Gelco bolsters travel management

Still fresh from winning a major role in the Defense Department's Defense Travel System project, Gelco Information Network last week began shipping a new version of its travel management software, which includes support for Oracle Corp. databases.

Gelco Travel Manager 7.1 is the latest version of the software that forms the base of TRW Inc.'s winning bid for DTS, which is a high-profile

project that aims to move DOD to a paperless system for processing travel vouchers.

The software, which runs on either Microsoft Corp.'s Windows or Windows NT clients, provides modules that address every aspect of the travel management process, from filing a voucher and making reservations to tracking per diem rates and calculating and processing reimbursements.

With Release 7.1, Gelco has added support for Oracle databases, having originally written the application for Progress Database from Progress Software Corp. "We have a lot of customers in government that are very Oracle-centric," said Daniel Ragheb, vice president of the Government Services Division at Gelco, Reston, Va.

Gelco first chose Progress because the database could run on many platforms that agencies have used over the years.But Oracle customers will find the software can support much larger databases and take advantage of better security features, Ragheb said. Oracle customers will not need to buy a different version of the software but must simply set their preferences, he said.

Release 7.1 also gives customers a broader choice of user interfaces.

The application now supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Communications Corp. Navigator browsers. Although not all agencies are ready to put their travel management system on the World Wide Web, "there will be a day when people will move to an Internet mode, and [they] want to be ready to handle that," Ragheb said.

Gelco also has developed a "character/user interface" for users connecting to a server through a low-bandwidth Telnet connection, the company said.

Gelco has done a good job of incorporating DOD's myriad travel regulations, said Col. Al Fleumer, deputy chief of staff for resource management at the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., one of 19 pilot sites for DOD's travel re-engineering program. The center's biggest savings come from the software's ability to calculate reimbursement claims, thereby shortening processing time and improving accuracy.

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