It Started with Flight Booking Software

Flight Booking Software

Today, no travel technology solution is complete without some type of flight booking software included. The airline industry was an early pioneer of automating the sale of travel and introduced the first computer reservation systems decades ago. I started my career as an airline reservation agent and remember attending weeks of training to learn how to use the first in-house computerized reservation systems. Gone were the days when we would scramble around the reservation center to find the actual “Book” that kept track of the customers booked on a certain flight. The “Book” was replaced by clunky green screen monitors connected to a massive Computer Reservation Systems also known as the CRS. We were required to memorize cryptic formats to check schedule availability, pricing and to complete a reservation. While many complained about the time and effort it took to learn how to use the new flight booking systems, it wasn’t long before everyone saw just how much more efficient it was compared to using the old reservation books.

These airline reservation systems continued to evolve, adding updated flight information and other services to assist customers and travel agents. Airlines quickly discovered the benefit of expanding the access to these systems to their best travel agent customers, providing them instant access to availability and pricing as well as the ability to book flights for their customers.

These early centralized computer reservation systems began to add more features and additional travel components such as hotels and car rentals and eventually evolved into early versions of the first generation of Global Distribution Systems or GDSs. These computer reservation systems were deployed in travel agency offices worldwide and became critical for both airlines looking to increase the distribution of their product as well as the travel agents looking to serve their customers more efficiently.

It wasn’t long before the internet revolution exploded and suddenly consumers were shopping and purchasing just about everything online. As these online travel technology solutions became more widely used, many travel agents identified the need for online travel technology solutions that automate processes and are easily customized to support their own unique brand identity. Today’s travel agent needs both a Business to Business (B2B) application as well as a Business to Consumer (B2C) application that automate processes and increase revenues while reducing the time and effort it takes a travel agent or consumer to complete a transaction.

Travel Agents need to be able to quickly adjust a product’s selling price or include special offers right in the availability display. Flight booking software needs to have the flexibility to define a business rule to a specific market, travel or booking dates, suppliers and more. Applications should be designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages.

Early adoption of automation combined with the fact that a flight reservation is often the starting point when making travel plans, make flight booking software a key component for most travel technology solutions. Finding a travel technology solution with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you easily and cost effectively reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

Travel Technology Solutions Can Help Your Business Grow!

Travel Technology Solutions Can Help Your Business Grow

Travel technology continues to evolve at lightning speed and has significantly impacted the way that Suppliers as well as Travel Agents attract and interact with customers. In today’s world, travel technology solutions are a key element to the success of any travel business whether a small to medium size traditional retail agency or one of the large online travel agencies (OTAs) that dominant today’s online travel market.

Many “out of the box” solutions do not have the flexibility needed and are too generic for many businesses. A custom built application can be expensive to develop and maintain putting them “out of reach” for most except for the largest companies. When considering online travel booking engines, look for one that automates processes, has the business rule features you need and is easily customized to support your unique brand identity.

When trying to reach a limited amount of targeted customers, the traditional method of face-to-face meeting at a retail travel agency location or speaking with an agency call center is usually enough and in some cases can help strengthen the relationship an agency has with their customer. A good travel agent does more than just “take travel orders”, they are a resource that can assist with making the right choices for a trip and can often provide access to special deals and amenities. They can help today’s traveler avoid making a disastrous mistake with their travel arrangements and can often help make them feel like a VIP during their trip.

Whether your customers shop online or through a retail travel agency, travel technology plays an important role in their interaction with your business. The best applications provide both Business to Business (B2B) capabilities for retail travel agents and call centers as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) to serve those customers shopping online. But there is more to selling travel on line than having a website, there are travel technology solutions available today that are built using responsive technology. These mobile ready applications automatically adjust their display based on the type of device being used. A critical feature to reach the growing number of consumers addicted their mobile devices.

The right technology solution also plays an important role in setting a business up for future expansion. Whether that be through organic growth, reaching out to a new ethnic markets or expanding into a new geographic region, your travel technology needs to be ready to expand with your business.

Look for applications that are designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and can easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. However, going global involves a lot more than language or currency since each market can have it’s own requirements and set of local supplier content that is critical to success there. You’ll want to find a global application that has worked closely with customers and suppliers to localize the product including access to that specific local content critical to the market.

Finding travel technology with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

Odysseus And The Trojan Horse

Odysseus Solutions

The term Odysseus comes from Greek mythology about the Trojan War between the Greeks and the people of Troy. When the Greeks reached Troy and the Trojan War started, Odysseus played an influential role as a strategist and advisor for the Greeks. According to the legend, Odysseus was the creator of the Trojan Horse, a huge wooden statue of a horse that was supposed to be a gift to the Trojans from the Greeks as they retreated. The Trojans jubilantly accepted the gift, pulled it into the center of the city and started a celebration around it. When nighttime arrived, the Greek warriors who were hiding inside the hollow body of the horse revealed themselves and massacred the Trojans and won the war. Odysseus became a legendary strategist and his “Trojan Horse” soon evolved as a description of a person or thing intended secretly to undermine or bring about the downfall of an enemy or opponent.

