and refreshing bride, with a whole new sense of wanting to get to know her again.

Here’s the Login Page:



Working within Travelyst has just got better as well, with the new and revitalising colour scheme making it a pleasure as a working environment.

Here’s how a working page looks:

Working page


So…now to go with our usual mantra of “Improving Every Day”, we also have “Extreme Makeover (Software Edition)” – watch out Ty Pennington!

The Catalyst “Sizzle” – Why is Catalyst such a great platform?

November 12th, 2015

The Catalyst “Sizzle” – Why is Catalyst such a Great Platform?

At ViaData we use our own, purpose built, ‘Business Systems Engine’ (BSE), Catalyst, as the foundation for all our custom software development. Here are some reasons why Catalyst is the best software system for your business, along with quotes from our developers and users about why they love using it…


Technology That Never Grows Old

A customer’s system with exactly the same rules can be presented as a Windows application, a browser based application or a mobile application for Android or Apple mobile operating systems without changing the system at all. This also applies to new technologies and languages.

The Catalyst BSE technology will NEVER become obsolete. ViaData can create new presentation implementations with NO impact on the business rules in the system.

The above is possible because the technology and business rules within Catalyst are kept completely separate in all areas of the system (both back end and front end).

It is interesting to note that many systems and architectures claim to separate business rules and presentation BUT business logic is usually built into both, for example the presentation layer includes screen layouts and screen level validations.

Within Catalyst the presentation layer is 100% business agnostic and doesn’t know anything about the business it is serving. This is because the links between the two layers are held in data in a simple data structure.

“Catalyst design of database backend and user frontend is flexible in that the front end has no business logic and can be a web or app interface, allowing for diverse access possibilities – on the road, in the office or from the home. – Victor Brink (developer, ViaData)


Completely Scalable

Your business will never outgrow Catalyst, which means that you can safely rely on Catalyst to power your company for many, many years to come, with no need to spend money on another system at a later stage.

Catalyst systems are completely scalable and can handle business data from a small business to very large enterprises.

“Catalyst systems are highly scalable, on the same measure that SQL Server is scalable. On the web front, this is effectively limitless. So whether it’s a small customer or a large one, Catalyst is scalable enough to handle whatever one throws at it.” – Kosie du Buisson (developer, ViaData)


Simple and Consistent Interface Design

Catalyst users become productive on the system very quickly, thereby enabling the business to earn a return on investment at a very early stage of system implementation.

The Catalyst system is quick to learn and easy to teach and train on for users, and the Interface design is simple and consistent across the entire system.

The interface design includes the standard placement of objects across the entire system, along with the standard use of options and controls and shortcuts for most functionality.

“An easy and intuitive learning curve for new users” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)

“A generic interface that behaves consistently across all aspects of the data” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)


The Incredibly Versatile Catalyst “Grid”

Using the Catalyst Grid, users can mine for data very easily and efficiently, drastically reducing time to get meaningful business results.

The Catalyst Grid is amazing! It’s used everywhere to display rows of data, it’s flexible, dynamic and configurable, and provides powerful sorting, filtering, printing and exporting features.

“Most incredible user interface – users love to work on Catalyst grids due to all the functions like filter, search, export, report functionalities”. – Truia Meyer (Dole)

“Quick drag-and-drop column and view reorganisation that can be exported and printed; right-click grouping and sub-grouping, with drag-and-drop reordering, that can include totals, counts, averages, etc.; simple point-and-click filter building which can be further refined through advanced features, then saved and reused on new data sets; comprehensive data views which are easily narrowed and refined – users easily generate their own data extractions; data manipulation and arrangement in views is easier than in a spreadsheet (and always up-to-date) and lastly fine-grained user security and access on entities and methods.” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)


Drastically Reduced Development Time

Your business will benefit from Catalyst’s extremely short development time in that users will be able to use the system and produce meaningful business results shortly after the system is introduced. There is no extended wait for the system to go live, thereby saving time and money.

Catalyst development time is very short, in that the prototype ‘becomes’ the system and is not thrown away when the actual system is written, unlike other software system development.

“Rapid development process – save a lot of time and energy on the mundane stuff and spend the majority of development time on the exciting and really import issues”. – Truia Meyer (Dole)

“Rapid delivery of ‘prototypes’, allowing the engagement of user interaction and approval very early; reduces the level of detail in specs and empowers business analysts to get more involved with the actual development at an earlier stage. Reduces development time substantially. – Sabi Isaacs (business analyst, ViaData)


Consistent and Standardised Catalyst Environment

A User that has used any Catalyst-based system will easily take to any other Catalyst system or new functionality within an existing system, covering a different aspect of the business. This reduces training time and money.

Aids an Agile development process due to quick turn around and thus significantly reduces cost, allowing budget for further, incremental, revisions once a set of functionality has been rolled out

The Catalyst development environment is tightly controlled and standardised, and includes version controls, naming conventions and change control. This means that all changes connected to a user request are logged and authorised by the system.

“Quality is reinforced by massive reuse at a number of levels, including the implementation of multiple systems and many users; internal use of our own systems written in Catalyst, including our development environment and the reuse of existing elements of the architecture as foundational building blocks for new features.” – Alister Main (operations director, ViaData)


Shared No-Cost Functional Benefit for Clients

Clients always have the latest Catalyst system with the latest enhancements, including those requested by other clients, so there is a shared benefit for all.

