Firms Showcase Tech Wares at GBTA
by Michele McDonald
Firms Showcase Tech Wares at GBTA

The corporate travel world is being treated to a candy store of technology innovations at the Global Business Travel Association’s annual convention in Los Angeles this week. Here’s a selection of new solutions on display, with more to come as the event progresses.

ARC’s FareSight to offer global air travel reporting
The Airlines Reporting Corp. and IATA are working to integrate the data from both their settlement systems to provide multinational companies with a full picture of their air travel through FareSight, ARC’s database search tool.

When development is complete, FareSight will be able to query current and historic data from both IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan and ARC’s Area Settlement Plan, providing access to more than 455 million yearly air ticket transactions worth $254 billion, based on 2013 figures.

FareSight enables corporate travel managers to compare their air travel costs and patterns across different parts of their enterprise or against like companies in their country, continent or globally.

The solution can profile travelers’ preferences based on actual ticket travel, not just preference surveys or policy compliance. The information can be harnessed to help global corporate travel managers optimize their company’s air travel policies and programs worldwide.

Yapta turns to hotel price tracking
Yapta, a provider of air fare price assurance services for corporate travelers, is setting its sights on hotel rates with the beta launch of RoomIQ, a dynamic hotel price tracking solution designed for corporate travel organizations. RoomIQ automatically tracks corporate hotel reservations and sends price drop alerts when room rate savings are available.

Among the beta testers are Travizon and Ultramar, which are current users of Yapta’s FareIQ Intelligent Price Tracking. Yapta believes the savings potential is just as great on the hotel side, particularly since there are typically no penalties for making changes to reservations when prices drop.

RoomIQ can also be set to monitor prices on comparable room types as well as to compare non-preferred properties to preferred properties and like-to-like amenities such as parking, Internet access and breakfast.  

Aon, Cornerstone partner for travel risk management
Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc, partnered with Cornerstone Information Systems to expand WorldAware Solutions, its travel risk management platform.  

Aon also unveiled the Aon WorldAware Global Gateway, a technology-based enhancement that will enable clients to better manage the travel security risk of their employees.

The gateway provides a secure, accurate feed directly from a client’s travel management company to the WorldAware Travel Management System, regardless of GDS used. Cornerstone will provide the data, enabling WorldAware to track travelers at any point during their trips.

Orbitz for Business touts global ‘consumerization’
Orbitz for Business said it is expanding its consumerized online booking functionality – a planning and booking experience that more closely mirrors the process of booking leisure travel – to more than 100 countries, covering more than 18 languages and 35 currencies. The company said it is working with a client to launch a “significant” six-continent program, and it is “prepared to do the same” for other international corporations.  

Orbitz for Business said the expanded offering will include the company’s mobile solution, which offers full “look-to-book” functionality for all major travel products, while applying customized corporate policies.

Egencia unveils new app for biz travelers
Egencia, Expedia Inc.’s business travel company, unveiled its new Egencia TripNavigator app for iPad. The app takes advantage of the larger tablet screen to provide contextual, relevant information while users review trips and book travel.

It also features a new, adaptive approach to travel search. Egencia has worked on tablet optimization to incorporate the technology, which enables the app to adapt to the traveler’s intent and behavior to make the search process more efficient.

For example, if a traveler frequently books similar trips, the app proposes common search options in the first step of the search process. The new Similar Flights feature enables users to indicate what they like about a particular flight, such as similar arrival time, airline or duration, and adapts the search to provide more tailored results.

By displaying inbound and outbound flight options side-by-side with clear indications of policy compliance, users can compare fares and choose the best option.
 
Egencia saw rapid growth of mobile bookings on its TripNavigator for iPhone and Android when they were launched last year. The company expects similarly rapid with tablets.

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