Travel tech innovator Lea Cahill, who started her career at age 19 with Garber Travel, is now back “home” as chief operating officer of Atlas Travel, another prominent TMC in the Boston area.
Cahill, most recently with Amadeus, will oversee Atlas’ implementation of the new Amadeus One desktop that she helped develop as well as the full Amadeus One suite of solutions.
Rooted in technology
Cahill’s expertise is rooted in technology. At Garber (acquired by Flight Centre in 2010 and now doing business as FCm Travel Solutions), she was charged with conducting due diligence on ITA Software and G2 SwitchWorks, which Garber was evaluating for an alternative point of sale tool. G2’s technology was acquired by Travelport to provide the framework for its Universal Desktop.
Shortly thereafter, Cahill was named vice president of travel technology and operations, responsible for the acquisition and development of technology and process engineering.
Development of Amadeus One desktop
Her knowledge of agency desktops stood her in good stead during her three years at Amadeus, where she was director of product management, definition and design. She was deeply involved with the development of the Amadeus One desktop designed for corporate travel management companies in North America.
She invented the feature called “flexible agent air flow,” which aims to make the graphical user interface as flexible as the cryptic format.
Appeal to new agents
That flexibility will become more important as time goes on and new agents are hired who grew up in the era of the GUI and are averse to working with cryptic commands, Cahill told Travel Market Report.
She noted that is primarily experienced agents who are wedded to green screen technology. “The green screen is not a comfortable environment for younger agents. You have to work toward something that will sustain us into the future”
Came to Atlas at same time
In something of a coincidence, Cahill and Amadeus One landed at Atlas Travel right around the same time.
Atlas, a long-time Sabre agency, had acquired a smaller agency that used Amadeus, so it suddenly became a multi-GDS agency for which a multi-source desktop would be a boon.
Kim Castro, Atlas’ executive vice president of technology and automation, looked at all three possibilities – Sabre Red, Amadeus One and the Travelport Universal Desktop – and determined that Amadeus One was most appropriate for Atlas.
First TMC to opt for full suite
Atlas is the first TMC to opt for the full suite. It includes Amadeus One Travel Portal, which allows Atlas to provide customized user interfaces for its corporate customers, with access to dynamic content and travel tools, and the Amadeus One Open Profile Suite, a customized profile management solution based on a centralized profile repository that resides outside the GDS.
Open Profile synchronizes with all the key systems that an agency uses: GDS, online booking systems, enterprise resource planning systems, human resources and expense systems.
“Open Profile can take in profile data from any source, such as Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications,” Cahill said. “If you have a large data set, it will only send what’s applicable to that tool.”
The ability to blend the data from the various systems means “we’ve come full circle in the agency,” she said. PNRs, profiles and preferences are no longer in different silos.
Thrilled to be back
Cahill said she is thrilled to be back in travel management, especially since she has had close ties to Atlas and its owner, Elaine Osgood, in the close-knit New England travel community.
She notes that Atlas scored No. 18 on the Women Presidents’ Organization ranking of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies in North America.