Jorge Alvarez Joins Cornerstone as New Vice President, Product Management and Marketing

Bloomington, Indiana (August 5, 2019) – Cornerstone Information Systems® is excited to announce that Jorge Alvarez has joined Cornerstone as its new Vice President Product Management and Marketing. In this position, Jorge will report directly to Cornerstone’s CEO Mat Orrego and be responsible for product conception, definition, prototypes, and market releases.

Jorge is a Certified Scrum Product Owner, with almost 20 years of business experience. He was most recently the Director, Product Lead with PricewaterhouseCoopers, doing business as PwC. At PwC, Jorge was the head of healthcare products, leading four global teams across three countries and building a portfolio of 10 products.

“I am thrilled that Jorge is joining Cornerstone,” said Cornerstone CEO Mat Orrego. “Jorge’s expertise in Product Management and the product lifecycle management is critical to our future growth plans. We have made some great investments this year, with new products and acquisitions, and now we need the strong leadership that Jorge brings those investments to our customers.”

Earning his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and his Master of Business and Doctor of Law degrees from Indiana University Bloomington, Jorge is excited to relocate to Bloomington with his family.

“I am excited to be back in Bloomington,” said Jorge Alvarez. “My career has taken me across the country, to California and Texas, but Indiana is home to me. Cornerstone is a growing global company serving one of the most complex industries in the world – and doing it all from Bloomington.”

Jorge will attend the upcoming Global Business Travel Association Convention in Chicago from August 5-7, 2019. To meet Jorge, please schedule an appointment or stop by the Cornerstone booth (booth 2812).

Based in Bloomington since 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems has grown from a small office of fifteen to almost 100 employees. Cornerstone is in final preparations to move into a brand-new headquarters building in downtown Bloomington along the B-Line and was recently voted one of the Best Places To Work In Bloomington.

To learn more about Cornerstone Information Systems, please contact Lauren Wolters (lwolters@ciswired.com) or visit www.ciswired.com.

Cornerstone Information Systems Selected as One Of The Best Places To Work Bloomington

best places to work logoBloomington, Indiana (June 28, 2019) – Cornerstone Information Systems® is thrilled to announce that they have been selected as one of the Best Places To Work Bloomington by The Herald-Times, The Mill, and the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation.

The Best Places To Work Bloomington is designed to spotlight the best places to work in different categories, to highlight opportunities for those in the Bloomington and surrounding areas. Cornerstone had to complete a company survey, and then company employees were surveyed. The combined scores, the employee survey being weighed higher, earned Cornerstone a place on the Best Places To Work Bloomington list.

“I am thrilled we have earned a spot on the list, and I’m proud to be in the company of these other great companies,” said Cornerstone CEO Mat Orrego. “We are committed to Bloomington, and I believe the city-wide investment in technology and life sciences is planning the seeds for attracting and retaining talent for future growth.”

Based in Bloomington since 1992, Cornerstone Information Systems has grown from a small office of fifteen to almost 100 employees. Cornerstone is in final preparations to move into a brand-new headquarters building in downtown Bloomington along the B-Line. Employees have an average tenure of more than seven years, a tribute to Cornerstone’s investment in its employees and more than triple the average for most technology companies.

“I love working for Cornerstone,” said Jenny Tracy, Customer Services Facilitation Manager. “I can enjoy the small city feel while working at a growing global business that does big things and impacts many people.”

To learn more about Cornerstone Information Systems or to set up an interview, please contact Lauren Wolters (lwolters@ciswired.com) or visit www.ciswired.com.

Cornerstone Acquires Apexconnect Inc.

Platform, Cloud, Integration Endpoints and Data is the Future of an Intelligent Hybrid Environment

Bloomington Indiana (June 26, 2019) – Cornerstone Information Systems Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition of the business of Apexconnect Inc., a Washington DC based company. Apexconnect Inc. helps customers automate the integration of expense, payment, and invoicing processes across the enterprise via its Core Connector Platform™. The Apexconnect Inc. business will now be known as ApexConnect.

With Cornerstone’s stronghold on travel technology and ApexConnect’s focus on financial technology, both companies saw the potential to work together to provide a broader set of data and information services to their customers.

The companies’ respective Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) offerings are designed to automate a variety of workflows that provide the opportunity to merge a broad variety of different data. Combined with artificial intelligence and predictive technologies, this intelligent hybrid of expense, payment, booking, human capital and other data will change the insights that are delivered to a customer’s enterprise.

