In the industry’s quest to capture off-channel bookings, itinerary management software company Traxo has combined its existing data aggregation and email parsing skills with a new way
to access corporate clients’ emails. It’s called Traxo Filter and
went on the market on Nov. 1.
There’s no email forwarding by travelers or the need to enter
loyalty credentials; you’ll never capture all the bookings that
way, CEO Andres Fabris said. There are no direct connections
with suppliers; the task of setting up partnerships with every
supplier would be never ending. Nor does Traxo’s process require it to access corporates’ email systems. So how does Traxo
Traxo sends clients a kind of starter kit: a license, some
rules—“not even code”—and a two-page how-to that directs an
IT administrator where in the mail server to drop those email
server rules. Once that’s done—it can take 20 minutes, Fabris
claimed—the mail server monitors for messages arriving from
Traxo’s database of supplier email addresses that send confirmation emails. He said that list covers 90 percent of suppliers, and
subscribers will receive software updates with more senders as
Traxo builds its list.
As booking-confirmation emails come in, the email server
automatically blind copies those messages to a unique Traxo
email address set up for each client. From there, the same tech
Traxo has used for eight years to organize travel itineraries
then digests HTML, text and PDF content, including changes,
cancellations and refunds. “It’s luckily something else that we
didn’t have to go off and build
just given our DNA growing
up as an itinerary management
tool,” Fabris said.
Then Traxo Filter adds the
data to the Traxo Connect dashboard, part of the software provider’s existing platform. Traxo
Connect still can take information from bookings that employees forward or from supplier direct connections. Traxo
Filter can either supplement or
replace those data feeds. Via
the dashboard, travel managers
can see real-time spend, as well
as traveler whereabouts. Fabris
noted that non-technical types
can handle the data, which can
be viewed in list or map form
and filtered by traveler, date
and location. The system also
monitors flight statuses. Travel
managers can report on the information they find in the dashboard, download it and share
it with service providers like
re-shopping tools, risk management systems, expense reporting systems and business intelligence tools.
“The other folks that we’ve
seen trying to solve this problem [without requiring action
by the traveler, such as forwarding booking confirma-tions] are doing analytics and
reporting and leakage analysis
Twenty-one year BCD Travel/Advito executive
Bob Brindley has left the mega travel management company and consultancy to join artificial intelligence-driven travel app provider
TripActions. He will broker supply-side relationships for the startup, both with content
partners and product licensing with agency
partners. BTN editor-in-chief Elizabeth West
caught up with him.
Moving from a mega TMC and consultancy to a tech startup is major.
What prompted the move?
I wasn’t looking to make a move, but the TripActions product tracks with major trends in the
marketplace, and it was a unique opportunity for me to be a difference maker.
What trends specifically?
I saw the small and midmarket being underserved. The big TMCs don’t have the
product to serve them and don’t want to, while the regional TMCs lack the re-
sources to do a good job with them. So there’s a significant segment of the market
not getting what they need in terms of managing business travel. That’s the seg-
ment TripActions is going after. Also, traveler engagement is increasingly impor-
tant. Travelers require better communication with their travel departments, and
companies that can achieve this get better control. Building on that engagement
[and using] traveler incentives as a way to drive savings and compliance bridge the
long-standing disconnect between corporate and traveler objectives that creates
a number of inefficiencies and lowers traveler satisfaction. Outdated policies and
technology can’t keep up with these kinds of market dynamics, but TripActions is
offering an end-to-end solution that touches all of this.
Why aren’t TMCs doing it?
They want to, but the large managed programs can be incredibly complex. Given
the technology they have to work with—both the GDS technology and their internal technologies—they can do it, but it takes them longer.
Can TripActions handle large, complex programs?
We are not going after $200 million accounts right now. When we do have to cross
that bridge, we’ll have better tech to do that.
Tell me how you see that journey playing out.
While we are looking at an entry point at the small and midmarket, the product
can serve the needs of larger clients. We have already seen small and midsized
clients grow rapidly. Last year, [our average client maybe had] $1 million in managed travel. This year, that goes to $4 million, next year $10 million and the year
after, it could be $20 million. Four of our clients have market [capitalizations] of
over a billion dollars. While their travel is small today, it won’t be small forever. We
will grow with them.
OF SUPPLIER RELATIONS & ALLIANCES
Bob Brindley Moves to Startup TripActions
How the New Traxo Filter
Captures Off-Channel Bookings
BY AMANDA METCALF
CEO Andres Fabris told BTN
Traxo’s itinerary management
platform and new tech work
across 38 languages, though
sales and marketing have
centered on North America.
The company will make a Europe push in 2018 and an Asia/
Pacific push in 2019, and it has
started to put people on the
ground in those markets.