Sabre this week announced that it was selling the Trams portfolio of products to Tres Technologies and its president Lee Rosen.
Rosen, the original owner of Trams, and the team at Tres will now take Trams back from Sabre as the GDS provider continues to work toward creating “a new marketplace for personalized travel.”
“While the Trams portfolio is an important part of helping travel agencies respond to the industry’s change and evolution, Sabre believes that Tres is better suited to lead the evolution in this area while we are focused on our strategic imperatives that will transform the way the industry retails, distributes, and fulfills travel,” Sabre said in a message to its users.
Rosen on Tuesday spoke to TMR about the news, explaining that after starting Trams in 1987, selling it to Sabre in 2006, and then leaving the company completely in 2009, it was again time to dive back in.
“I designed Trams client base in the 90s and things have changed,” Rosen said. “For instance, in the 1990s, we had a mailbox in front our house where we got our mail and phone in our kitchen where people called us. We didn’t have Outlook to integrate with. We didn’t have a lot of the technology that is at the center of our lives now, back then.”
Rosen told TMR that he approached Sabre about taking Trams back to his team at Tres. He said that “I went to Sabre and said that I think the back office CRM is our world and I don’t think it’s your world and they said you’re right, we agree.”
“I looked at the market and thought that Trams was dated and I was able to get a lot of Trams people who had a lot of experience with it. The hard part is this industry is working with the GDSs or consortia to get the data flowing back and forth.”
And that’s the goal for Rosen and his team now, to make Tres (and Trams, which will see its named phased out and fully incorporated into Tres over the next two years) the dominant CRM and back office tool in the travel industry.
Rosen told TMR that he hopes to grow the product past the 37,000 advisors that have been regular users with Sabre. He believes that the number of users per agency will go up and, as the functionality of having Tres improves with better reporting and integration, “I think we’ll get a lot more participation.”
That boost in participation isn’t expected to just come in North America, either, as Tres’ reach is expected to double internationally, Rosen said.
“The entire Trams support staff is now part of Tres so they’ll continue to work and enhance the program for as long as people want,” Rosen said. “Over the next year and 15 months, there’s going to be more to do.”
That staff and the culture that comes along with it, which is the thing that made Trams succeed in the first place, will be reborn with Tres and help drive its success, Rosen added.
"I think what made Trams successful was a culture. We are going to get back to that culture. Partnering with agents. If a consortia wants to get into the database and do marketing, we’re not going to charge them for it. If you want extra add-ons, commission tracking, we want to help and not charge and oppose,” he said.
“Much more getting back to listening to you. Having a passion for what we do is really important to long term success.”
Most users will be eligible to convert starting this summer, and Rosen is hopeful that they’ll see the benefits right away. Pricing is very closely designed to match what they had with Trams, around $10 per user.