Amadeus, Salesforce Chase Business Travel’s ROI

By | August 9, 2017

Return on investment for particular business trips is elusive. Amadeus is hoping to address that with new integration between its cytric booking tool and Salesforce. Amadeus expects cytric to be available on the Salesforce AppExchange by early fourth quarter, meaning clients can install its booking capabilities into the Salesforce mobile app.

The integration will attach Salesforce CRM’s “opportunities” and “activities” to trip spending. This enables managers to factor travel costs in with the potential revenue return.

In Salesforce parlance, opportunities are potential sales and pending deals. Activities are events or tasks, like logged phone calls or sent emails.

Cytric in Salesforce will aim to pinpoint the most relevant, policy-compliant choices. Criteria include price, comfort and historical and community preferences, according to Amadeus. This echoes the recently announced packaging concept implemented by Amadeus client Daimler.

Amadeus global head of business travel Rajiv Rajian

“In our user lab we have been looking at how travelers are likely to want to book,” said Amadeus global head of business travel Rajiv Rajian. “This is another way to simplify life for the business traveler. Moving straight to mobile, you leapfrog certain aspects.”

Others have tried to bring the return on business travel spending into the equation, but it’s not a widespread practice. It tends to be easier with expense data and the benefit of hindsight, though of course that’s not actionable pre-trip.

Concur joined the Salesforce AppExchange in 2011, branding the joint offering Concurforce. They, too, connected CRM opportunities with travel expenses. Building a business trip within the Salesforce Sales Cloud, users could see suggestions for more sales leads to pursue on the journey. Concurforce featured itinerary sharing, dining tips and enterprise social network integration with Salesforce’s Chatter.

A Concur press official this week indicated that Concur retired Concurforce last year. Concur now offers more limited Salesforce integration from within its own AppCenter. A Salesforce connector offers some expense management support and social trip planning. It also provides visibility into expensed data alongside opportunities.

One provider with fresh listings in the Salesforce store is Texas-based Webider. A travel and expense software vendor to small and medium-sized firms, it focuses completely on the Salesforce platform. It claims more than 10 clients for its mobile-ready software. This includes travel approvals, authorizations, budgeting, scheduling, expense management and reporting. Webider doesn’t make bookings, but can send requests to travel agencies.

Further representation of business travel in search results on the Salesforce platform is de minimis. Salesforce’s published rate for participation by independent software vendors is 15 percent of revenue.

According to TechCrunch, the Salesforce AppExchange was the first app platform of its kind. Created in 2006, it forged the cloud-based, software- and platform-as-a-service models popular today. Followers included Apple’s iTunes and the business app stores from the likes of Concur and Sabre.

A Salesforce representative declined to schedule an interview with a subject matter expert.

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Author: Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell in 2004 created travel business newsletter The Beat, in 2006 co-founded Travel Procurement magazine and in 2010 integrated them into Northstar Travel Media's BTN Group. He served as editorial director until 2013. Jay made his travel industry media debut in 1993 at the Air Travel Journal of Boston while earning his undergraduate degree in journalism at Boston University. More on LinkedIn.