This week’s National Business Travel Association (NBTA) conference will include scores of top tier companies showcasing new technologies that offer gains in productivity and profitability– including global powerhouse Travelport GDS, which will unveil the basics of its new all-in-one multi-GDS and multi-core desktop system at the meeting.
To be introduced in 2009, the new platform will provide productivity gains for travel agents, travel management companies and corporations, Flo Lugli, Travelport’s respected senior vice president told Travel Agent. The new platform has received rave reviews from agents and will undergo advanced beta testing this year. Lugli also sees the new desktop as a major breakthrough with appeals to agents, corporations and suppliers. One feature is its ability to provide access to all Travelport GDS’s cores (Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo) as well as Sabre and Amadeus (pending commercial agreements).
The new, and presently unnamed, desktop will improve agents' workflow and drive greater efficiency. “Our vision is to create the industry's first comprehensive, fully-integrated agency desktop that seamlessly integrates selling and merchandising programs,” Lugli said.
For agencies, the platform will offer tools that enable more flexibility in relationships with the GDS. The new platform will also provide opportunities to enter new and different economic models. Agents will no longer have to focus on segments but instead on service and empowerment tools, Travelport says.
For suppliers who need ways to better merchandise and sell their products (air,
hotel etc.) the new platform opens up new economic models. It also offers integration of disparate sources of content; the Universal Data Record no longer requires everything to be in the GDS.
The “wow” factors are many, Travelport says. For agency and corporate customers, it will define features, functions and workflows based on the agent’s role, expertise and responsibility. It is a task-based and collaborative work-flow driven environment, Travelport says, and agency and administrator configurable. It also offers a Universal Record & Profile System and the ability to improve quality control and policy compliance.
Suppliers will benefit as well, including airlines, hotels, car, rail, and ground transportation. They will gain the ability to sell, cross-sell and up-sell. The desktop will also offer an efficient method to inform, promote and sell an enhanced combination of products and brands across all market channels. The new platform also creates an opportunity for advance purchasing capabilities.
There is a wider range of touch points for product information and shopping choices, beyond the lowest price. Traveler and customer-sensitive supplier advertising will also be part of the platform.
With ongoing annual revenues of approximately $2.8 billion, Travelport operates in 145 countries and has approximately 6,000 employees.