“Often we see the need to cast a wider net of functionality across the enterprise in order to help automate for a richer and more efficient workflow for customers,” said Cornerstone Information Systems CEO Mat Orrego. “ApexConnect really understands how to bring together ‘the last mile’ in procure-to-pay workflows and we both saw the opportunity to work together. This technology has a ton of potential to help customers in other areas of their business.”

ApexConnect will continue to run as an independent business from its new offices in Arlington, Va. and will be supported by Cornerstone’s established and growing business out of Bloomington, In. headquarters. Ross Atkinson, Vice President of Sales and Partner Services for ApexConnect, will work with Cornerstone’s Chief Operating Officer Ron Childress to help grow and manage the business.

“With a strong, shared customer focus, both companies look forward to broadening the services they offer while focusing on the specific data, information and integration needs of its customers,” said Ron Childress.

To learn more about Cornerstone Information Systems or ApexConnect or to set up an interview, please contact Lauren Wolters (lwolters@ciswired.com) or visit www.ciswired.com.

 

More about ApexConnect

ApexConnect, is an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) company with a Cloud Connect Platform.  This unique platform integrates hundreds of connections with expense management, enterprise resource planning, human capital management, and payment solutions to quickly connect what have traditionally been disparate systems across an enterprise.

The platform automates the invoice, purchase order, expense, documentation management and corporate payment processes while applying client specific business rules, logic, data validations, and transformations providing value in key business functions.

ApexConnect is a company with a customer and cloud first approach.

To learn more, visit apexconnect.io.

 

More 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, Cornerstone designs, builds, and delivers technology for travel companies and corporate buyers. Cornerstone has a single focus on travel data from the management of the reservation to the creation and presentation of information. The result is higher quality customer service and more nimble operational responsiveness at a lower cost with fewer resources yielding higher profit.

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 ciswired.com

Getting Ready for GBTA Convention

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.

This year we continued to actively support GBTA through our support and participation in the local Ohio Valley, Chicago, and Dallas Fort-Worth Chapters. We are also proud to support GBTA Ladders.

On Monday, August 5 at GBTA Convention, Tom Lacny is presenting a session on “Auditing Is Critical To Effective Procurement And Contract Management.” Click here to learn more about the session.

You can find us on the Expo floor in booth 2812. We’ll be catching up with clients, sharing news about our recent acquisition of Topaz, talking about our enhancements to TicketTRAK™ and our latest technology.

Interested in setting up a meeting with our team? Click here to let us know what works best for you.

 

Wondering who will be at GBTA Convention from Cornerstone?

Here’s the team heading to Chicago:

Mat Orrego, CEO

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

Laurie Reese, Executive Vice President, Customer Services

James Dargan, Global Consulting and Sales Engineer

Bobbi Huber, Global Account Manager

Michael Kell, Director, Business Development

Kyle Moser, Vice President, Product Strategy and Development

Lauren Wolters, Senior Director, Marketing

 

See you in Chicago!

Join Us At Our Education Session At GBTA Convention

We are excited for our education session at GBTA Convention 2019 in Chicago. This year’s Convention theme is “Evolve,” and our education session focuses on the evolution of the role of the travel buyer and how audits are a critical part of their role.

As travel has evolved, travel buyers are dealing with new types of data and new tools available, auditing provides an effective way to ensure that you have the right program with the right tools. With all the options and choices available today, it’s crucial to make sure yours works for you and your business. The value of auditing has never been more important with the different rich sources of data and new tools available to travel managers today.

Join our session to hear Tom Lacny, EVP, Sales, Marketing & Advisory Services discuss how effective procurement and contract management is a critical part of any program – and why auditing is valuable tool for buyers.

In this session, you will learn best practices for auditing your program to drive comprehensive improvement and savings – from pre-ticketing audit to hotel and airfare re-shopping to strategies for successful implementation of auditing software.

 

Auditing Is Critical To Effective Procurement And Contract Management

Monday, August 5

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Room 1578 

 

Interested in learning more, or can’t make the session? Click here to connect with us and set up a time for us to meet.

 

Airfare Audits Demonstrate Agency Value, Travel Compliance

For more than 35 years, Topaz International has been the industry leader in airfare auditing services for global and domestic travel programs.  Each year, Topaz International reviews more than $2 billion in airfares for clients of all sizes, helping to demonstrate traveler compliance and the value of using a travel management company.

