Orbitz For Business Clients (Sans IBM) Will Move To Egencia’s Platform

By | December 3, 2015

Following Expedia’s acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide, leaders of Egencia and Orbitz for Business have been meeting for about six weeks. On Nov. 16, they informed Orbitz for Business clients they would migrate “in waves” next year to Egencia’s booking systems and other technology.

This won’t include IBM, which was one of the biggest Orbitz for Business clients although it used only the company’s self-booking interface, not its fulfillment operation. IBM has decided it would move to Concur Travel, complementing its use of Concur’s expense system.

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

Losing the only client for the Orbitz for Business standalone booking tool doesn’t mean Egencia will get out of that business, noted a company spokesperson. After all, it owns France-based travel booking and expense software provider Traveldoo.

“There are no decisions for sure in the near future in terms of moving away or changing that strategy,” said the press official. “This is a natural time to consider these things. We will support IBM through Nov. 2016 as they transition to Concur.”

The official said Orbitz for Business customers were “excited” about Egencia’s pre-trip approval system, native mobile app, new hotel booking interface and reporting solutions.

Egencia is still evaluating how it will proceed with regard to human resources. Orbitz for Business uses a blend of dedicated agents and a call center run by Serco. Egencia has dedicated agents and uses call center providers Teleperformance and Working Solutions.

The world’s largest corporate travel account according to Business Travel News, IBM is a client of American Express Global Business Travel. That TMC obviously has a lot of clients who use Concur for travel bookings, as it does internally.

IBM has used the Orbitz For Business booking tool since agreeing last year to deploy it in 90 countries as part of a deal that was set to run through 2020. Orbitz announced the agreement in May 2014. That was the same month Concur and IBM announced the strategic expense management partnership which heralded the end of the IBM GERS expense system.

Some former IBM expense customers, including Lockheed Martin, moved to Concur while others, including Anthem, picked different vendors.

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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.