Real-Time Strategies Chip Away at Travel Costs

Business tools with data visualizations have the ability to offer sweeping insights that can influence all aspects of operations, from marketing to client services and everything in between. Data tools like the TravelOptix™ platform offer real-time information for more-nimble and therefore more competitive strategies. If you’re wondering how important speed is when it comes to data, a McKinsey study shows that high-performing companies are five times more likely to have the tools to work with real-time data.[1]

The ability to monitor trends as they are happening gives TravelOptix users an edge in making cost-saving shifts. Travel managers can observe a change in traveler behaviors and immediately locate the pattern, study the details, and determine if cost-saving measures are possible. For instance, if flights between two company office locations increase in volume, travel managers can offer insight to employees on ideal days of the week to book this route or preferred travel times for the best fares.

Travel managers also understand trends in best practices for booking but require real-time data to ensure compliance with those best practices. With real-time tools on hand, managers can identify if travelers are suddenly booking an unusual amount of short-lead travel and can then take up the exploratory work necessary to ensure compliance or suggest alternatives. And, most importantly, this can happen as soon as a potential problem is spotted; therefore, avoiding future unnecessary expenditures.

In both cases, immediate cost-savings are the result of real-time business insight presented in a visual format that is simple to understand because it is tailored by and to the organization.

Travel and expense management can be of the most challenging operational costs to control, and is a significant budget item for many companies. Thinking holistically about how to increase the efficiency around travel operations is essential to overall business performance. While there are many ways to improve travel management, among the first and most productive is to stop using the unreliable, outdated data on which companies have been relying for so long (if you’re holding a spreadsheet right now, we’re giving you a friendly nod) and embrace real-time decision making.

TravelOptix provides you the flexibility to load data from virtually any data source including spreadsheets, databases, operational systems, ERP, and web sources. Additionally, TravelOptix gives you the control to cleanse, transform, and unify multiple disparate data sources without requiring external tools. Current Cornerstone customers will start with data being loaded from the iBank® and iQCX® platforms and can integrate other sources from there.

TravelOptix allows you to choose your own visualizations, data sources, and viewing device so you can tell the story you want, in the way that you choose. Pick your sources, then use the intuitive drag-and-drop visualization tools to discover insights that were previously hidden. Mobile integration and robust story telling tools allow you to present your findings anytime, anywhere so that you can delight customers and internal shareholders alike. Whether you are looking to improve internal efficiencies or drive greater value to your customers, TravelOptix gives you the tools you need to have a comprehensive picture of your data and real-time strategies to help reduce your costs.

To learn about our TravelOptix platform and how we can drive insights for your business, please contact your account manager or Rodrigo Cotelo.

 

[1] The Need to Lead in Data and Analytics. McKinsey. April 2016.

Where We’re Investing in 2017

As we finished 2016, we took time to look across our solutions and take stock of where we stood. Our goal is to make strong investments in our core platforms, adding new capabilities to enable you to make better business decisions, and listening to feedback from you, our customers and our partners.

2016: A Year Of Change

Last year was a year of swapping out and upgrading the old with the new at Cornerstone. We focused on making architectural changes to our iBank® software platform – changing the entire report production and distribution code base.  These efforts will allow you to create the reports and analyses that you need faster and with more flexibility. Requests that used to require engineering development can now be managed through configuration.

We also ensured our existing redundant and robust systems are ready for future growth. We increased the capacity of our server cluster and moved to all-flash memory solution. Our investment into the all-flash memory technology provides the foundation for next-generation business applications as well as bolstering support of real-time analytics. This new structure gives us eight times the input/output per second that we had previously as well as sub-millisecond latency.

We also released our TravelOptix™ software platform in 2016, as well as our new AutoPay™ product. TravelOptix provides you the flexibility to load data from virtually any data source, including spreadsheets, databases, operational systems, ERP, and web sources. Additionally, TravelOptix gives you the control to cleanse, transform, and unify multiple disparate data sources without requiring external tools. TravelOptix allows you to tell your own story on a responsive platform. The self-service data visualization enables you to answer your own questions on the fly, from any device, with data governance for your back office and reservation data built in.

AutoPay enables you to request virtual cards from within your desktop workflow, automates the generation of the virtual card numbers with the financial institution, provides that information back into the booking and passes enriched data to your back-office systems for 100% reconciliation. We partnered with two leading payment aggregators this year – eNett and Conferma. This ensures we can provide you full range of capabilities and options that best fit your individual needs.

2017: Where We Are Going

We remain committed to our mission in 2017. This year we plan to enhance our unique domain knowledge around travel data – from how travel is operationalized to how information is managed.

We remain committed to helping our customers manage their process and information, to drive better decision making. Our focus continues to be on travel data, from the management of the reservation to the creation and presentation of information.

As we enter 2017, we want to build on the progress we made in 2016 with three main areas of investment.

1) Investing in system infrastructure

We will focus on enhancing and upgrading our access to our partners, especially our GDS partners. This includes updating some of our APIs and web service calls, as well as capturing reservation data in new ways. Much of this work happens in the background – you will see the benefits in faster access to data, quicker processing times, and greater continuity of data.

We know that process times and system reliability are critically important for your business. We maintained our 99.99% uptime in 2016, and our goal is to continue provide that exceptional level of performance.

2) Expanding data capture capabilities

One of the most valuable capabilities of our TravelOptix platform is its ability to load and analyze data from any source. A critical area of focus for us in 2017 is to expand the data connections we have.

This includes building new partnerships to add data sources, and building custom links for our customers. We are evaluating the best methods of bringing data into our unified environment, so that you can view everything from reservation data to expense and human resources data in one place. This also benefits our Policy Compliance Manager™ product as well as AutoPay.

Expanding our data capture capabilities ensures that we can continue to uncover insights for your business, helping you make data-driven decisions.

3) Launching 4site™ platform

One of the areas we are most excited about is the market release of 4site. You may have seen glimpses of this Innovation Team project over the last year and a half. We have iterated our 4site platform a few times and the result is a data-driven platform designed to manage travelers before and during travel, anticipating disruptions before they happen.

We are developing 4site to use predictive intelligence to calculate the most likely scenario at any given moment, allowing the traveler, corporate travel manager, and travel management company to respond in real time.

We think that 4site will be one of the most exciting set of capabilities we bring to market in 2017.

 

Questions? Feel free to contact your Cornerstone account manager or email ask@ciswired.com.

 

 

Join Us At Travel Technology Europe 2017!

Cornerstone Information Systems is thrilled to be attending Travel Technology Europe. Stop by booth T81 to meet CEO Mat Orrego and see a demo of our TravelOptix platform.

To schedule an appointment at the booth, please email ask@ciswired.com.

 

cocktailscanapes2017

Where To Find Our Team

Stop by and say hello!

We will be attending a number of events in the next few months. We would love for you to stop by and say hello.

Interested in setting up a time to connect? Feel free to email us at ask@ciswired.com to schedule an appointment or email any of the attendees directly.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Partnership Travel Consulting Conference

Tom Lacny, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Advisory Services

Panelist, Cutting Edge Technologies

January 24-26, 2017

Miami, Florida

Email Tom                                                                                                                   

 

Commonwealth Business Travel Group

Rock Blanco, Senior Vice President

Speaker

January 31-February 2, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Email Rock

 

Travel Technology Europe

Mat Orrego, CEO

Tom Lacny, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Advisory Services

Kyle Moser, Vice President of Business Development

James Dargan, Sales Engineer

February 22-23 2017

London, UK

Email Mat

Email Tom

Email Kyle

Email James

 

Heading to Travel Technology Europe? Click here to register for our reception. We would love to see you!