< PrevNext > Marcus Eklund, FCM Travel Global Managing Director Innovation Investor By Elizabeth West / December 13, 2019 / Contact Reporter Share It's fitting that as BTN went to press, FCM Travel announced it had achieved Level 4 New Distribution Capability certification from the International Air Transport Association. It is the first global travel management company to reach that status, which certifies FCM's ability to sell and service NDC bookings at scale. It's positioning in the Australian market doesn't hurt, combined with Qantas' major NDC efforts there, yet it's another feather in FCM's innovation cap this year, under global managing director Marcus Eklund's leadership. Rewind to Feb. 1, and the TMC rooted its position in Silicon Valley, finalizing the acquisition of Casto Travel and gaining a roster of tech-savvy clients. It since has integrated Casto's estimated $120 million in annual business into the overall brand and operations, but the company's hunger for next-generation travel technology wasn't sated. In March, FCM upped its investment in mobile tech startup 30SecondsToFly. It also bought out the Barcelona-based mobile provider behind its Sam mobile assistant. That led to a mobile marriage, which enabled booking capabilities for Sam. Beyond that, however, Eklund said FCM is taking hold of its mobile destiny and, in extension, its relationship to the customer. "We want to better understand the traveler," he said. "We have an enormous amount of information about the business traveler; but in the business travel community, a very poor use of that information. We want to change that."The company waded into unmanaged travel territory this year, investing in Jay Walker's Upside platform. Eklund said the investment allows FCM to focus on the small- and midsize market, particularly American companies. "You'll be very impressed with what we can deliver in 2020 around that," Eklund told BTN. He teased innovations with payment and Next Generation Storefront, but declined to elaborate.