Odysseus Solutions is a Miami based Travel Technology Company providing the most comprehensive and innovative online booking solutions available today. By designing unique custom business solutions that are fast, flexible and responsive, Odysseus Solutions helps it’s clients increase sales, open new markets and “win the war” against the competition.

Odysseus Solutions was founded in 2005 to fill the industry need for an online travel booking engine that automates processes and is easily customized to support a client’s unique brand identity. Founder and CEO, Monish Luthra, organized a group of developers, suppliers and travel agents and used a collaborative approach to develop the ultimate travel booking engine. The result was a fully customizable Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) application that automates processes and increases revenue while it reduces the time and effort required to complete a transaction.

The Odysseus booking engine includes powerful, easy to use tools that help clients manage their business and beat their competitors in the travel marketplace. Odysseus clients are able to quickly adjust a product’s selling price or include special offers right in the availability display with the flexibility to define a rule by a specific market, travel dates, booking dates, suppliers and more.

Odysseus applications are designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and can easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. However, Odysseus Solutions understands that going global involves a lot more than language or currency and has worked closely with customers and suppliers to localize the product in many markets including access to specific local content critical to the market.

Odysseus is ready to help your business “Win the War” with flexible & fully scalable applications that meet local requirements and combine critical local market content with global content providers. “State of the Art” technology allows Odysseus to design and deliver flexible & fully scalable applications that can easily grow with your business while maintaining your unique brand identity. Odysseus Solutions was all about innovative technology, collaboration and superior service when it started and still is today!

Travel Technology Should Be Localized

Travel Technology Should be Localized

With all the travel technology solutions available throughout the world today, how do you find the best solution to help your online travel business succeed? As many quickly learn, there’s more than language and currency capabilities to consider when choosing the right technology solution for your travel business. As many technology companies learn, there are often local market requirements that need to be properly addressed before an application can be successful in a market. There can be a huge difference between “globalizing” a product so that it is generic enough to work across markets verses “localizing” a product. Just as the languages and currencies used may vary in different countries, the regulations regarding consumers and the disclosure of information during the selling process may be different. Your technology needs to be flexible enough to handle these market nuances.

Centralized travel technology solutions that manages fast, live connections with the relevant Supplier content are also an important key element for success for any online travel business. This is an example of when “global” content sources may not be relevant to the local market, requiring integration of “local” content sources to provide the products your customers are looking for. The technology you choose needs the flexibility to easily integrate the right combination of Global and Local content so that your solution has the products your customers are looking for.

The travel technology you choose should also include the ability to define flexible business rules that allow you to adjust a product offer based on how you choose to run your business. Some travel agents may want to offer a discount to customers who make their travel arrangements using a travel agency online booking tool as a way to encourage them to use the most cost effective channel. Some may look to offer a lower price on a specific preferred Supplier. Bottom line is you will need flexibility in defining how and when specific price adjustment rules apply. And since today’s consumers have more options available to them than ever before, targeted messages and custom offers have become a key marketing tool used by many successful travel companies. Access to a travel booking engine that quickly and easily define special offers can be a critical tool when you are looking to easily communicate where the best deals are or a specific offer can be found.

The competition customers online is brutal and responding to market trends and special offers can be overwhelming. Today’s travel technology solutions need to provide you the ability to quickly respond to competitive threats, identify market trends and easily include any special offers that are available. Consider a technology solution with robust reporting tools that can help you keep track of important information about your travel business such as bookings by product type, supplier, travel dates, booking dates and more. Isolate search statistics by website to know what customers are searching for and help identify potential product gaps or pricing issues. This type of information can be a powerful tool when analyzing or making adjustments to your business plan.

Finding the right technology solution for your travel business is important, finding a technology partner who understands the need to localize product for your specific market can be even more important.

Flexible Technology & Relevant Content Are Key To Success

Flexible Technology and Relevant Content are Key to Success

The travel industry has been riding the e-commerce wave as more and more consumers turn online to research and confirm their travel plans. Keeping pace with consumer purchasing habits and making sure you are ready to serve customers how and when they choose with the relevant content they are looking for is key to success. The travel technology solution you choose for your business needs to be fast, flexible, responsive & relevant for your travel business to succeed.

Fast, easy to use applications should help your business reduce the amount of time it takes an agent or consumer to research and complete a travel booking. Applications should provide quick, live access to supplier content to ensure the most up to date availability and pricing is used.

Today’s travel technology solutions need to be Flexible. With so many competitors offering so many special deals, your online booking solution needs to provide an easy and efficient way for you to manage the various special pricing or value add offers for your business to remain competitive. The application you choose should include the ability to easily define pre-set business rules to help you manage a specific products’ content source as well as adjust a selling price or include any value add offers. And to reach today’s mobile consumer, you’ll want to consider an online application that is “mobile ready” so you can serve these clients regardless of the type of device they choose to use or when they choose to shop. Your travel technology solution also needs the flexibility to be easily customized to support your own brand identity and unique selling style. And if you are looking to expand your reach with affiliated agents, you’ll want a solution that can quickly add affiliate Users and websites, perhaps with the ability to easily customize the look and feel for each.

