17 experts advise on what’s to come this year. Spoiler: Data factors big.
The Innovate Conference for the Advancement of Business Travel offered business travel executives the opportunity to articulate priorities and recommendations.
Travel data management and reporting providers
are moving to the iPad as Grasp Technologies this week launches HTML5-based
sites for "iPad, tablet, Android, iPhone and smartphone" compatibility,
TRX develops both apps and mobile sites and Prime Numbers Technology readies
its second iPad app.
Using a touchscreen, Grasp customers will be
allowed to expand dashboard views and, in a later release, drag, drop and drill
into dashboard items. Clients will be able to use Grasp's report builder to add
their own dashboard items. Grasp has converted all its Flash-based charts into
HTML charts because, as one official put it, "The Internet is abandoning
Flash for HTML5 and iPad/iPhone compatibility."
Cornerstone Information Systems senior vice president of marketing Alan Minton,
"We have a limited mobile version of iBank that can be accessed on a
tablet or iPad today. We plan on making a full-blown version of iBank available
on tablets/iPad this year." TRX is developing dashboards and reports "in HTML5 CSS3, and users
will be able to download a native app to their smartphone/tablet to gain access
to and view the reports and dashboards," according to Tom Tulloch, senior
vice president for business intelligence and consulting services in TRX's Data
Prime Numbers Technology's iStats
app for the iPad, released in the fourth quarter of 2011, has recorded 3,300
downloads, according to Prime Numbers president and founder Rock Blanco. Prime plans
to deploy during the first quarter of 2012 a mobile version of its marquee
Travel GPA product, Blanco said.
"The greatest demand that we
see from travel management companies for mobile is to be able to have instant
access to key analytics that can be used for account reviews and supplier
utilization," Blanco noted. "I have received less interest from
corporate travel managers for mobile apps other than those apps that impact
travelers specifically. One of the apps that we see having the greatest
potential is an enhanced version of what the industry knows as global employee
tracking. We see a merging of mobile technology, itinerary content and QR
[matrix barcode] technology having a tremendous impact on business
travel/travelers in a way that we have not seen in the past."
In 15 languages, Prime's iStats app
"provides access to the most popular business travel metrics including
average ticket price, average car and hotel rates, top 50 suppliers used, top
50 car and hotel vendors, and top city pairs flown" based on data from
more than 40,000 companies. A Jan. 16 update added reports on hotel tiers and top
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