Cornerstone Selected by the U.S. General Services Administration to provide data acquisition, consolidation, and normalization services.

We are thrilled to announce that Cornerstone Information Systems has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to provide data acquisition, consolidation, and normalization services to the GSA.

We began a comprehensive bid process in 2016 with the GSA to understand their current and future business requirements, which are exciting and future looking. In February, we received word that we were awarded the contract. We are actively involed in implementation with an excellent team at the GSA and plan to have them running on our platforms by July.

The GSA selected the iBank® and TravelOptix® platforms to provide an extensive data warehouse and data lake for the GSA to access all their data in real-time. The TravelOptix platform is the next generation evolution of Cornerstone’s iBank® travel reporting and warehousing tools.  The TravelOptix platform is designed to create a single analytical and visualization lens for data from multiple sources – from booking and reservation data, to expense and risk management information. The open platform will enable the GSA to efficiently and effectively manage and view all their data, from all their sources, on a single platform.

“The GSA represents a complex and unique data challenge and that’s very exciting for a company like Cornerstone that is laser focused on data and helping customers drive better decision making in their organization,” said Mat Orrego, CEO of Cornerstone Information Systems. “We know that our iBank and TravelOptix platforms can provide a flexible, scalable environment for GSA that is built to grow with their changing business needs.”

As we look towards the next few years, we plan to continue making strategic investments across our platforms – strengthening our data acquisition, consolidation, and normalization services while enhancing our reporting capabilities and expanding our library of analyses and visualizations. These investments are designed to ensure we can always meet the unique business needs of our customers and future customers.

Getting Ready for GBTA Convention 2017

Getting Ready for GBTA Convention 2017

We can’t believe it’s time for another GBTA Convention! Are you ready?
GBTA Convention is always one of the busiest, best, and most interesting conferences of the year – and this year will be no exception.

As the inaugural Volunteer Leadership Sponsor, we actively support the hard work of the GBTA Chapters and the effort and energy that go into every single GBTA event. Our own team participates in their local chapters, serve on the Technology Committee, and help lead GBTA Ladders. Read more.

This year we will sponsor a Volunteer Lounge for all of the hard working GBTA volunteers. The lounge provides a quiet place for volunteers to catch-up on work, grab a bite to eat, or take a moment to rest. We know the hours are long at GBTA Convention, but the days fly by.

We are also working on a brand new booth for the Expo Floor. This year we will be at booth 1569, a great spot right by JetBlue Airways and Omega World Travel. Our booth gives us an opportunity to showcase the new and exciting things we’re doing in automation and analytics as well as provide a few quiet areas for us to catch up with all of our customers. Our focus is on enabling you to drive better data and decisions through automation and analytics, and we will showcase our TravelOptix platform and AutoPay solution.

Cornerstone’s own Phillip Tau is leading an Education Session on payment solutions on Tuesday, July 18 from 8:00am-9:00am. The session is titled Make Virtual Cards Your Reality. Phillip will be joined by panelists from Microsoft, Visa, Fox World Travel, CSI globalVCard, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Lots of information exists on the trends and benefits of Virtual Cards, but not much on how to adopt and implement. This session will provide you the know-how and considerations from start to finish in adding a Virtual Card solution to your business. Whether you are a travel agency, corporation, or developer, our framework will provide structure to your adoption and operations of Virtual Cards.

This session format is a lecture followed by a Q&A / roundtable with virtual card customers, banks, and card networks. There are also take away materials like a step-by-step guide and infographic.

Wondering who will be there? Here’s the team heading to Boston:

Mat Orrego, CEO

Shaun McDermott, CFO

Tom Lacny, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing, & Advisory Services

Rock Blanco, Senior Vice President

Michael Kell, Director, Business Development

Bobbi Huber, Global Account Manager

Lauren Wolters, Director, Marketing

Phillip Tau, Product Manager, Virtual Payments

Christine Dohmen, Platform Manager, TravelOptix

Interested in setting up a meeting with our team? Contact Julie Brown.

See you in Boston!

A Pint of Knowledge About Acquisitions Goes a Long Way

A Pint of Knowledge About Acquisitions Goes a Long Way:
The Top 3 Questions Travel Agencies Should Ask Themselves When Consolidating

What do beer and travel agencies have in common? Mergers and acquisitions leading to massive consolidation. In late 2016, AB InBev bought SABMiller in a deal that makes the company the producer of one-third of the world’s beers supply. This move leaves mid-sized beer companies (of which there are relatively a few left, no doubt) sandwiched between the giants and a spate of small craft brewers. Most of the consolidation has been a growth move intended to expand geographic reach, to capture new markets.

