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The Business Travel Magazine - - The Review - Neal Sun­ners In­no­va­tion & Emerg­ing Tech­nolo­gies SVP at Avis Bud­get Group In­ter­na­tional

Travel man­agers ben­e­fit from con­nected tech too

How can tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion in busi­ness travel be ben­e­fi­cial to travel man­agers as well as the end user? I was joined by fel­low in­no­va­tors on a panel dis­cus­sion at the Busi­ness Travel Show to tackle this ques­tion.

On the panel, we dis­cussed how the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence could be im­proved by shar­ing data across the sup­ply chain, par­tic­u­larly with travel man­agers and travel man­age­ment com­pa­nies. At Avis Bud­get Group, this is some­thing we’re do­ing be­hind the scenes al­ready, thanks to some strong and well-es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ships with TMCS, as well as new and in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies we have in­tro­duced to fa­cil­i­tate this. For ex­am­ple, the Avis Rental Tool (ART) por­tal en­ables travel man­agers to view live ren­tals for their trav­ellers at any time.

It’s hard to think of a more press­ing topic fac­ing busi­nesses today than cy­ber se­cu­rity. We strongly be­lieve in the im­por­tance of us­ing data re­spon­si­bly and we have in­vested heav­ily in our API plat­form in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate this. The forth­com­ing GDPR leg­is­la­tion will si­mul­ta­ne­ously force peo­ple to think dif­fer­ently about data, while also of­fer­ing an op­por­tu­nity for or­gan­i­sa­tions to break down si­los and col­lab­o­rate se­curely both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally.

At Avis Bud­get Group, we con­tin­u­ally seek to pro­vide our cus­tomers – both end users and travel man­agers – with in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to of­fer the most con­ve­nient, stream­lined and stress-free ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble.

We have in­vested in con­nected cars which pro­vide real-time re­port­ing in­for­ma­tion on a ve­hi­cle’s ready-state, ser­vice needs, mileage and fuel con­sump­tion. In fact, we will have 100,000 con­nected ve­hi­cles in our fleet later this year and have com­mit­ted to a fully con­nected global fleet by 2020.

We have also dig­i­talised our range of ser­vice of­fer­ings – in­clud­ing those of­fered through Avis and Zip­car – with op­ti­mised mo­bile tech­nol­ogy.

My be­lief is that in­creased col­lab­o­ra­tion is key for the busi­ness travel in­dus­try if sup­pli­ers are to re­alise the full po­ten­tial of modern tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Only when we truly col­lab­o­rate across the sup­ply chain to cre­ate a seam­less end-to-end ex­pe­ri­ence can we con­fi­dently claim that busi­ness travel of­fers the per­son­alised and flex­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence that the modern busi­ness trav­eller wants.

This, by de­fault, will of­fer a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence to travel man­agers too.

Spread­ing Wings

Wings Travel Man­age­ment is ex­pand­ing its risk man­age­ment of­fer­ing with the in­tro­duc­tion of a spe­cial­ist dis­as­ter and cri­sis re­sponse ser­vice. It in­cludes trav­eller evac­u­a­tion, search and res­cue lo­gis­tics and emer­gency med­i­cal as­sis­tance.

Dis­rupt Award

Troop Travel was crowned win­ner of the 2018 Busi­ness Travel Dis­rupt Award. The com­pany pro­cesses a wide range of data to rec­om­mend meet­ing lo­ca­tions for em­ploy­ees com­ing to­gether from around the world, based on cri­te­ria such as cost, con­ve­nience and visa re­quire­ments.

Xpen­di­ture tar­gets UK

Bel­gian start-up com­pany Xpen­di­ture has launched in the UK, aim­ing to erad­i­cate man­ual ex­pense pro­cesses. The app and web por­tal en­able users to record and track travel ex­penses by scan­ning a re­ceipt. It claims to re­duce the cost of record­ing and track­ing travel ex­penses by 70% on av­er­age.

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