“Our clients range in size from under $1 million in annual travel volume to over $200 million across a very broad spectrum of industries,” said Michele Simon, Director, Client Services for Topaz and Cornerstone Information Systems.

Such clients use Topaz airfare audits to verify that travel management companies and travelers are booking the lowest logical airfares and are taking advantage of negotiated rates. In addition to identifying cost savings or missed opportunities, Topaz airfare audits can also tell whether corporate fares and compliance are performing at or above average through the Topaz National Database – an industry leading benchmarking tool that measures fare performance on top city pairs against other companies.

“They have a particularly good and unbiased reputation in the industry,” said one client.

“Our Best Interests at Heart”         

One global professional services firm, which has leveraged the power of Topaz International for more than a decade, uses the unbiased airfare audits to validate that its travel management company is providing the best fares and services to corporate travelers.

For this firm, with more than $100 million in air spend, the audit reports have become a regular component and important feature of the company’s corporate travel management strategy, according to the firm’s director of travel services.

“I receive an audit report every month, and while our agents are particularly good at what they do, there are times when they don’t find the best fare,” the director said. “There are times when Topaz finds better fares for us.”

The buyer views the report online and looks at the statistics, seeing if there were any itineraries that were not compliant, or if the counselor did not find the lowest rates.  “Then I go back to the particular itinerary and see what it is and go back to the travel management company if need be,” the director said.  “It makes us feel comfortable that the TMC we deal with has qualified people and our best interests at heart,” the travel executive added.

Making Noncompliance Nonexistent
The audits also serve as a valuable check on noncompliance on behalf of both the traveler and the agency.  “If I see 3 or 4 passenger name records that are out of policy a month, that’s a lot,” said the director of travel services, whose traveler compliance exceeds 90 percent.  Thanks to Topaz measuring the pulse of corporate travel compliance, “We feel very comfortable that people are making the right decision.”

The buyer praised the thoroughness of Topaz audits in those rare instances when fares booked by a traveler or counselor were higher that other available fares, noting details of “which fare was lower, on what carrier, in what class of service – all of those things you need to know.”

Since no two companies or travel programs are alike, Topaz customizes audits to client needs, allowing them to set parameters for measuring performance and service.

Keeping Agents on Point
While Topaz’s services provide benefits to corporate travel programs, it also translates to benefits for the travel management company, such as validating the TMC’s services to its client, and on occasion, showing room for improvement.  Audits can help identify any issues with travel counselors, evaluate agent performance and pinpoint training needs.

One global project specialist for a travel management company said a Topaz audit “keeps everybody on their toes.”

The audits help to support the value the corporate travel agency aims to provide to clients.

“It’s beneficial to have Topaz auditing because it drives into the travel counselor that you can be on a Topaz audit at any time,” the TMC employee said.  “These things can happen at any time and you have to remain consistent for the client.”

The “Watchdog” Role
In addition to providing the company’s travel department and its travel management company with a wealth of data, Topaz’s known role as a watchdog helps to keep travelers and agents in line.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the audits, the director of travel services at a global professional services firm conducted a trial shifting the audits from monthly to quarterly, and notes, “once you let up, you find people become a bit more careless about it.” By keeping the audits ongoing on a monthly basis, “our travelers know that it’s going to be audited and our TMC knows it’s going to be audited, so it’s a worthwhile investment.”

Another Topaz client at an industrial supplies manufacturer agreed.  “During the audit period, the pressure is on the travel counselors to make sure that they are finding the lowest fares and providing the documentation,” said the global travel manager.

In addition to demonstrating the potency of travel agency services, the director of travel services at the global professional services firm said the audits also show the effectiveness of the travel department to the rest of the company, especially those at the C-level.

“When an internal audit comes our way, and they do every two years, they want to know whether our program and TMC are the right ones for us, and it helps validate that they are,” the executive said.

To learn more about Topaz, please contact Michael Kell (mkell@ciswired.com) and make plans to stop by and see Cornerstone at GBTA 2019.

About Topaz

Topaz is the global leader for auditing and other strategic services to the corporate travel management professional.  Topaz has over 30 years of experience of auditing airfares and other travel related expenditures and supporting travel managers, buyers and agencies to improve performance and facilitate cost savings.  Topaz will assist you in validating savings during these difficult economic times. Cornerstone acquired Topaz in 2018.

