Start small, think big! When I joined Amadeus’ corporate travel Research & Development team in 2010, I was excited by the possibilities with this small but focused team. I loved the energy put into creating corporate solutions based on the needs of our growing customer base. Interacting with our customers and seeing the potential opportunities for Amadeus to help business travel agencies grow led me to my next move with the corporate commercial team.
Fast forward to 2015 and look how far we’ve come! Since 2010, Amadeus North America has expanded its R&D operations far beyond corporate solutions, tripled in employee size, experienced double-digit volume growth in 2014 travel agency bookings and continued solid gains this year, and now has offices across North America. That certainly is thinking big!
But while it’s great for Amadeus to be proud of its continued evolution in this marketplace, inquiring corporate minds want to know: what’s in it for me?
Smarter search for business travel
Amadeus will be bringing the innovative search technology used by leading online agencies to the corporate world in 2016. This will enable our corporate agency customers to not only offer the lowest – and bookable – fares, but to offer results that are most relevant to the business traveler in terms of corporate policy, profile and historic travel data patterns.
Adding value to corporate travel
You need content? We have content, including key players such as Southwest and Amtrak in our corporate booking tools. And aligned with our corporate customer needs, we have secured significant distribution and IT agreements in the U.S. with major established and emerging travel industry players.
At the beginning of the year, Amadeus announced the launch of airline ancillary services in North America. Currently, Amadeus customers in North America can easily access and book a variety of ancillary services options, such as priority boarding, pre-paid baggage and other services, more than 30* airlines, including major US airlines.
In a further showcase of our growing footprint in North America, we also expanded our portfolio of solutions with the acquisition of New Hampshire-based Newmarket International, a provider of software services to the hotel industry with focus on meetings and events, and Orlando-based AirIT, that provides technology services to 30 of the 50 busiest U.S. airports. And important for the corporate market is our investment in iFAO, a leading provider of travel management technology solutions for corporations, based in Germany. Cytric brings an exciting new layer of technology to further enhance the capabilities of our online booking tool, Amadeus e-Travel Management. Last, but certainly not least, we signed agreements with five North American expense management providers to offer an improved and flexible integrated booking and expense offering to the corporate market.
Some players in the industry have a niche focus on Agency IT. Amadeus’ way forward to meet the market expectation is to focus on delivering what the corporate marketplace really needs: a true end-to-end set of services. Amadeus can bring real long-term business and traveler value by creating a more holistic set of systems that leverage each other’s components. Instead of a traveler having six or more touch points from booking, flight check-in, ground transfers, disruption management, hotel check-in, and all the way to expense management, those services can be merged and integrated to utilize relevant data and produce new, more valuable offers and recommendations. And Amadeus is positioned to do just that.
Not only will this bring a next-level offering to the corporation, but in the era of “bleisure” and “millennials” where the travelers’ interest and ability to access what they need when they need it is almost instant, it will improve traveler satisfaction and automatically drive the compliance necessary for successful corporate travel.
Let’s shape corporate travel together
The Amadeus corporate travel success story is your success story and you can see there is a lot in it for you! With the Amadeus mix of innovation coupled with focus and dedication, the stars are aligning for the business travel sector in North America, and I am thrilled to be on the team as we continue the journey.
Do you have a need that relates to Amadeus’ recent investments, solutions or services? Do you have a desire to collaborate with an IT partner where you can influence the direction and functionality your agents and travelers use? Please reach out and challenge us to deliver something with real business value for you!