< PrevNext > Eric Bailey, Microsoft global director of travel, VenueSource & payment Manifesto Travel Manager By Elizabeth West / December 12, 2018 / Contact Reporter Share This isn't the first time Bailey has been recognized for his outsized influence in managed travel. He's built technology, piloted with startups and collaborated with traditional suppliers to drive innovation through corporate travel technology stacks. This time, however, he may have crossed beyond influencer status to provocateur, galvanizing the voice of the travel buyer as the industry enters a time of transformation.While he does not take personal credit for all the ideas and questions expressed in 2018's Corporate Travel Innovation Manifesto, which landed on LinkedIn (naturally) in April, he organized the group behind its publication and has functioned as both its most active distributor and defender. He has proceeded to develop with likeminded buyers collaborations that approach a handful of the concepts defined in the document.Those concepts include traveler-controlled profiles and the potential for blockchain-based travel distribution and payment, which could take certain fees out of the travel management equation and redistribute value. It's a change that Bailey said might look "dangerous" to traditional suppliers but one that buyers and corporate travel startup technologies were eager to embrace. The manifesto also took on potential conflicts of interest baked into current travel management models—and urged buyers to dig deeper on these conversations with their suppliers."Transparency is something that we talk about with all our suppliers," Bailey told BTN in conversation about the manifesto this summer. "Any sort of bias or preferencing—away from saying, 'We want the best value for what the traveler wants based on the corporate travel program,' or anything that pushes away from that—makes me suspicious." He added that those conversations had increased in the months since publication of the manifesto. "There are lots of conversations about transparency and understanding intent," he said. In terms of steps forward, Bailey and his Microsoft Travel team have spoken publicly about implementing a "mock-chain" to model new processes and commercial terms against traditional paradigms. Bailey also has talked about collaborations underway with EY's Karen Hutchings, another of BTN's 2018 Most Influential. Per usual, Bailey is not looking out just for his own program. "I don't want to build one-off solutions for Microsoft, but in reality, we sometimes need to do some proof of concepts and work with startups to push along new alternatives for the industry," he told BTN. "Eventually, the industry has to respond to these changes, as well. We want to help get people in front of that."