 

Cornerstone Information Systems Announces New and Enhanced Solution for Ticket Tracking

 

 

 

 

 

Bloomington, Indiana (April 23, 2019) – Cornerstone Information Systems® today announces its new and enhanced TicketTRAK™ technology for tracking unused tickets.

Tracking unused airline tickets remains a big challenge for travel companies. Cornerstone research indicates that five percent to ten percent of a corporation’s total air spend is associated with unused tickets, and more than 80 percent of all unused tickets can be recovered through proper management. TicketTRAK is here to help travel companies do just that.

“Travel companies look for ways to save money for their customers, and TicketTRAK delivers that,” said Cornerstone CEO Mat Orrego. “Ignoring unused tickets leaves money on the table that can be put toward new and additional travel.”

TicketTRAK fits easily into a travel agency’s workflow and operates in the background. The technology provides automated loading, tracking, and monitoring of ticket status, both pre and post-travel up to the time of expiration. Cornerstone’s technology enables the loading of specialty ticket types such as MCOs and non-BSP/ARC transactions. Additionally, the solution provides a single view of ticket status across multiple GDS sources and enables broadcast reporting to clients.

“TicketTRAK helps our travel management customers ensure that their clients get the most value from every dollar they spend on airline tickets,” said Kyle Moser, Vice President of Product Strategy and Development at Cornerstone Information Systems. “And, by leveraging their existing workflows and automation, we help them deliver this value without additional work. We had to make sure that our technology fit right into our customers’ existing processes.”

Even more critical for travel companies, Cornerstone sends point of sale alerts to agents to identify travelers with potential unused ticket savings opportunities. Cornerstone layers in robust business intelligence visualizations through the TravelOptix® platform for reporting and analytics.  These are integrated with existing reservation log, queue, and detailed views. TicketTRAK also automates reporting for distribution to internal teams and customers.

To learn more about TicketTRAK, please click here.

To learn more about Cornerstone Information Systems or to set up an interview with Cornerstone experts, please contact Lauren Wolters (lwolters@ciswired.com) or visit www.ciswired.com.

Helping You Manage The Impact Of The FAA Temporarily Grounding Boeing 737 MAX

On March 13, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States ordered the temporary grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as operated by United States airlines or in United States territory. For latest information from the FAA, click here.

Cornerstone Information Systems can and wants to help our customers manage the impacts of this FAA ruling on their business.

Cornerstone is ready to provide our customers with reservation data showing critical information about travelers and their itineraries that will be affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX equipment.

To request information on the availability and receipt of your data, please contact your Cornerstone Account Manager or Cornerstone Support via email (support@ciswired.com) or direct by phone at +1 (888) 778-0897 or +1 (812)  330-4361 option #3.

Anytime the need arises, Cornerstone has the data to help you be responsive to the needs of your customers, travelers, or stakeholders.

 

Sincerely,

Laurie Reese

Executive Vice President, Customer Services

Meet up with the Cornerstone team at Travel Technology Europe!

Join Us At Travel Technology Europe

We are so excited for Travel Technology Europe, which kicks off in one week!

We have two keynote sessions happening at the Innovation Theatre, and we’ve shared all the details below. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment to meet the Cornerstone team, and be sure to register for our Cocktails and Canapés reception at the Hand & Flower.

 

Operationalizing NDC

Wednesday, February 20, 13:00-13:45, Innovation Theatre

This session will explore the challenges of operationalizing NDC (New Distribution Capability) in your environment. NDC is here, and we all need to find ways to manage the evolving distribution model and the increases in data. This moderated panel will discuss strategies to manage increased content within your program, critical technology decisions to track data, and the evolution of reporting and analytics within your business. This panel will be moderated by Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, with panelists from different parts of the travel industry.

Panelists:

  • Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, Panel Moderator
  • Tye Radcliffe, Director of Distribution, United Airlines
  • Moshe Rafiah, CEO, Travelfusion
  • Karen Janssen, Chief Information Officer, EMEA, Corporate Travel Management UK

 

A Look At The Future Of Travel

Thursday, February 21, 11:00-11:45, Innovation Theatre

Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, will interview Philippe Chereque, President, American Express Global Business Travel. Their lively discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing business travel today, from new technologies and infrastructure to the changing demographics of travelers.

Participants:

  • Mat Orrego, CEO, Cornerstone Information Systems, Panel Moderator
  • Philippe Chereque, President, American Express Global Business Travel