Enta, in our words

ENTA is a partner of The Ticketing Institute.  ENTA match their system capabilities against the Functionality Builder and achieve a high score.

ENTA, formerly owned by Galathea STS, part of the Seatem Group in London, is the successor owner of the BOCS system, and since 1995 under Richard Leggatt and then under Andrew Sharp has considerable business continuity.  Now ENTA is owned by BEST UNION and led in the UK by ex-Ticketmaster John Gibson, who has brought in Andy Perkins and Fergus O’Keefe from Tickets.com to front the sales operation.

The development arm of the company was split into US based Global Ticketing Solutions LLC.  There are related ENTA companies in Australia and the US which are on the Board of the software development company, moving to create a full .Net version, due in 2015.

ENTA is probably the system capable of the largest ticketing volumes in the world.  Completely re-written about ten years ago, in ‘version 4′ it has a huge suite of functionality to meet a wide variety of needs.  Many Box Office users extol its sales front end as enabling a huge amount of customer inter-facing to be originated from one screen.  With a powerful toolkit for websites in the form of ENTA Connect, written in .Net, it can meet the needs of demanding high volume users around the world, such as the Barbican in London, QPAC in Brisbane, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Royal Academy of Arts in London.  It has an interface with Purple Seven’s DDX to enable data extraction and full compatibility with Vital Statistics and their module of tools.

Watch out though, when reviewing web capability, that it used to supply a separate API so that organisations such as the Barbican could develop their own Internet ticketing engines, so, when you look at user organisations’ websites, you may not be seeing ENTA Connect in action.

You can have the system on a number of different payment models and practical implementation, with externally hosted ‘pay-as-you-go’ removing up-front costs – they even supply the printers and the chip and pin readers – with a monthly charge according to sales volumes, usually at a modest level.  It can be locally hosted and served.

ENTA is the preferred product of a number of host venues which also offer ticketing services to others.  The advantage is that ENTA can effectively offer a compartmentalised database and strong hierarchical controls on access to all parts of the system, so sub-users can be offered a variety of solutions for their ticket sales, effectively from a managed service of allocations to a user controlled sub-system.  That is not to say that any particular end user will be offered all the options by a ticketing service provider.

You will hear that ENTA has had a tricky history, with difficulties in the past with problem resolution, though users today still recommend it as a mission-critical sales tool.  Users make the point that they need ENTA because of what the system can do, and they will accept the challenges of working with them to get the benefits. Their new owners appear to have resolved some concern about their stability as they continue to grow, and the new arrangement for international development is delivering the upgrades the users want and seeing them renew their contracts.  Major releases have been made since 2012 which extend the functionality and largely keep the system up-to-date, with the next major version promised for 2015.

Main UK contact is John Gibson: jgibson@bestunion.com

For sales: Andy Perkins: andyperkins@enta.com