Platform Updates for Q2 2017

Now that we have finished the second quarter, we wanted to share some exciting platform updates that we released this quarter and provide some insight into upcoming releases.

Many of you are familiar with our different products, but what you may not realize is that our products are specific combinations of features and functions built on four technology platforms designed to integrate seamlessly with each other. These features and functions focus on data acquisition services, data normalization, data warehousing, reporting, business intelligence, and analytics.

iBank® Platform

The iBank team continues to migrate and rollout existing iBank reports in the new .NET code base. We have rolled out 15% of total reports to the new servers, and plan to finish the remaining 85% in Q3 and Q4. The 15% of released reports represent more than 50% of the total reporting volume – we made sure to update the most used reports first. As a reminder, the new iBank infrastructure allows us to deliver new capabilities to you, faster and with more flexibility.

We are already seeing the results of this work with our Air Activity, Rail Activity, Arrivals, Departures, and Upcoming Plans reports.  In Q2, as a direct result of the investment in our updated code base, we were able to fix defects in 90% less time.

We also wanted to provide a bit more information regarding an upcoming project we shared in our Q1 update. In April, we kicked off a major project, codename: Project Basin. We call it Project Basin because it covers everything but the kitchen sink.

Project Basin is a massive investment we are making to enhance our iBank Data Services. Our current data acquisition capability in iBank is focused on GDS reservation data and Back Office Invoicing data.  We leverage our TravelOptix® for additional types of data acquisition, specifically from booking providers like Farelogix and expense data.

The work we are doing with Project Basin will enable us to provide you with a single point of data acquisition for all your data, in any form, from just about any source. With Project Basin as the single point of data acquisition, your data is consolidated, cleansed, and normalized into a single set that can be consumed by any of our services or any other specialized third-party that you may work with. We expect to work on the Project Basin capabilities throughout Q3, and plan to begin to release functionality to the market, most specifically related to data cleansing, towards the end of Q3 and Q4.

iQCX® Platform

We continued to work closely with our GDS partners throughout the second quarter. We migrated almost all our customers to the new Web Services standard for Amadeus.

After gathering requirements in Q1, we have released several data capture enhancements for Ancillary Services and EMDs for both Sabre and Amadeus. We completed the development of the new iQCX Ticketing Module for Amadeus Web Services in Q2, and are now testing the new capabilities, which include the issuance of EMDs. We are planning a market-wide release of the new capabilities in Q3.

We completed the deployment of the new Composer version (version 4.1) to all our ResRule writers. This update improves security, stability, and performance.

We released 56 enhancements to the iQCX platform this quarter. To learn more, contact your Cornerstone account manager.

TravelOptix® Platform

In the second quarter, the TravelOptix team focused on building a set of standard Apps on the TravelOptix platform. Standard Apps are available with pre-defined analytics and filters – together these are called “Sheets.” Standard Apps are a great way to for customers who are new to TravelOptix to gain access to the platform and learn what the platform can do.

The standard Apps that have been completed are Spend Analysis App™, Farechecker App™, and TicketTRAK App™. Contact your account manager or Christine Dohmen to learn more about these Apps.

In addition to the standard Apps, we can now offer Custom Apps. These can either be built off a standard App, with modifications to data sources or data fields, or a brand-new App. With Custom Apps, our professional services team can design and build the right App, or set of Apps, for your unique business needs. In doing this, we can help you create a more strategic outlook for your travel program.

We also completed an underlying platform upgrade to continue to provide new features and faster processing. With this upgrade, we were able to double the hardware and resources available, driving more redundancy and greater capacity across the platform. We also separated our maintenance services so that we can ensure our real-time analytics engines maintain an extremely fast and consistent level of performance.

4site® Platform

The second quarter saw our 4site platform push the boundaries with our first wave of early adopters. We are currently managing almost 100k unique bookings per month on behalf of 7 travel management companies. These bookings represent 30,000 travelers. In addition, we are managing more than 5,000 segments every day.

Our enhancements in Q2 focused on the platform’s notification capabilities and dashboard rendering. We worked to make sure data loaded more efficiently and maps rendered faster. If you are interested in learning more about 4site, please contact your account manager or email ask@ciswired.com for a demo.

