< PrevNext > John Snyder, BCD Travel CEO Tech Vetter By Elizabeth West / December 13, 2019 / Contact Reporter Share Startups are sparking renewed creative energy in the managed travel space. TMCs are seeing the writing on the wall: They better adapt to these creative solutions or move out of the way. BCD Travel led the field on adaptation, launching SolutionSource in February 2018 as a pre-vetted technology marketplace ostensibly to make startup tech more accessible to BCD clients. It joined BCD TripSource and DecisionSource in the agency's product lineup. "We invest a lot of money to develop core platforms and we'll continue to invest [in] our own tech," said BCD CEO John Snyder. "But there are so many great technology companies out there in the industry today, and we want to be a part of that. [We want to] help these guys get visibility or even investment to move their products forward. There are also some [established] players with new technologies that can benefit. So they come into BCD and they are vetted. We figure out how we can drive integration with them, and for our customers it's a one-stop shop." Clients like Tesla have relied on the SolutionSource marketplace to simplify travel technology strategy. "I don't want to justify [internally] bringing in another supplier," senior manager travel, meetings and mobility Steve Sitto told BTN earlier this year. The model has made Tesla's program more agile, he said. "It allows me to keep the program lean and move quickly as Tesla enters new markets. I can plug or unplug the pieces that I need."SolutionSource includes 20 providers now, "and we'll have many more than that over the next year or so," said Snyder. In addition, the company opened developer APIs in October to enable technology companies and clients to build customized solutions into the marketplace, a move highly praised by judges at BTN's Innovate conference. BCD was the first, but not the last, to introduce the technology marketplace concept for managed travel. American Express GBT Meetings & Events launched an analogous Meetings Marketplace concept in February. Direct Travel followed with TechnologyStack in September. Snyder's industry reach extended beyond technology enablement this year. BCD also acquired Adelman Travel, a tech-forward Milwaukee-based midmarket agency with $675 million in annual sales. The move cemented BCD's strategic shift to bring midmarket clients into its core business, rather than relying on its affiliate network to serve them. While affiliates remain in play for the mega, Snyder said BCD wants to be first in line as a buyer for affiliates "looking to move on." He told BTN in August "two or three more [acquisitions] will pop" before the end of this year. Time's a-ticking.