Nov 20

Car Rental Software: 20 Years of Bluebird Auto Rental Systems

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Bluebird Systems, based in Carlsbad, CA, first started selling car rental software, then named AutoMate, in 1982, to run on “SuperDOS”, their own proprietary operating system.

SuperDOS was a platform for resellers around the world, and Bluebird Systems had several transportation-related software divisions. In 1985, the first major account was signed: Thrifty Car Rental.

How the global value leader in car rental software came to be.

Phil Jones went to work for Bluebird Systems in 1987 as the Manager of Support, and Angela Margolit started in 1988 as the Northeast Account Manager.  Anticipating that Windows was going to be a popular operating system, Angela tried to persuade the current owner, Hal Tilbury, to re-write AutoMate in Windows.  Wanting to pursue other ventures, Hal instead worked with Angela to engineer an employee-leveraged buy out the auto rental division.  She brought on three limited partners along with Phil Jones (to head up Support and Development and her brother, Gordon Rozek (to head up Sales and Marketing). Hence Bluebird “Auto Rental” Systems was founded in November of 1993.  Over one weekend, the operations were moved from California to New Jersey with a total of eleven employees to support 200 customers.

The global growth of Bluebird Auto Rental System’s car rental software:

The new company immediately partnered with Progress Software to create a Windows-based version, dubbed AutoMate2. No longer relying on SuperDOS, Bluebird was able to deploy their software outside the US. Reynolds & Reynolds endorsed them in 1995, followed shortly by ADP, which rapidly grew the dealership market. The flagship product was then renamed “RentWorks”.

In 2006, Bluebird bought out competitor Orion Systems, who supported a Data Bridge for Budget licensees. Avis Budget Group then worked with Bluebird to provide a back office solution for their licensees who use the global Wizard counter system.

Today Bluebird has 30 full-time employees to support over 500 customers in 36 different countries. Interfaces include several credit card providers, Equifax, report writers, and numerous reservation/web portals.

For more information on how Bluebird’s 20 years of success can help your business, please contact us today!

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