THE HISTORY OF TOOGONET
A handful of French associates create and develop Terra Group (www.terra-group.com), a network of receptive operators specialized in adventure travel and bespoke travel in Latin America.
This was the start of the web, and the “à la carte” aspects.
The Terra agencies multiplied and their needs grew every day.
The group sets up a unit to manage and coordinate the actions of the different branches.
Entrusted to Fabrice Pawlak, founding associate of Terra Group, the main mission of this unit based in La Paz (Bolivia) is to develop efficient IT tools that are adapted to the tourism industry; Word and Excel were no longer enough.
A close and fruitful partnership was set up with Dragnux, a technology and IT services company focused on the European and North American markets, run by a group of IT engineers including Marcelo Ayllon, Ivan Collazos and Juan Vega.
Terra Group quickly became Dragnux´s main client and the partnership went from close to unified.
The growth of Terra Group continues and speeds up.
The tools created in-house prove to already be of limited use and as the internet explodes with a multitude of new and innovative features the door opens onto an infinity of possibilities.
Terra Group starts to search for an ALL-IN-ONE application that allows for
- quick and efficient design and construction of made-to-measure trips
- simultaneous and precise calculation of the corresponding quotation
- integration of everything in multimedia, interactive, editable trip sheets in several languages
- a multi-currency, multi-country, multi-producer work mode (such as for combined trips relying on several receptive operators)
- managing marketing and sales smoothly and intelligently
- managing logistics automatically and efficiently: bookings, payments, follow up on the ground
- complete management of company finances
- generation of the company website(s)
After several months of investigation it was evident that this tool did not exist.
It became clear that it would have to be created in-house with the right resources.
Terra Group assembles a team (a project leader and a few engineers) giving birth to the company EMAGINE.
After a year and a half, it all ends in failure.
Bad IT choices, bad database architecture choices, bad HR choices…
The company EMAGINE is liquidated and the project resumes grounded on completely new foundations: a new company (TOOGONET), new technology (open source & 100 % web), new database architecture, and increased means.
The team is also overhauled: it is now the old Dragnux team members who will develop the application and Fabrice Pawlak becomes project leader.
Over the following years the seed planted is fertilized by healthy collaborations.
In 2010, Nicolas Morice strengthens the technical development team.
In 2011, Pierre Ligonie revitalizes the sales area.
And then made-to measure experts born from Terra Group pass through the company (and sometimes stay): Olivier Tibi, Thibault Jeannin, Nicolas Blanquet…
Toogonet shareholders now amount to over 20 people of different nationalities all from the world of tourism or the web engineering sector.
Development of the basic modules
- Trip builder
- Sales & Marketing
The tool is improved with new functions: adaptation of TOOGO for multi-agency and multi-operations center functioning, with new trip sheets that generate route maps, altitude curves and slideshows.
These are the first steps toward a commercial approach outside Terra Group.
The concept of Toogonexion appears; a Toogo that can connect to other Toogos.
Start of 2012
First installations of Toogo in the Terra Group agencies: Terra Andina Bolivia, Terra Andina Ecuador, Terra Andina Peru, Terra Brazil, Terra Caribea (Panama & Costa Rica), Terra Chile, Terra Colombia, Terra Maya (Mexico), Terra Patagonia (Argentina).
The initial goal of equipping the group´s agencies with an innovative and efficient tool has been achieved much to the joy of the users.
Toogo is installed with several receptive operators across the globe: New Zealand, Namibia, Jordan, France…The experiment, there as well, is conclusive.
The constant feedback from a hundred or more users allows for the correction / improvement / consolidation of the application.
Tour Operators cast a curious eye over the solution: what if it was meant for them too?
While the user manual is being finished in 3 languages, the technical team continues to develop the next tool: Toogonexion, CMS, profile manager.
What comes next, the future, is being written as you read these very lines…