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Port Chester, N.Y. - NuTravel in the United States, France's KDS and New Zealand-based
Serko plan Tuesday to announce a global alliance in which they share sales leads
and offer mutual multinational clients integrated data, broader content,
consolidated contracts, speedier deployment and common service-level
agreements. Additional technology integration also is under consideration for
the partnership, called Mundi Global Alliance.
Meeting at nuTravel
headquarters here last week with Business Travel News, chief executives
of the three companies said they were aiming to compete with "global"
solutions, presumably including Amadeus e-Travel Management, Concur Travel and
Sabre's GetThere. "Often the global tools have low adoption levels in
markets where the faring and content are different" from those in their
home markets, said Serko CEO Darrin Grafton. "Low adoption is not the
norm, but they're being told it is. What clients need is a support
Mundi also could benefit the
travel management companies that resell or support the three tools by reducing
the need for expertise in all three systems, thanks to a planned central
administrative infrastructure, the execs said. For example, when a client using
two of the tools changes policy, TMC personnel could enter that change in one
interface and tweak both systems.
Customers could explore
using just one of the partners' systems globally and get support from each
provider, but the executives said they expect clients more often to choose a
combination of the tools in accordance with their strength markets. They would
receive "local" support either way, said KDS CEO Dean Forbes.
Forbes said joint clients
would pay one of the three companies as determined by their contracts, based on
"globally aligned pricing" that takes into account the customer's
operating countries and volumes. Financial arrangements among the trio have
been worked out, but were not disclosed.
The executives said they
have not determined which of each other's additional intellectual property
would be shared, but they named as possible examples KDS' expense product and
mobile apps, and Serko's gamification and hotel geocoding systems. NuTravel
president and CEO Carmine Carpanzano said content, also, could be shared
between the systems: "Our platform is like a warehouse. If Dean needs
content, we can provide a Web Service." NuTravel's and Serko's CEOs said
they would continue to partner with other expense software providers. The trio
said they had not decided on whether they would create a single data reporting
dashboard system for mutual clients.
Precedents for a global
online booking tool alliance are few. Serko announced a reseller agreement in
2008 with TRX, which last year sold its Resx self-booking platform to nuTravel.
Grafton said that initial arrangement with TRX was limited to sharing sales
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