The application you choose should have a quick response time and supported by a technology partner that is Responsive to your needs. Consider using a travel booking solution that uses a secure, scalable online booking platform designed to meet the demands of suppliers, travel agencies as well as the end user. This will allow your technology to easily expand with your business as it grows. Choosing a technology partner with experienced development and support staff available around the clock can be key when any issues do arise.

And of course, make sure the travel technology and content you make available is Relevant to your customer’s needs and is competitively priced. So availability and pricing should be “LIVE” wherever possible so that you offer the latest information and best price available. The content source you use must include the suppliers and products your customers are looking for. Content relevant to your customer’s needs which is competitively priced will be key to the success of your online business.

Finding a technology solution for your online travel business that is Fast, Flexible, Responsive and Relevant is an important decision for any travel business. Finding the right technology company to partner with can be even more important.

Does Your Airline Reservation System Support Your Brand?

Does Your System Support Your Brand.jpg

Building a brand for your business in a way that allows you to take control of your niche market as well as expand into new markets is one of the keys to the success of any business. Selling travel is no different and in fact, a strong brand name is even more important when selling travel online. The airlines were the first in the travel business to successfully distribute their product electronically on a large scale. The evolution of the airline reservation system was key to this success and remains a key component in any of today’s online travel booking engines.

Airlines have focused on building a strong brand for themselves and those that set themselves apart from the competition survived and those that did not are no longer around. A strong brand helps set your business apart from the competition in a crowded online marketplace, can create strong customer loyalty and may allow you to charge a premium for the services you provide your customers.

Your airline reservation system should help you increase your revenues, gain new customers and expand your business into new markets. The application you choose should be a flexible & fully scalable application that easily grows with your business while maintaining your own unique brand identity.

You’ll want an application with easy to use tools to manage your business, including an administration section that allows you to quickly and easily define business rules that adjust a product’s selling price, include value add offers right in the availability screen or determine what content source is used for a particular type of search. Business rules should even provide the flexibility to have your affiliated agent websites following a unique set of business rules that you predefine specifically for each.

If you plan to enter new markets or expand internationally, you’ll need an application that meets the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces, such as an airline reservation system that can easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. And to reach today’s mobile consumer, you’ll need an application built using responsive technology that adjusts the display based on the type of device being used.

The strength of your “Brand” can be critical in the short term as well as the long term success of your business. Branding extends beyond your basic Marketing or Sales initiatives and touches every area of your business, including your online booking engine. So be sure to consider your online booking engine when developing and building a complete brand strategy for your business.

An online booking engine should result in operational efficiency and reduced costs for your business while helping you gain new customers and expand your business into new markets. The application you choose should be a flexible & fully scalable application that will help your business easily grow while protecting your own brand identity. Finding a travel booking application with the perfect combination of flexibility and features to support your brand is important to the success of your business. Finding the right technology partner to work with is even more important.

Is All Flight Booking Software The Same?

Flight Booking Software

While much of the flight booking software available in the market today appears the same on the surface, there can be huge differences hidden in the flexibility and tools some provide that can give you an edge over the competition. When evaluating any travel booking software, you need to consider if it provides your business the tools it needs to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Your business needs to be prepared for battle and have the right weapons and battle plan in place to win.

Your online booking engine can be your own “Trojan Horse” in this regard and help you increase your revenues, gain new customers and expand your business into new markets before your competition realizes what you’re up to. A little research will help you find an application that provides the administrative tools you need to manage your business the way you want. The flight booking software you choose should be a flexible & fully scalable application that easily grows with your business while maintaining your unique brand identity.

It’s no secret that today’s traveler shops and purchases travel using a variety of methods and tools. Some may still call or visit their travel agent while others may choose to shop online using their laptop or even their mobile device. You’ll need an application built using responsive technology that automatically adjusts the user screens to fit the type of device being used to capture today’s mobile consumer.

Your travel booking engine needs to provide both “business to business” (B2B) as well as “business to consumer” (B2C) interfaces. You may even want to consider an application that allows you to extend your reach to affiliate agency websites via a “business to business to consumer” (B2B2C) interface. Make sure the booking engine you choose provides you the ability to extend your reach the way you require.

You’ll want an application with easy to use administrative tools that allow you to quickly manage your business. For example, look for an application with an administration section that gives you the control to quickly define preset business rules to adjust a product’s selling price or include value add offers right in the availability screen. This helps ensure you always offer your customers the best value. Business rules should even provide the flexibility to have your agents, affiliated agencies and websites following a unique set of business rules that you predefine specifically for each.

If you partner with another agency or use air consolidators, you’ll want flight booking software that allows you to automatically simultaneously search multiple sources to make sure you are always offering your clients the best airfare available.

An online booking engine should result in operational efficiency and reduced costs for your business while helping you gain new customers and expand your business into new markets. The application you choose should be a flexible & fully scalable application that will help your business easily grow while protecting your own brand identity. Finding a travel booking engine with the right combination of flexibility and features can be critical to the success of any travel business. Finding the right technology partner to work with is an important first step.