Catalyst systems are modernised and improved continuously (without clients explicitly requesting these changes). This includes screen layouts and new features such as exporting grids to Excel, scheduled emailed reports and emailed reports (instead of printed versions).

“Catalyst has a lot of potential, it is continually getting new features and improving … and those improvements are going to all customers free of charge.  So it’s a shared potential and shared improvement.” – Kosie du Buisson (developer, ViaData)


Keeps Pace with Your Business

The Catalyst system never lags behind the business – development and enhancements are a phone call away, and enhancements are also added as a result of other developments. This means that users are always working on the latest, fully integrated system.

The Catalyst business system is built at the pace required by the business and it all integrates perfectly.

“As the business grows, it’s easy to develop add-on modules. Because it’s developed from a ‘big picture’ understanding of the business, the new modules fit neatly onto pre-existing modules. In my experience this is the most problematic issue with bespoke systems – the ‘add-ons’ don’t lead to an integrated system, but starts to become messy and looks like ‘patchwork’. This is not the case with Catalyst.” – Nikki Maritz (IBTC)

UCT Information Systems Expo

October 19th, 2015

Every year, the Department of Information Systems at the University of Cape Town holds a Systems Project Expo to showcase their third year and fourth year Systems Development group projects. This varied selection of advanced systems is designed to industry conditions and tackle actual business issues.

ViaData’s Involvement:

The 3rd year shield and top group has been proudly sponsored by ViaData for the last 23 years. ViaData is involved with the UCT Information Systems Expo because it re-establishes our connection with some of the very bright minds being developed at UCT. We also want to recognise the effort put in by the students and we get to see some of the great concepts being prototyped and developed by students.

The Presentation Evening:

Mark Fairweather, CEO of Open Box Software gave the keynote address.  He focussed on the achievements of previous graduates of UCT’s IS Program (he being one) and some key guidelines for students, including find your passion, put in your time (remember the 10,000 hours ‘rule’ of Malcolm Gladwell) and go out and make a difference.

Craig Byren, MD at ViaData (also a past IS Department Graduate) presented the 3rd year certificates and awards – saying a few words and focussing on lessons learned from an Interview with President Barrack Obama (by American comedian Mark Maron) – this can be found at: //

Here are two extracts from Maron’s interview:

When asked what he believes in, President Obama’s answer was ‘I believe in fact, and I believe in reason’ – a sound basis for decision-making going forward.

When asked how he changes the world – Obama’s (paraphrased) response was “societies (and the world) cannot be turned 90 degrees, the course needs to be changed one degree at a time. So to change the world all I do is to set out every day to make small changes that will leave society (and the world) better than before the change”.

This is exactly in line with ViaData’s mantra ‘Improving Every Day’


Above: ViaData MD Craig Byren with the winning 3rd year team.

Finally, Head of Department, Associate Professor Kevin Johnston, closed the evening with some final words of insight for the students in an ardent speech – focussing on two fundamental thoughts and how these relate to the year that passed at UCT and the choices that face students going forward. He highlighted that we all have the right to know AND the power to choose.

In summary:

The common themes of the evening were: Information is critical to making any decisions (personal, business and political); There is no substitute for hard work; We ALL have the power to make a difference, but we have to choose to make that difference.

During the course of the evening, the students were also given time to share their views on the past year, and their comments reminded everyone how great student life is.




Improvement – Security

October 14th, 2015

At ViaData, we use a generic template structure for security in our Catalyst Business Systems Engine for all our systems. For large systems, security access for users can be complex to implement, however for smaller systems with fewer users, or where all users play essentially the same role, it can be very basic.

A simple user security data structure consists of users, security groups, users assigned to security groups, and then access to data entities assigned to these security groups. User access can then be controlled to view, modify, delete or add entities, at the security group level. Additional User access control to specific “tasks” in the system is also managed at the security group level.

All the above is integrated into Catalyst and forms a great “out of the box” feature for a Catalyst development project. It provides a familiar structure for security within Catalyst and deviations for specific implementations can then be built within this environment.

The Problem

Some data entities are used by all users in a system, always with the same level of access, but need assigning to security groups specific to an Implementation every time we create a new system, even though the data entity will always be generally accessible to everyone. Also, whenever a new user is added, the administrator needs to remember to assign them to the appropriate Security Groups that allow access to these ‘general’ entities.


We improved Catalyst by adding a security group called ‘All Users’, so that in our template system, entities that have general access are allocated to the ‘All Users’ security group, giving Users access “right out the box”.


The advantages of adding the new ‘All Users’ functionality is that, when rolling out a new system, no security setup or thinking about it is required for these entities, and any entitles specific to the implementation that require the same level of global access, can also be allocated to this security group and forgotten.

The key improvement is that every time an administrator adds a new user, they don’t have to worry about adding the user to the security group these entities belong to, because all users are automatically part of the ‘All Users ‘security group

This improvement to Catalyst, as usual, has been extended to all existing systems, for the benefit of all Catalyst users.