 

Where to find us in Q3

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!  

 

GBTA Convention

July 15-19,2017

Boston, MA

Learn more about the team attending

 

BCD Affiliates Meeting

September 11-13, 2017

Aruba

Staci Harris, Account Manager

Email Staci

Michael Kell, Business Development

Email Michael

 

Battleground: The Americas, Phocuswright Innovation

September 12, 2017

Los Angeles, California

Mat Orrego, CEO

Email Mat

 

GBTA All Committee Summit

September 13-14, 2017

Indianapolis, Indiana

Data Innovators & What Travel Can Learn From Them

If you’ve been in the travel industry long enough, you know it can be a bit myopic. Sure, there’s plenty we could tell you about data trends in travel, but the industry could use a breath of fresh innovative air. Below are a few of our favorite examples of companies innovating with data outside the travel space—and why they matter when it comes to travel.

1) DNAFit: The DNA of Personalization
DNAFit combines DNA tests and personal fitness by providing users with customized fitness plans and recommendations about what to eat based on the results of their DNA tests. It can’t get much more personal than this. What their capabilities point to is the ability to take pieces of information and translate them into something truly meaningful to the user. Travelers won’t give you their DNA, but they will give you an abundance of data about themselves if you ask. (Really, what traveler doesn’t like to talk about travel?) Just use it wisely. Find ways to give them ultimate value.

2) Spotify: From Tired to Inspired
Among many new projects that have skyrocketed Spotify to the top of the music-streaming industry, Discovery Weekly benefits both artists and listeners. The feature streams new music based on what a listener likes, which means new artists get more exposure and Spotify users get new music that keeps them coming back. According to Fast Company, “Much of Spotify’s success is due to increasingly sophisticated data collection, which allows it to keep releasing new products that captivate its users around a particular mood or moment in time rather than offering the same tired genres.” While the technology is in data collection, the innovation here is in rethinking the way people choose what to listen to. Perhaps travel companies should reconsider the tired old status quo; clearly, it can benefit everyone with a stake in the game.

3) Lattice Data: You Only Think You Have All the Data
Last month, Apple bought dark data company Lattice Data. If you’re wondering what dark data is, it’s unstructured data, the kind held in images and videos. Lattice turns it into structured data that can be analyzed and put to use. With so much of the travel purchase path located in images and video, harnessing this level of data will be essential in the coming years.

What all of these innovations point to is that big data isn’t really about big. It’s about what kind of data you have, and more importantly, how you put it to use. Quality will always outweigh quantity.

Making quality data usable and useful is the future.

Curate is more than a buzzword – but does anyone know what it means?

If it seems like you’re hearing the word “curate” everywhere you go, it’s because you are. Curate content. Curate data. Curate, curate, curate. But most people using “curate,” don’t know what it means.

Curate: to select items from among a large number of possibilities for select items from among a large number of possibilities for other people to consume and enjoy; applied to many areas including music, design, fashion, and especially digital media

First, people tend to forget curate is an action verb. To curate you need to make active choices and select specific items. Museums do this all the time.

They review a painter’s collection and select the paintings that best represent their work. They can’t use all the paintings – it is too much to showcase and may include items outside of the artists most relevant work. Museums directors take thoughtful selections of artwork that are representative of a total career.

The second part of the definition of curate is focused on letting people consume the information. Once the items are gathered, be it paintings or data, the greater challenge is putting them together in a way that people can understand.

If the paintings were hung around a room without an order, no one would be able to understand them. They couldn’t track the artist’s progression or the way they interpreted various elements. Arranging the items for greater understanding and new insights is critical.

But this isn’t what most people are doing.

We see a lot of companies gathering larger and larger sets of data and referring to that as curating. Large sets of data can be a powerful tool – and we at Cornerstone have enhanced and integrated capabilities to do just that, from data acquisition to data warehousing. But large data sets don’t always tell you what you need to know.

Sometimes new and critical insights get lost in these large data lakes. Curating data allows different patterns to emerge.

When we curate, we need to be sure we’re not just selecting a subset of items but rather that we’re taking the time to take thoughtful and representative selections of content that drive greater understanding and new insights.