The travel agency landscape looks surprisingly similar with some amount of consolidation among the top tier agencies (American Express, BCD Travel, etc.) and boutique agencies on the other end of the spectrum, with a group of medium-sized agencies in the middle trying to determine how to thrive in the current market. Most of these agencies are turning to acquisitions to extend their geographic reach by purchasing agencies in other countries, for example. However, without the resources of the top-tier agencies, acquisitions can be bumpy.

The technology issues inherent in acquiring and expanding a travel business or a brewery or any industry, for that matter, are often overlooked. Managers tend to focus on legal issues and financial audits in lieu of IT infrastructure and compatible technology practices. A thorough consideration of how you will handle technology across companies can make or break your ability to manage the entire enterprise from day one, though. Here are the top three tech questions you should consider if you are among the medium-sized travel agencies looking to grow.

1). Are you going to adhere to on single IT platform or allow for regional differences? Further, will you use on-premise technology or cloud-based/SaaS? There are benefits to both; however, much of the consideration depends on how much you want to preserve the culture and practices of the newly acquired company.

2). How will you handle data integration? No matter the answer to the above questions, data integration is essential to getting a transparent picture of the acquired company. Should you choose to keep companies on different systems, data integration is essential to an enterprise-level understanding of the agencies. Otherwise, information retrieval across various applications and systems is extraordinarily difficult. Consider who will handle the integration as well as challenges to execution.

3). Compliance regulation. Policies, guidelines, and contracts should be consistent across companies. Rarely do two companies have any overlap in this regard. Will you ask the acquired company to adopt yours or does this infringe on a strong company culture to such a degree that it become a setback? If you do move to create one cohesive compliance structure, how will you handle training and regulation?

These questions just graze the surface, but they are essential to moving the enterprise forward from day one, which means having consistent and clear reporting capabilities as well as the ability to continue doing business seamlessly. With mergers and acquisitions on the rise in 2017, there’s never been a better time to consider growth, but be sure to enable a tech foundation that will support the expansion.

 

GBTA Announces Inaugural Volunteer Leadership Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GBTA Announces Inaugural Volunteer Leadership Sponsor

Cornerstone Information Systems Takes Industry Leadership Role

Alexandria, VA (May 16, 2017) – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, today announced Cornerstone Information Systems has partnered with GBTA as the inaugural Volunteer Leadership Sponsor.

Cornerstone has long supported its employees’ efforts and involvement in GBTA through the Committee structure, their local Chapters and at GBTA Convention. Cornerstone CEO Mat Orrego has also been involved in the GBTA Ladders Program since its inception as both a mentor and as part of the volunteer leadership team. “Ladders” is GBTA’s innovative, industry-wide mentoring program connecting business travel leaders with industry newcomers to facilitate collaboration and mentorship, while tackling challenges facing the future of our industry.

Through this sponsorship, Cornerstone seeks to extend that support to volunteers across business travel, and believes GBTA provides the platform to drive engagement that fosters growth and innovation in the business travel industry.

“Volunteers are the heart of GBTA – and together, help to advance the business travel industry,” said Christle Johnson, GBTA President.

“We have been committed supporters of GBTA through the years, and this Volunteer Leadership Sponsorship enables us to further our commitment,” said Mat Orrego. “We have found GBTA gives us a great opportunity to connect with our customers and have a voice in the industry. Through committees and Ladders, our team takes an active role throughout GBTA. Supporting GBTA volunteers means supporting my own team. We are thrilled to take this new sponsorship role within GBTA.”

The sponsorship includes involvement at various GBTA events throughout the year including GBTA Chapter Leadership Summit, GBTA All Committee Summit, GBTA Chapter Presidents’ Council Leadership Summit, and GBTA Convention.

About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit www.gbta.org.

About Cornerstone Information Systems
Cornerstone Information Systems® is a global technology and services provider that has a unique domain knowledge in the travel industry, from how travel is operationalized to how information is managed. With a foundation in automation, we design, build, and deliver technology for travel companies and corporate buyers. We enable better data and decisions through automation and analytics. Companies managing more than $25 billion in travel spend annually trust Cornerstone to help them proactively lower the costs of travel management and drive revenues through travel optimization. Founded in 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems is a privately held company headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana with customers in more than 50 countries. To learn more, visit www.ciswired.com.

For more information, contact Lauren Wolters.