Category Archives: Productivity

Mezi Adds Thorsen, Joins Lola And So Many Other Business Travel Startups

Conversational commerce startup Mezi hired former SAP Concur exec and risk management entrepreneur Johnny Thorsen as VP of travel strategy and partnerships. He offers contacts and expertise as the company narrows its focus to business travel from various kinds of shopping. The app maker is one of more than a dozen startups targeting business travel,… Read More »

CWT Using Points, New Rate System To Capture More Hotel Bookings

Many travel management companies and tech firms are working to process more of their clients’ hotel bookings. Continuing its push, Carlson Wagonlit Travel is rolling out a simplified rate aggregation system and using loyalty points as incentives. During a Wednesday interview, CWT president of hotels Scott Brennan said some clients in Europe that use the… Read More »

Talking Approvals And Expenses With Unit4’s Digital Assistant

Unit4 provides enterprise resource planning systems to governments, not-for-profits, higher education and professional service firms. Based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, it’s known in corporate travel for powering Sabre’s Central Command travel agency back-office software. It also offers an expense management product and, as of this spring, a digital assistant. Named Wanda, the chatbot stems from… Read More »

Daimler Rides Trip Packages In Efficiency Effort Powered By Amadeus, BCD Travel

Trip packages are uncommon in business travel, but the concept isn’t new. Daimler may become the first major corporate account to go all-in. In partnership with AirPlus, Amadeus and BCD Travel, the car maker is testing a program of intentionally limited choice. After employees select travel dates and trip components, the Amadeus Cyrtic online booking… Read More »

Who Speaks For You? (And What Are They Saying?)

Many groups advocate for a wide range of travel issues. Some relate to corporate travel, but who speaks specifically for the corporate travel industry? Sixty attendees to the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ New York event this week answered that question as part of an informal poll. They mentioned ACTE, Airlines for America, the American… Read More »

ETA’s Business Travel App Impresses In Beta

It’s hard not to gush over the new business travel app from ETA Inc., a startup that enjoyed investment from the International Air Transport Association’s NDC Innovation Fund. With travel distribution legend Jeff Katz and other Orbitz vets among its investors and advisors, ETA has produced a slick app. No two ways about it. The app remains… Read More »

Still Looking For The All-In-One Business Travel App? What’s That?

Corporations are looking for an all-in-one business travel app that doesn’t, and won’t, exist. Developers think messaging, natural language and “deep linking” between apps bring the notion as close to reality as possible. A single mobile app that does everything sounds great. Why? Simplicity. It’s natural for procurement pros to seek fewer suppliers. It’s easiest… Read More »

TripLingo Translates Roaming Plans For Additional Travel Management Value

As with areas like expense, meetings, payment and risk, mobile phones and plans don’t fall within the typical travel manager’s bailiwick. Building on its language and Wi-Fi dialing capabilities, TripLingo is looking to challenge that norm. Its latest service helps companies that do not have a centralized mobile phone program to manage excess charges. From one country or region… Read More »

Privacy Shield Alive For Now As Europe, U.S. Set Annual Review

A European Union commissioner said Friday that the first annual review of the Privacy Shield data protection framework would take place in September, supporting optimism for the scheme’s prospects. Uncertainty had been brewing as the European Commission threatened it would dismantle the program without reassurances by the Trump administration. The review “will be an important… Read More »

‘Laptop Ban’ Prompts Review Of Travel, IT Policies

[UPDATE, April 19, 2017: Emirates cited revised U.S. government policies for its decision to reduce flight frequencies on five U.S. routes. In May the airline will begin reducing to five weekly from daily the flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. In June, it will trim twice-daily Boston and Seattle services to one per day. The… Read More »

Today In Chatbots: Concur’s Hipmunk Demos, HelloGbye Launches

Concur still isn’t saying much about its plans for Hipmunk, but a client conference this month featured a roadmap for its natural language processing capabilities. According to a March 15 tweet by Concur VP of business development R.J. Filipski, Hipmunk showed attendees it was enabling “chatbot-based business travel booking via Concur and your preferred TMC.” Meanwhile,… Read More »

Next Time, Avoid The Snow Disruption

[UPDATE, April 19, 2017: Rebooking service Freebird announced reseller deals with Altour, Options Travel, Safe Harbors Business Travel, Short’s Travel Management, Travel and Transport and Upside Travel. It also picked up additional funding from venture capital firms General Catalyst and Accomplice, and named industry vet Ellen Keszler as another advisor and investor.] Did today’s blizzard in… Read More »

Business Travel’s Personal Toll: Identity Threat Or Reality Check?

Those who travel for business view warnings about the mental and physical hazards either as an “identity threat” or a “more concerning reality check.” This was a finding from an academic study published last week on the reaction to an earlier study exploring the “darker side of hypermobility.” The first study argued that the perceived… Read More »