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Travelport GDS will discard Worldspan's Trip Manager corporate booking tool as it integrates technology owned by the merged Galileo and Worldspan companies. The combined firm will market Galileo's emerging Traversa corporate booking tool, as well as its ViewTrip electronic itinerary solution. Worldspan's tools for airline pricing and refunds and exchanges will be retained, and Travelport will build new point-of-sale technology for the agent and possibly traveler profiles, Travelport GDS president and CEO Gordon Wilson told The Beat.
Traversa is "in deployment with IBM and is slated to go into deployment with another two large corporations," Wilson said, noting that another tool, Travelport Classic, will be retired along with Trip Manager by "early next year."
Wilson said criticism from Galileo's agency users about delays in Traversa's deployment was "fair."
"We built it in very tight cooperation with IBM, which probably has the biggest corporate travel spend globally," he said. "We figure that if we can get it right with IBM, we can get it right with most other corporations, although everyone has their own nuances. IBM has co-developed the product with us. It doesn't rule us out, by the way, from working in partnership with other corporate self-booking tools. We work with KDS in Europe and on an engagement-by-engagement basis with Concur, and we have a lot of business that comes through our GDS from GetThere, particularly internationally."
Travelport's new agent point-of-sale system "over time" will supersede Galileo's FocalPoint/ViewPoint and Worldspan's Go, Wilson said. The interface "will, to a large degree, make it irrelevant as to which core GDS is actually being used. With that enhanced point of sale will come a lot of added-value services, like improved merchandizing for airlines and other customers, and improved process workflows for travel agencies. We hope to have the first iteration out toward the end of this year. We're in advanced planning and design. A lot of the way agents want to sell travel is more revolving around the client record and the client file, and we have to engender a workflow process that matches that."
Graphical user interfaces for agencies can enable access to more content and different displays of information, but getting agents to convert to such GUIs has been a challenge because many work faster with text-based commands.
Meanwhile, Travelport also is considering the building of a non-GDS profile system, Wilson said. "I fundamentally believe the right thing for us to do is have a richer, non-GDS traveler profile, which is shared with the GDS and other tools. GDS profiles are limited, but if you take it outside, you can augment what data you have in there. From a corporate or national agency point of view, that's an important piece of their customer relationship management. Lots of GDSs have talked about non-GDS profiles and 'super' passenger name records, and lots of other stuff, some of which hasn't been delivered yet. We're as guilty of that as some of our competitors, and that's something we're trying to get better at."
As for itinerary delivery, Galileo's ViewTrip has been renamed Travelport ViewTrip and is already in place for both Worldspan and Galileo users. For the former, the solution replaces Worldspan's My Trip and More.
Travelport by April expects to launch Worldspan's Rapid Reprice refund and exchange tool for Galileo users, and by the fourth quarter will bring Worldspan's e-Pricing system to users of Galileo's Apollo GDS, Wilson said.
He added that Travelport this year also will integrate and "enhance" one of the two former GDS firms' hotel booking products and one of their car booking products.
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